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Tyre Retreading Profile

In the year 1987 , Treadstone Rubber Pvt . Ltd . was appointed the Franchisee of ELGITREAD ( INDIA ) LTD . who were in technical collaboration with OLIVER RUBBER CO . USA for retreading of tyres in Ranchi ( Jharkhand ) . Elgitread is one of the largest suppliers of procured retreading materials in the world. It has supplied over 600 retreading plants in 35 countries. The manufacturing facilities of Elgitread (India) include 8 plants in 6 countries to manufacture over 25 million kgs of retreading material .

At Treadstone , we are committed to understanding your needs and providing the appropriate solution through a comprehensive range of retreading services . Very few companies in the industry offer such a complete range of service in retreading. This concept has made us one of the largest retreader having retreaded over 1.50 lacs tyres since 1987 in a very modern facility to retread tyres. These are backed by trained workmen with vast experience . We at Treadstone have the most sophisticated retreading solution.

Retreads like new !

ELGITREAD : The Pioneer

Based on our customer’s requirements, ELGITREAD’s tread patterns are designed for use in different types of applications. The tread rubber is made from superior raw materials and pressed at a very high pressure resulting in a product that gives high performance both in terms of mileage and tread life.

ELGITREAD : The Technology Advantage

ELGITREAD uses advanced technology in terms of machinery, equipment and raw materials. As a result, the products give mileage that result in LOWEST COST PER KILOMETER. The processes have been certified as ISO 9001:2000 compliant.
ELGITREAD continuously engages in R&D to develop and deliver superior compounds that give higher mileage to our customers. We constantly engage in testing of these.

About Retreading

* For most fleets, tyres represent either the second or the third largest item in their operating budget, right after labor and fuel costs.
* The lowest possible cost-per-mile is achieved with a good tyre management program that includes the use of quality retreads.
* Retreads are not only cost effective, but they are also dependable, reliable and safe. Retreads are used by truckers with scheduled delivery times, small package delivery companies with guaranteed delivery times, on commercial and military jets and by most school bus operators.
* Retreads are also environmentally friendly. tyres are basically petro-chemical products. It takes almost 100 ltrs. of oil to manufacture one new truck tyre. Most of the oil is found in the casing, which is reused in the retreading process. As a result, it takes only 30 ltrs. of oil to produce a retread.
* Retreaders, like trucking companies, have experienced considerable consolidation. Today, the most successful retreaders are those with the highest quality products, delivering the best possible return on investment to the fleets. Because of the competitive nature of the retreading industry, truckers can expect to see continuous improvement in quality, durability and reliability, as the major retread suppliers annually invest millions of dollars in research and development.


Q Where does rubber on the road come from?
A The rubber pieces you see on the road come from both new and retreaded tyres. It is important to note that most of the rubber on the road comes from truck tyres and is caused mainly by underinflation, overloading, and tyre abuse.
Q Are retreaded tyres really as safe as new tyres?
A Yes. Adjustment percentages of retreaded tyres are about the same as with new tyres. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that nearly all tyres involved in any tyre related accidents are underinflated or bald. Properly maintained tyres, whether new or retreaded, do not cause accidents.
Q Can RADIAL and HIGH PERFORMANCE tyres be retreaded?
A Yes. Steel belted and non-steel belted radials and high performance tyres are retreaded. Since high performance tyres are usually manufactured with cap plies, the retreadability of the original tyre casing is greatly improved.
Q Can RADIAL and HIGH PERFORMANCE tyres be retreaded?
A Yes. Retreaded tyres can be driven at the same legal speeds as comparable new tyres with no loss in safety or comfort.
Q How long will they last?
A With proper maintenance and care, retreaded tyres will provide the same amount of service as comparable new tyres. Retreads tread life varies from the same as a comparable new tyre to 75% of a new tyre. The variables here, relative to a comparable new tyre are
  1. Retreads often start with less tread depth,
  2. Due to casing conditions, the retread footprint may be smaller/narrower then the new tyre,
  3. Trailer tyres are removed from service for reasons other then wear out over 80% of the time, especially with in-line haul service.
Q Are there any driving conditions where retreaded tyres should not be driven?
A No. Retreaded tyres can be driven wherever comparable new tyres can be driven. The only restriction is on the steer axle of busses hauling passengers.



