Purchasing Retreaded Tires

Jan. 1, 2006
Fact: Retreaded tires provide the same dependable performance and safety as new tires but at a far lower cost - as much as 50% less. Fact: Retreaded tires

Fact: Retreaded tires provide the same dependable performance and safety as new tires but at a far lower cost - as much as 50% less.

Fact: Retreaded tires deliver the best possible return on an investment in tires because retreading allows the continued use of a tire. The more retreads obtained from a tire casing, the lower the overall tire costs.

Fact: Every major truck and bus tire manufacturer designs and engineers its tires with robust casings for severalretreading lives. To discard a worn tire without retreading is to lose much of a tire's value because the most expensive part of a tire is the casing.

Fact: Retreaded tires keep getting better and better with continuous improvements in quality, durability and reliability.

Fact: When it comes to retreading, the tire casing and the retreader are key.

The weak link in retreading is what is known as a cap and casing -- which can often mean an inexpensive, poor quality retreaded tire. But it doesn't have to be that way. A cap and casing is as good as the retreader who produces it, and there are hundreds of excellent retreaders producing outstanding cap and casings, said Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB), a non-profit, member-supported industry association dedicated to the recycling of tires through retreading and repairing, and to promoting proper tire maintenance for all tires.

"When price rather than quality is the foremost consideration in the choice of a retread, problems with the tire will occur," he said.

"All too frequently, owner operators and fleets risk their money and safety on the cheapest retreads available and hope for the best," Brodsky explained. "Instead, they ought to be making sound retread buying decisions by shopping for the right retread at the right price from businesses with a proven track record."

Tire retreading is actually a manufacturing process. Because no two worn casings are exactly alike, every one must be treated individually during the retreading process. Consequently, training and workmanship are vital to a high quality retread.

"A retreaded tire is only as good as the workmanship and the quality control in the plant that manufactured it," noted Brodsky.

As with any type of manufacturing, not all manufacturers produce high-quality products. There are shoddy producers who cut corners on quality and workmanship in every industry, and retreading is no exception.

"That is why it is so important to know deal with reputable retreaders who produce quality retreads," Brodsky said. "The TRIB Retread Tire Buyers Guide provides a listing of the good guys - retreaders who truly care about their products and their customers."

The TRIB Retread Tire Buyers Guide is available free the asking. It may also be viewed or downloaded from TRIB's Web site: www.retread.org.

The last thing any quality retreader wants to do is retread a tire that will not endure another useful life, emphasized Brodsky. They would much rather reject a casing, even if it means the customer may be unhappy. Their philosophy is that it is better to have an unhappy customer now, than a tire failure 500 miles from home that may possibly incur a safety hazard to equipment and life.

Obviously, a higher quality retread will have a higher initial cost. "However, higher quality retreads deliver more miles, leading to a lower cost per mile," Brodsky pointed out. "Plus, there are more subtle savings such as less downtime for changing tires and fewer expensive, time-consuming on-road failures."

"When it comes to retreaded tires, a focus just on purchase price may seem like a sound business decision," said Brodsky, "but it isn't always the wisest. The old saying, 'you get what you pay for' really applies."

Source: Tire Retread Information Bureau