Tire retread process

What is a retread tire?

A retread tire, also sometimes referred to as recap tires or remolded tires, is a used tire that has been repaired and recycled, with a new layer of tread applied to its surface. Retreading involves removing the old worn-out tread from the tire's casing, inspecting the casing for any damage or defects, repairing any damage found and then applying a new layer of rubber to the casing to create a new tread.

What are the benefits of using retread tires?

There are several benefits to using retread tires, including:

  • Cost savings: Retread tires are significantly less expensive than new tires (30 – 50% less), which can save trucking companies a lot of money in the long run. Overall, using retreaded tires saves the commercial trucking industry over $3 billion a year.
  • Positive environment impact: Using retreaded tires reduces the number of tires that need to be manufactured and ultimately disposed of, meaning fewer old tires end up in landfills. 
  • Comparable quality and reliability: Retreaded tires have been shown to be just as safe and reliable as new tires, as long as they are properly inspected, maintained and installed.
  • Improved traction: Retread tires can be designed with a specific tread pattern to provide better traction and handling in different driving conditions, such as wet or icy roads.
  • Availability: 38.2% of commercial replacement tires are actually retread tires. They are widely available and can be a great option for drivers.

What are the concerns about using retread tires?

While retread tires can provide many benefits, there are sometimes concerns associated with their use. 

  • Quality and safety: The quality and safety of retread tires can vary depending on the retreading process and the quality of the materials used. Poorly retreaded tires can be prone to defects, such as separations or blowouts, which can be dangerous for drivers. To help ensure the highest quality and safety, trucking companies should only purchase retreaded tires from reputable dealers.
  • Maintenance: As with any tire, new or retreaded, you’ll want to adhere to proper maintenance and inspection to ensure their safety and longevity.
  • Compatibility: Not all tires can be retreaded, and the quality of retreaded tires can vary depending on the retreading process and the quality of the materials used. It's important to make sure the tire casings are compatible with the retreading process, so the final product is safe and reliable.
  • Perception: There is a perception among some drivers that retread tires are of lower quality than new tires, which can impact their willingness to use them. This perception is not always accurate, as many retreaded tires are just as safe and reliable as new tires.

Many of these risks can be mitigated when a trucking company purchases retreaded tires from reputable dealers, and makes sure the tires are properly maintained and inspected to ensure their safety and reliability on the road. Want to learn more about other retreading myths? Read Retread Tire Myths Debunked.

How do I find a reputable retread brand?

If you are considering purchasing retread tires, it's important to select a quality retreader to ensure the tires are retreaded correctly and safely. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Certification: Look for retread brands that have been certified by industry organizations, such as the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB) or the Tire Industry Association (TIA). These certifications indicate the facility meets certain quality standards and follows industry best practices.
  • Process: Research the retreading process and make sure the brand you choose follows industry standards. You should also make sure the company you're working with uses tier one casings on their retreads for the best reliability. 
  • Warranty: Look for retread brands that offer a warranty on their retreaded tires. This gives additional assurance that the tires have been retreaded correctly and are backed by the retread
  • Reputation: Look for retread brands with a good reputation in the industry. You can ask for recommendations from other drivers or check online reviews to get a sense of the brand’s track record.
  • Inspection: When you receive your retreaded tires, inspect them carefully for any defects or irregularities. If you notice any issues, talk to the shop technician or contact the retread facility immediately.

Overall, it's important to do your research and choose a brand from a reputable retread facility to ensure that your retread tires are safe and reliable. By selecting a reputable and top-selling retread brand like Bandag, Michelin, Continental ContiTread and Goodyear Unicircle that all follow industry standards and best practices, you can feel confident that you are getting a quality product that meets your needs and expectations.

Looking for a reputable retread brand AND discounts on tires, maintenance and more? Retreads are commonly stocked and sold at Southern Tire Mart, Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J and Boss Truck Stops locations in the RTS Carrier Services truck care network. 

Reach out today for more information about our fuel card and truck care program!

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