Machineries for Retreading

Inspection Spreader - IS 2
Tyre range
6.00 x 16 to 12.00 x 24
Dimensions (mm)
2700 x 1000 x 1000
Air pressure
7 Kg / cm2
Electrical requirement
220 V 1 Ph 50 Hz
Electrical load
100 W
110 Kg
Free Standing

Tyre Buffer - BF2
Tyre range
4.50 x 12 to 11.00 x 20
Dimensions (mm)
2000 x 1800 x 2900
Air pressure
7 Kg / cm2
Electrical requirement
380 / 415 V 3 Ph 50 Hz
Electrical load
6.375 KW (8.5 HP)
650 Kg
Free Standing

Tread Builder - BI2
Tyre range
4.50 x 12 to 11.00 x 20
Dimensions (mm)
1200 x 1400 x 2800
Air pressure
7 Kg / cm2
Electrical requirement
220 V 1 Ph 50 Hz
Electrical load
0.75 KW (1 HP)
250 Kg
Free Standing

Curing Chamber BNE - 104/60
Tyre range
Bead diameter 8" thro 24.5"
Inner Dimensions (mm)
1524 dia
Air pressure
8 Kg / cm2
Electrical requirement
380 / 415 V 3 Ph 50 Hz
Electrical load
25.5 KW (34 HP)
2600 Kg
Free Standing

Mono Rail Station For Chamber
To suit entire range of tyre curing chambers. They have a built-in pneumatic lift for loading and unloading tyres. The bridge section to the chamber can either be manually or pneumatically operated.

Air Compressor : TC 1000
  • Two stage air cooled, reciprocating type air compressor.
  • Automotive type low expansion alloy pistons.
  • Deep finned cast iron cylinders for high efficiency.



How a Tire is Retreaded
Basically, there are two systems used to retread a tire, Mold Cure and Pre Cure. The reason both systems exist is because of the economics of operating a retread plant and have nothing to do with the quality of the finished product. Each system has unique advantages but both systems produce equally good retreaded tires. The initial steps in retreading a tire are the same regardless of which retreading system is used. These steps are: 
1. Primary Inspection. Each tire received in a retread plant is subjected to a very rigorous visual inspection. Inspectors may be assisted by the use of various non-destructive sophisticated inspection equipment available in the retread industry. As many as 85% of passenger tires are rejected. The acceptance rate for truck tires is higher due to the better care taken for and the stronger construction of a truck when compared to a passenger tire. Only the very best proven worn passenger and truck tires get past this inspection.
2. Buffing. After inspection, tires have the old tread mechanically removed on high speed buffers. Today's buffers are extremely accurate and will remove the proper amount of old rubber while truing the tire to an exact specified diameter and radius.
3. Tread Building . Application of new rubber in the tread area. Here is where the systems differ.
       a. In the pre cure system, the tread rubber has already been vulcanized with the new tread design. The buffed tire has a thin layer of cushion gum wrapped around the tread area and the pre cured tread is then applied. The cushion gum serves to bond the pre cured tread to the tire. The tire is then placed in a curing chamber and the pre cured tread becomes adhered to the tire through a vulcanizing process very similar to that used in new tire construction.
        b. In the mold cure system, unvulcanized tread rubber is applied to the buffed tire. The tire is then placed into a rigid mold which contains the tread design in the tread area. The mold is heated and the rubber in the tread area vulcanizes and adheres to the tire with the new tread design molded in. Again, this vulcanization process is very similar to that used in new tire construction.
Note: Both systems require a combination of time, heat and pressure to create the vulcanization of the new rubber to the tread area of the tire.
 4.Final inspection. The retreaded tire is subjected to a final inspection. This inspection insures that only tires that meet industry quality standards are allowed to leave the retread plant.
 5.Trimming and painting. The retreaded tire that successfully has passed the final inspection, is trimmed to remove any excess rubber and painted. It is then ready to return to full service and a second (or third) life as a safe and economical alternative to high priced new tires.
  6.Nail hole and section repairs.  When required, nail hole and section repairs are performed within the retread industry repair guidelines.
Buses and Retreaded Tires
With advances in technology, materials and manufacturing, today’s bus tires are tougher than ever before. Bus tire manufacturers design their tires for multiple lives, meaning the tires are designed to be retreaded This article by the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) - a non-profit, member-supported industry association dedicated to the recycling of tires through retreading and repairing - explains how through retreading tires, bus fleets can add thousands of dollars annually to their bottom line, and at the same time, help reduce the scrap tire problem and conserve oil. 

Bus fleet operators have an inherent tire operating problem: the drive tires on buses often face hot operating conditions that can shorten their tires’ tread life expectancies. 

The problem is caused by the traditional configuration of bus bodies. Usually, drive position tires are shrouded by sheet metal, which has been formed to create a rear wheel well that is almost completely enclosed. The design restricts the airflow around the tire and actually encourages heat build up. Heat is a tire’s single greatest enemy. 

The higher operating temperatures found in many bus tire applications require special compounding and casing constructions to improve the usefulness of these tires.

Most tire manufacturers design and manufacture bus tires using the same advanced technology that goes into truck tires for linehaul service. When fitted to trucks and trailers, linehaul tires are generally in the open, operating with plenty of air circulation to help moderate temperatures. For tires built for bus operation, construction changes are made to afford better heat dissipation from the tread area and to improve sidewall resistance to scuff and curb damage. 


