This Machine Re-Treads Tires. Is It Safe?
Since retreading big rig tires became a possibility, a debate has raged between those ...
Since retreading big rig tires became a possibility, a debate has raged between those who see retreading as a viable option to buying a whole new tire and those who think retreading is dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed. I’m not sure the debate will ever end, but there have been some amazing advances made in the retreading process that has sped the process up and made it fully automated.
I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other, as I can see benefits to both sides of the argument. For truckers, especially independent drivers and smaller companies, yearly expenses on tires can really add up, so saving money anywhere possible makes sense, especially when it comes to helping their bottom line. Of course, there does seem to be some evidence that retreaded tires do tend to fail more often than brand new tires, but that’s to be expected since all you’ve done is glued on a new tread. The question for most companies comes down to which option works best for them.
There’s also the discussion about safety that should be a factor in deciding to run a retreaded tire. With as much as 80 tons of weight spread across the tires, there is a lot of stress on eighteen-wheeler tires, especially when you add in the heat generated by running at 70 MPH on the interstate, which seems to be where most tire failures take place. If you’ve spent any appreciable time on the interstate, you’ve seen the huge chunks of black rubber, some weighing several pounds and taking up half of the lane. Obviously, these can cause serious damage to other cars and trucks and have been known to cause accidents.
The question is, do retreaded tires fail more often, comparatively speaking than new tires, and does the retreaded tire create a more dangerous hazard on the roadway. The fact that I personally have seen a whole tread come off of a retreaded tire says yes, but perhaps machines like these can help reduce the number of those types of failures, making retreads a safer alternative.