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Dispelling the Myths of Tire Retreading

Retreading truck tires is worth half a billion dollars to the U.S. economy annually.

Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau“TECH is recognized as the global tire and wheel authority, and TECH has been a member of The Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau (TRIB) since the organization was formed in 1974,” states Tim BeVier, TECH National Account Manager and TRIB Board Member. The TRIB organization is known as, “The Voice of Retreading and Repair,” in the tire industry. TRIB is committed to promoting proper tire repair and retreading while defending misperceptions regarding the tire repair and retreading industries.

TRIB provides a tremendous amount of educational and helpful information on retreading and repairing tires and why these actions are so important to everyone. Trucking fleets and owners of commercial vehicles utilize both new and retread tires on their vehicles in the United States.

Retread tires are used primarily for the cost advantage they provide to trucking fleets over a similar new tire. Despite these significant economic advantages, public perception is that retread tires are less safe than new tires, as evidenced by the amount of tire debris frequently found on the sides of U.S. Interstate highways. This is a misperception. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) under a subcontract from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) collected and studied truck tire debris and discarded tire casings from five sites in the United States. A random sample (totaling 1,496 items) of the tire debris/casings collected was analyzed to determine the probable cause of failure and its original equipment or retread status.

Belt separation as a probable cause of failure accounted for the majority of Original Equipment (OE) and retread truck tires inspected. The primary reason for belt separation is underinflation of the tire. Thus, many retread tire advocates conclude that underinflation (and not the tire being a retread per se) is the cause that generates the tire debris found on the nation’s interstates. Under/over inflation is a maintenance issue that underscores the necessity for all truck operators and owners to develop, enforce, and maintain a tire maintenance regimen.

Here are some fast facts about retreading from TRIB:

  • Retreading and repairing saves the U.S. economy over $500M annually (source: TRIB). Manufacturing a retreaded truck tire requires 7 gallons of oil, while a new truck tire requires 22 gallons of oil. With 14 million retreaded truck tires in the U.S. annually, this saves over 210M gallons of oil.
  • Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that nearly all tires involved in any tire-related accidents are underinflated or bald.
  • Unless you have x-ray vision, any damage on the inside of the tire cannot be detected when plugging the tire on the rim. By removing the tire from the rim, inspecting the interior, and repairing the damage with a rubber stem and a repair unit, potential problems can be identified and the integrity of the tire can be restored.

TECH considers TRIB to be one of the best member driven organizations whose primary purpose is to support the tire retreading and repairing industry to which we provide tire and wheel products. To learn more about retreading visit www.retread.org

Tim BeVier, TECH National Account Manager and TRIB Board Member