Retreading of bus tires can improve the value of these tires in any operation by reducing overall tire costs. 

A properly constructed and well-maintained retreaded bus tire will provide at least as many miles of use as it did when new. The more expensive the original new tire, the greater the retread savings.

All bus tire manufacturers design their tires for multiple lives, meaning the tires are designed to be retreaded. Therefore, to discard a worn tire without retreading is to lose much of the tire’s value. This is a wasteful and unnecessary expense.


To ensure that tires can be retreaded for at least one more lifecycle, and perhaps even a second, bus operators need to do several things:

- Follow good bus maintenance practices.

- Closely watch tire air pressure by checking air pressure regularly using a properly calibrated tire gauge. It is important to break bus drivers of the habit of thumping a tire to determine air pressure. Doing so is as effective as trying to determine if a bus needs oil by thumping its hood.

- Load vehicles properly and do not overload. 

- Teach bus drivers to make turns carefully to avoid excessive scrubbing of the tire tread surface on the pavement. Because of the longer chassis of most buses compared to conventional trucks, tread scrubbing is almost inevitable, but cautious turns will reduce the wear rate. 

Vehicle handling can be improved by maintaining correct air pressure in tires. Avoid running tires at low pressures. 

When a tire is underinflated, most of a vehicle’s weight is concentrated on the tread located just under the sidewalls, rather than being spread out evenly across the full width of the tire. As such, as the tire rolls, the sidewall gets continually overflexed and heats up, creating destructive temperatures and faster tread wear. This affects both performance and safety. 

Problems also result from too much air pressure. Overinflation causes tires to wear excessively at the center of the tread because it will bear the majority of a vehicle’s weight, with little wear on the outer edges of the tire. This causes reduced traction, handling problems, a harsher ride, and increased and uneven wear.


Not only is tire retreading an economic positive, it is also environmentally responsible. Retreading helps reduce the scrap tire problem and saves oil.

Bus tires are basically petrochemical products. It takes approximately 22 gallons of oil to manufacture one new bus tire. Since most of that oil is used in the tire casing, which is reused in the retreading process, only 7 gallons of oil is required to retread that same tire. Consequently, each time a tire is retreaded, approximately 15 gallons of oil are saved. Considering that the overall tire market for transit and commercial buses is about 430,000 to 470,000 units annually, retreading conserves millions of gallons of oil every year.

The approximately 500,000 private commercial truck owner- operators and commercial truck fleets in the United States have discovered that truck tire retreading makes them good environmental citizens and smart business operators. Bus fleet operators are making the same discovery.

Increasing numbers of highway users, concerned citizens, government agencies and drivers recognize that a retreaded truck or bus tire is a tire that is not part of the solid waste stream. 


The basic difference between a retreaded tire and a new one is that a retread has new tread rubber added to a previously used casing that has been designed for a multiple life. Retreads enable the bus operator to keep costs down, improve profit margins and increase the value received from tires. 

The foundation of a successful retreading program starts with good tire casings. Structurally, new and retreaded tires are virtually the same. With proper care, commercial bus tires can be retreaded two or three times, providing hundreds of thousands of miles of additional tire life. 

The tire casing will eventually wear beyond retreadability, but collecting that many miles takes a long time, and during this time, the tire being kept in use as a retread reduces the scrap tire problem and saves the bus fleet operator money. 

Although tires are highly complex structures - among the most durable objects the rubber industry has ever created - bus operators are not overly fascinated by tire complexity. They simply demand that a tire support the bus and carry its “cargo” over the road surface with relative smoothness, and do those things for a long time with no trouble. 

However, when thinking retreading, it helps to know what’s in a tire and how they’re made. 

A new bus tire begins life as a mixture of natural and synthetic rubbers, oils, carbon black, pigments and other additives, each contributing certain properties to a rubber compound. 

The tire’s components - sidewalls, tread rubber, chafer and apex strips, innerliner and reinforcing body fabric and steel plies - are all assembled in a shape that resembles a doughnut. The tire industry refers to this as a “green” tire.

This assembly is placed in a tire curing press where, under extreme heat and pressure for specific time periods, the doughnut is molded into a conventional tire shape. These same forces are used in retreading previously used tires. 

After the new tire is removed from its mold, it should have a routine, original life expectancy of hundreds of thousands of miles, given proper attention to inflation pressures and avoiding collisions with curbs, potholes and other hazards. 


The time to retread, tire experts say, is when a tread measurement shows at least 4/32” of tread remaining on the tire casing. They strongly advise against waiting until the tread wear indicators show in the tire. This delay could cause the casing to be wasted from a retread standpoint. Some of the old tread rubber base is needed for good adhesion of the new tread, which is why it is a good idea to pull tires early. It can be a false economy to wait until the last minute.

If the casing is in good condition, retreading can extend the useful life of the tire by another hundred-plus thousand miles. And often, the process can be repeated a second and third time. 


