September 2013

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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Page 35 of 109

HOW TO By Jack Roberts Extending tire life How to start and stick with a retread program It's now possible to spec a tire's original tread pattern, so performance characteristics should not change from when the tire was new. O ne prevalent frustration in the commercial tire industry is that many owner-operators remain suspicious of retreads. As a consequence, they lack a coherent used tire program – and experts say they simply are throwing money away. Part of the reason for the suspicion is the myth that all "alligators" – blown tire parts on highways – come from retreads. In reality, up to 75 percent of them come from new tires or tires in their first life, says Mark Totten, vice president of sales and marketing for Goodyear's Wingfoot Truck Care Centers. "New tires today can be retreaded up to four times after their initial tread life ends," Totten says. "The cost of a retread tire is half that of a brand-new tire." Totten says the math is simple: Buy a new tire for full price, and once it wears out, it can be retreaded for half the initial acquisition cost. "You can do that up to four more times," he says. "The savings are significant." The cost of retreading a tire can be less than half of its initial purchase price, says Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Retread Tire Association. Buying a tire from a top-tier supplier can cost about $500. Once a tire's first life has ended and the casing has proven it's durable and has sustained no road damage, that tire can be retreaded for $200 or less, Brodsky says. Retreading saves oil and other natural resources required to create a replacement tire, says Tom Fanning, of Continental Tire the Americas. It also reduces the tire contribution to landfills. "This can be very important for fleets interested in reducing their carbon footprint or who have specific environmental targets they would like to meet," Fanning says. Many of today's retreads also are engineered to reduce fuel consumption. "With careful selection, fleets won't miss out on the reduced rolling resistance that used to be found only with new tires," he says. Today's retread tires retain all the characteristics of new tires, Totten says. "You can spec the exact same tread patterns on the retread tire that came on the tire 34 | Overdrive | September 2013 How_To_0913.indd 34 8/27/13 9:25 PM

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