During the retread process, only the tread rubber on a tire is replaced. The tire casing is usually untouched except for buffing, unless there is some needed section or nail-hole repair required. Buffing is the process where a tire has its old tread mechanically removed by a specifically designed lathe-type machine.

The first step in retreading is a thorough visual inspection of the tire to be retreaded. Inspectors typically also use various high-tech, non-destructive inspection equipment to uncover damage invisible to the naked eye. These inspections look for manufacturing defects, signs of impact that might have broken the casing, repairable damage, non-repairable damage and excessive aging. 

Once a tire casing passes the inspections, it has most of its remaining tread rubber buffed off with a specifically designed buffing machine. Using template guides for accuracy and consistency, this machine removes the worn tread to the correct shape, size and texture, preparing the casing surface to receive a new tread. At this point, highly trained and skilled professionals repair any injuries remaining in the tire casing. 

The next step in the retreading process is the application of the new tread. Because proper alignment is critical for tire life and performance, a device known as a tread builder centers and aligns the new tread rubber on the buffed casing. The tire is then ready for tread curing (also called vulcanizing) - the step that bonds new tread rubber to a previously used tire casing. 

Two types of processes are used in bonding tread rubber to the tire casing: mold cure and precure. Simply put, with the mold cure process, uncured tread rubber is applied to the tire casing after which it is placed into a rigid mold, which contains the tread design. The mold is heated and the tread rubber takes on the tread design. 

In the precure process, the tread rubber that is applied to the tire casing has already been molded with a tread design. A thin layer of cushion gum bonding is applied around the tire casing after which the precured tread is applied. The tire is then placed in a chamber where pressure and temperature adheres the tread to the tire.
Following the curing comes the last step in the retreading process: final inspection. All retreaded tires are rigorously inspected to ensure a quality, safe and attractive product. Once inspectors approve the tire it is then painted and labeled for a like-new appearance, ready to return to full service and a second (or third) life as an economical alternative to higher-priced new tires.

A single principle governs the selection of a retread process: the correct tread design and compound must be selected for the bus operators’ intended use. 


Retreaded tires are a viable alternative to new tires. The more times a tire casing is retreaded, the lower the cost-per-mile of operation. The result is an improved financial picture for bus fleets, and a tire that is kept out of the solid waste stream for a longer period of time. 
NOTE: Retreaded tires may not be used on the steer wheel positions of buses.




YOU’VE HEARD HORROR STORIES about retreads that failed.

These stories are normally told without an understanding of what makes tires, including new tires, come apart. They also often reflect a lack of knowledge about how good retreading technology actually is these days.

Tread will last, at most, about 350,000 miles, says Al Cohn, Goodyear’s manager of strategic initiatives for commercial tires. However, a properly maintained casing is designed to last as long as 750,000 miles, he says, and that’s why a careful retreading program has the potential to save money. Consequently, “Retreading is the solution to maximizing the investment that a fleet has made in the casing itself,” says Randy Clark, vice president of marketing for Michelin America Truck Tires.

“No major truck tire manufacturer would dream of bringing a truck tire to market that

has not been designed for multiple lives,” says Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau. “If manufacturers did, no one would buy it because it would not be cost-effective.” Cohn estimates that nearly 85 percent of large fleets retread their tires. “You can’t afford to put new tires on everything,” says Dorothy Maddox, vice president of Nick and Dees Trucking, a small fleet in Hereford, Texas. “You can’t afford to go any other way, because you can’t even sell the casings.” Her fleet’s experience with retreads has been spotty. On rare occasions, tread has peeled off, without a casing failure, and damaged their equipment. “Heat has a lot to do with the problems we’ve had,” she says, particularly during summer operations in the Southwest. She says the f leet’s present experience, with Michelin retreads, has been the best. They’ve had much better experience with retreading done by local dealers than with buying retreads on the road.

Maddox says casing preparation has proved to be a key to successful retreads, and experts agree that casing maintenance is the most important step for a retreading program. Because air is part of the structure of the tire, running underinflated will destroy a casing because it will flex more than it’s designed to, creating heat that weakens it.

Don Schauer, manager of fleet communications at Bandag, reports that 75 percent of on-road failures are the result of too little pressure for the load. Be careful about loading properly and, using pre-trip and onroad checks, keep tire pressures as close as possible to the maximum recommended pressure when fully loaded. Use a calibrated pressure gauge, not one that’s been bouncing around in the glovebox. Note tire damage likely to cause leakage and get repairs quickly.

The next step is to avoid abuse.

 Round corners carefully so tires don’t run over curbs.

 Avoid hitting objects on the road.

Correct repairs will preserve a good casing, while poor ones mean a death sentence. Bandag recommends having repairs done only by a technician certified by the Tire Industry Association.

Be aware that tires must be removed and installed with proper tools to avoid bead damage. (The old blow-it-onto-the-rimwith-ether trick is strictly taboo.) Unless punctures are sealed from inside the casing after removing the tire from the rim, tire cords will rust, rendering the casing useless.

Vocation also affects casing life. Pickup and delivery fleets may retread a number of times because treadwear is high; total miles on the casing will be less, however.

Schauer says it’s critical to track the age of the casing because rubber will eventually oxidize and deteriorate.

Many smart fleets put a five-year limit on a casing’s life to help guarantee its health until retired. Clark says trailer tires with relatively few miles may last a lot longer.

Even a quality retread needs to have the right tread pattern for the application, says Cohn. Consult a good tire expert who can help you pick the appropriate one.

Most linehaul fleets use good casings being retreaded for the first time (termed virgin casings) as drive tires. Cohn says a common pattern with Goodyears is to run a new tire 350,000 miles on a drive axle and then retread it for about 250,000 miles as a drive during the second life. A third life in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 can then be had on the trailer. Some casings, though, get terminally damaged and can’t be reused each retreading cycle. Visiting the retreader’s shop can help you know the quality of the work. The shop should have sophisticated, non-destructive inspection equipment that allows the technician to see inside the casing. Retreaders who warrant their work and have a reputation for backing it up (including paying for road calls) deserve your business. You can buy retreaded tires, but the long-term savings are greater if you preserve your investment in your own casings and have them retreaded. Industry sources estimate the cost of retreading your tire to be 30 percent or more of a new tire’s cost. If you have a good tire maintenance program, your

casings will perform more reliably than the average one you might buy from a dealer, and you’ll maximize the benefits you can get from a retreading program.



The retread process starts with careful examination of the casing. If an X-ray

or other technology determines it is defect-free, it is buffed down to ensure

an even diameter. This also produces a smooth surface for tight bonding of

the new rubber. After inspection, the casing receives any repairs required to

ensure that it has no defects caused by tread damage.

Finally, the job of restoring the tread begins. There are two basic methods:



Industry surveys have found most on-road tire remains were caused by failed casings, both from new tires and retreads, normally due to overload or low air pressure.


MOLD CURE. Uncured, soft-tread rubber is applied to the casing. The

casing is inserted into a large mold, or enclave, which contains the tread

pattern. The casing and raw rubber are subjected to heat and pressure,

which cures the rubber. Few retreads are done this way because a different

mold is needed for each tread pattern and tire size.


PRE-CURE. Pre-cured retreading, which accounts for 80 percent of retreading, bonds a strip of finished tread to the casing with less heat than is required for a mold cure. Advocates of this process argue that subjecting the casing to less heat means less risk of damage or deterioration. Pre-curing is done at 210 to 250 degrees, while mold curing is done at 295 to 310 degrees.

A cushion gum layer of uncured rubber is uniformly applied to the casing. A strip of tread with the desired pattern is then fitted around the casing, with its ends butting up against one another. The tire is put in a flexible envelope and pressure is applied inside an enclave to keep the tread firmly in place during the process. One size enclave does all sizes of tires. Heat, pressure and time cure the cushion gum and bond the tread to the tire.

Goodyear has a special form of pre-cure tread that has no seam across the

tire, says Tim Sawdey, manager of retread policy and supply. Called Unicircle, the tread is molded in a continuous ring rather than a strip. The tread is snapped onto the casing and is designed to hug the sidewall for better adhesion.

 Once retreading is completed, another careful inspection must be performed. If the application of the new tread is not perfect, the job must be redone.



The cost of retreading a tire casing is 30 percent or more of the cost of a new tire, resulting in savings for an over-the-road operation of several hundred dollars per year per 18-wheeler, say retread experts.




$350 x 36 tires


$12,600 –: 700,000 miles






$350 x 18 tires


$6,300 x .30 (30% of new-tire cost)




$6,300 + $1,890


$8,190 -–: 600,000 miles




120,000 miles x .43 cents per mile (1.80-1.37 cpm)






(563) 262-1400



(615) 231-3367



(330) 796-2121



(864) 458-5000




(888) 473-8732


Lifecycle COSTS


Smart Lifecycle Cost Control Can Help Fleets

Squeeze Every Last Mile Out of Every Casing


Here’s a bulletin for fleet maintenance managers responsible for extending tire casing life: If you start a serious tire inflation program today, you will enjoy a 10% improvement in tire mileage expectations tomorrow.

That’s only the beginning. If you add a proper tire rotation program, daily calibration of your tire pressure gauges, an alignment program and match up your duals to within 1/4-inch, you can expect the life span of your tire casings to improve by 30%. Of course, you can’t control all of your costs. Diesel fuel – pushing $3 a gallon – is just one example. So, your time is best spent focusing on the costs you can control – like tires. The industry average for roadside  At the end of the day, the benefit is really not hard to understand. Putting it into action? Well, that’s another matter. downtime is 2.5 hours, and the number-one reason for that downtime is tires. With 18 tires on one vehicle, the odds are stacked against you. So, how can you improve the odds and, therefore, your lifecycle costs? For starters, underinflation still  looms as the number-one reason for premature removal of a tire from service. Even though the tire industry has been preaching about underinflated tires for decades, the message falls woefully short. That’s too bad because underinflated tires mean nothing but trouble. Fuel economy goes down. Casing life drops dramatically. Removal miles, for the original tread and retreads, also go down. If your fleet runs tires that are 20% underinflated – 20 psi on a 100-psi-recommended pressure – for one year, expect removal mileage to drop 12% to 16%.Even though most fleets Know all of this, many maintenance programs still fall short. Inflation checks are an unpleasant, time-consuming task, to be sure. And, a yard packed with tractors and trailers is uninviting for even the greenest employee. Regularly scheduled checks multiply the problem. But, at more than $300 per new radial and $150 per retread, tires remain a major investment for any fleet. With today’s rising raw materials costs and resulting price increases – not to mention the high price of diesel – wringing every mile out of every tire should be a priority.


Inflation and Tire Life


Al Cohn, commercial truck tire technical marketing manager for Goodyear, says that most fleets don’t think about the consequences of underinflated tires. “These tires quickly develop a larger footprint than a properly inflated tire. That big footprint will ‘suck up’ tire-killing objects on the road like a vacuum cleaner. You can also expect significant irregular wear. If our job is to protect the original casing, we can, and must, do a lot better. “Let’s say that you’ve spec’d your new tires to run for 150,000 miles before removal,” says Cohn. “If you run those tires 10% underinflated, you’ll be down 10% in projected tire miles. That’s 15,000 miles right there. Not good. And, if you run your tires at 20% underinflation, you’ll be down in expected tread life about 12% or 14%,” Cohn says. In terms of retreadability, Cohn says running 30% underinflated drains 30% of the life out of a good radial casing. Another common issue, says Cohn, rests with how much air to put in a tire, when to put it in and at what ambient temperature. “Job one is to do your best to fill tires in a controlled temperature situation,” says Cohn. “Tiremakers like to talk about 100 psi at 60sF ambient temperature as an ideal starting point. “If you fill a tire to 100 psi at 60sF outdoors and wait a day before moving that tire, look at what can happen overnight. Let’s say the next day, temperature jumps to 100sF outside – the inflation pressure will jump to 110 psi just by sitting there. “The reverse is also true. If it’s 20sF the next day – which happens – your tire gauge will show there is only 90 psi in the tire,” Cohn claims. The lesson is basic, says Cohn: It’s important that inflation pressures are checked regularly.


Gauging Accuracy


Taking that a step further, Cohn says regularly calibrating tire gauges is a must. “But here’s the problem,” he says. “Let’s say the fleet shop has 10 guys, each with his own gauge. He’s got it taped up and contoured to his hand; it belongs to him. He may have had it for years. Now, if you ask all 10 guys to check the pressure in a tire that we know has been filled to 100 psi, guess what? You get 10 different readings, and some of them could be 12 psi off.” Ideally, inflation gauges should be Recalibrated daily. “This is especially critical for P&D fleets where you’re hitting curbs and running over a lot of debris,” Cohn says.


Dual-ing ODs


Another big contributor to lifecycle costs is tied directly to matching up duals. Mismatching duals happens often, and the taller tire – the one for the larger outside diameter – is forced to carry more of the load. As a result, that tire will wear out faster and more unevenly than its neighbour, not to mention the additional heat buildup the tire will suffer.And, the smaller-diameter dual next to it is being scrubbed and dragged along as it tries to make a revolution that matches up with its larger OD running mate. Both tires are going to miss their projected lifecycle costs by a lot.

“This is a bad situation,” says Cohn. “Make sure your duals are never more than 1/4-inch diameter different in OD. Some suggest 1/2-inch, but I say 1/4-inch.”


Million-Mile Casing?


“We’re all in the chase for the millionmile casing,” says Guy Walenga, commercialtire engineering manager for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT), “but o get there, we must protect the original casing.” Walenga says he’s seen quite a few million-mile casings in his time, but most fleets won’t see such spectacular service. Whether your goal is a million miles or maximum lifecycle, how you get to that point depends on application and time spent in service.


With today’s rising raw materials costs and resulting price increases, wringing every mile out of every tire should be a priority.


 “Secret number one is to make sure the new tires you buy are designed for retreadability,” he says. “The second ‘open secret’ is to place that new casing in line-haul service, on the steer axle, where it will rack up lots of miles very quickly. When you reach your pre-set removal miles for that casing, retread it, move it back to the drive axle and keep it in line-haul service.


Failing to rotate tires where there is a high discrepancy in wear between positions will lead to too-early scrapping.


Once again, you are going to pile up a lot of miles very quickly. “Since time and distance traveled are key to attaining the million-mile goal, once you place that casing on a trailer, it’s going to spend a lot of time sitting around,” says Walenga. “The casing ages, and the miles drop off.”


Service Essentials


Alignment and rotation are probably the two most important service functions

in terms of preserving tire life and keeping costs down. Cohn says the number-one reason for regular truck alignments is to keep fleet drivers happy. “The second reason for aligning a new truck is tire mileage. When a fleet buys a new power unit, that vehicle will create a ‘set’ in its new tires, even if it has been factory aligned. Our advice is to check the alignment within 30,000 miles or 90 days. Check all the angles.” Interestingly, Cohn says one of the biggest problems facing fleet alignment today is the trailer. “Most fleets don’t own their own trailers. So, they don’t want to pay to have them aligned,” Cohn says. But an unserviced trailer will wiggle-waggle down the road, negating the work that’s been done on the tractor-tire program.

“You have to be running in a straight line to pick up that 30% gain in lifecycle cost,” adds Cohn. Another thing fleets talk about is tire rotation. Tires tend to wear more in certain positions, such as the front vs. the rear. Tires on tandem drive axles wear at different rates, depending on whether they are on the front or rear drive axle. Walenga notes that many fleets report the driver’s side steer tire tends to wear faster than the right side steer, not unlike passenger vehicles. Solution? If the driver’s side steer has 4/32nds or less remaining tread depth compared to the right-side steer, consider a left-to-right rotation. Failing to rotate tires where there is a high discrepancy in wear between positions will lead to too-early scrapping. “Some fleets don’t rotate because of the extra labor involved,” says Cohn. “But if their trucks are in for service anyway or a regular PM check, there’s enough value in tread and casing life to make tire rotation worthwhile.” Some fleets are using rib-type tires all the way around. What seems to work well is to run these tires for about 30,000 miles, then swap the steer pair with those on the left rear tandem. If an additional rotation is needed, the steers (previously the drives) can be swapped with the tires on the right rear tandem. For convenience, repaired tires can be placed on the front tandem. Even so, the most common type of rotation on the drive axle continues to be cross rotation, in which tires are swapped from one side to another, and those on tandems are also swapped between axles. As far as removal from service altogether, DOT standards for fleet removal miles are 4/32nds for steer axle tires and 2/32nds for both drive and trailer axle tires. But, Bandag’s Don Schauer doesn’t think fleets should wait that long. “We recommend tire removals at 4 to 5/32nds. This way, fleets can preserve casing life and experience fewer casing injuries.” Because many fleets are using very deep tread drive axle tires – 30/32nds or 32/32nds – they should consider moving a tire that’s approaching its removal mile mark back to the trailer. Then, when that tire is ready for retreading, move it back to the drive axle or leave it on the trailer.


New Way of Thinking


Somewhat new is the business of concentrating on a casing’s useful life “one 32nd at a time.” On average, “a casing in line-haul service should realize 15,000 miles per 32nd of tread depth,” says Cohn. “Every fleet is different, every driver is different, and every load is different, so it’s nearly impossible to make hard and fast lifecycle pronouncements.” To monitor tire lifecycle costs, a fleet or servicing dealer should purchase tire tracking software, available from most tire suppliers. These programs allow a dealer to track nearly every aspect of a tire’s life, from initial order through every retreading on to the scrap pile – and the resulting costs along the way.

Some fleets get seriously scientific when calculating costs and even consider vehicle duty cycle, road surfaces, climates and drivers. Certainly, if it were left up to accountants, fleets would buy the least expensive trucks and ride on the cheapest tires. But, real-world financial performance cannot be left to the low bidder. Having detailed lifecycle cost stats usually proves the accountants wrong. If an inexpensive tire comes with an early removal time and just one retread, it costs a great deal more than a more expensive tire with greater initial removal mileage that allows for multiple retreads. That’s why fleet operations people know that a less expensive tire may not be the best buy. Extending tire lifecycle cost is imperative to fleets that wish to remain competitive in their pricing while delivering freight on time. At the end of the day, the benefit is really not hard to understand. Putting it into action? Well, that’s another matter.

5things drivers can do to improve tire life                    

T i r e M a i n t e n a n c e

1.  Maintain proper tire inflation pressure.


This is the No. 1 maintenance issue facing fleets today, regardless of the season. Underinflation leads to increased tire deflection, which leads to increased heat. Heat is a tire’s worst enemy. Low inflation leads to reduced tire miles, reduced retreadability, poor fuel economy and even an increase in the number of punctures.

Check your tires at least weekly with a calibrated air pressure gauge.


2.  Fingertip diagnostics.


Running your hand across the tread surface can identify  alignment-related wear conditions. For example, if you run your hand across the tread surface and you feel a “stepped” wear pattern (not smooth), you probably have a vehicle toe-in condition. Catching alignment wear conditions early will allow the truck to be corrected so the tire can still achieve high removal miles. A Goodyear dealer can professionally check your alignment.


3.  Visual tire inspection.


Look for signs of sidewall damage and tread area punctures.


4.  Train drivers and mechanics .


Work with your tire professional, who can conduct seminars on basic tire maintenance. Once drivers understand that tires are the highest fleet cost next to fuel, tires become a lot more important. Anything you can do to protect that investment is critical.


5.  Don’t exceed tread depth standards.


Depending on your specific service vocation, make sure your fleet does not exceed removal tread depth standards. If you see a significant amount of off-road service, you may be best served to ensure you have enough remaining rubber before retreading to make sure the casing is protected against stone damage and stone drilling. 






Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. It results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure and not appear to be flat!

It’s important to have the proper air pressure in your  tires, as under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door.

It is also listed in the owner’s manual.


1. When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool — meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to  get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)


2. Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.


3. Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.


4. Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.


5. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.


6. Replace the valve cap.


7. Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require

higher inflation pressure.)


8. Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects

embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.


9. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other

irregularities. NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.




A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and damage your tires. Have a tire dealer check the alignment periodically to ensure that your car is properly aligned. Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid treadwear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Front-wheel-drive vehicles, and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicles’ owners manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as “pulling” or vibration. Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.




Regularly rotating your vehicle’s tires will help you achieve more uniform wear. Unless your vehicle’s owners manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 6,000 miles. Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Consult your vehicle’s owners manual, the tire manufacturer or your tire dealer for the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle. NOTE: If your tires show uneven wear, ask your tire dealer to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation. Before rotating your tires, always refer to your car’s owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 6,000 miles 




Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check your tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Also check for signs of damage. Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire. Built-in treadwear indicators, or “wear bars,” which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread will Appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. When you see these “wear bars,” the tire is worn out and should be replaced.

Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Consult your tire dealer as soon as possible.






Proper tire care and safety is simple and easy. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) recommends getting in the habit of taking five minutes every month to check your tires, including the spare.


Practice good driving habits, which will help keep your tires in good condition.


•   Obey posted speed limits.

•   Avoid fast starts, stops and turns.

•   Avoid potholes and other objects on the road.

•   Do not run over curbs or hit your tires against the curb when parking.

•   Do not overload your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s tire information or  owners manual for the maximum recommended load for your vehicle.

If properly cared for, tires can last a long time — usually from 40,000 to 80,000    

miles, depending on the application.


It’s important to know how different weather conditions affect your tires and your car, no matter the climate in which you’re driving.



April showers can bring pretty flowers as well as dented fenders.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, nearly one million vehicle accidents a year occur in wet weather. Many of these rainy-day wrecks are caused by motorists failing to appreciate the vast difference between driving in wet and dry conditions.

To drive safely on wet pavement, you have to recognize the demands that you, your vehicle and your tires face. It’s very different than driving on dry pavement, but many motorists fail to change techniques and attention. That’s when many wet weather accidents occur.

Wet weather driving tips include:


• Slow down. You reduce the risk of hydroplaning should you run into deeper water puddled on the road. Wet weather also affects your brakes, so you need to drive slower in these conditions.


• Maintain a safe distance. Even with a good wet weather tire, be prepared for longer stopping distances on wet pavement. Since other cars may not have proper tires for wet weather driving, be extra alert at stop signs and red lights.


• Choose tires carefully. Too many drivers buy a tire based on initial price or appearance. For optimum performance in the rain, select a tire with tread design and rubber compounds that provide enhanced wet weather driving capabilities.


• Properly maintain your tires. No tire can provide good wet traction once the tread is worn below 2/32nd’s of an inch (0.16cm) tread depth. Check your tires regularly and replace them at the proper time. Also, maintain the proper air pressure in your tires; check your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook or the door jamb for the proper air pressure for your particular vehicle and tires.


• Go smoothly. When braking, accelerating or turning, avoid jerky, abrupt movements.


• Avoid hydroplaning. If you feel your vehicle starting to hydroplane (riding on the surface of the water), take your foot off the accelerator— and don’t hit your brakes. If you have a manual transmission, it may be necessary to depress the clutch petal and reduce gear; then re-engage  the clutch after you gain control.


• Plan your braking. If you are entering a curve, slow down and brake gently before you start to turn.


• Turn on your lights. In most states, it’s required by law when it’s raining. It will help other drivers see you.


• Check your wipers. Install new wiper blades at least once a year to ensure good vision.


These tips can be shortened to “T & T.”

Think and Tires. Think about your driving and install good tires for wet weather. Once you’ve installed the tires, keep them inflated properly and replace them when tread-wear indicator bars show. Don’t be shy about asking for information from your tire dealer.

Your safety—could depend on your tires and how you think.


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