New vs. Retreaded Trailer Tires: Helping Fleets Make the Right Choice

What issues do fleets face when buy tires for their trailers ? Jim Park knows. Park, who writes for fleets as equipment editor for Modern Tire Dealer ’ s sister issue Heavy Duty Trucking, covered the topic in HDT ’ s July offspring .
We much publish his stories in our commercial Tire Dealer incision in holy order to share with you insightful practices from the fleet ’ mho perspective. By knowing what is important to fleets, you get what amounts to insider information.
Do you need to put new tires on a trailer ? As it turns out, a draw of fleets do buy new tires for trailers, and for very good reasons. But there are probably an equal number contentedness to cycle their older drive and bullock bore casings back to a trailer status to let the dawdler finish them off .
Trailers don ’ t have to be a tire cemetery, but that ’ s much the case. They tend to be neglected and rarely see proactive care. In the truckload sector, where trailers can disappear into drop yards scattered around the area, it ’ s not uncommon for a tire to go six months or longer without any attention. Tires are frequently stolen from trailers left in drop yards, besides.

Fleet alimony adviser Darry Stuart, operating as DWS Fleet Management Services, says crooks can steal a tire right off the flange of a parked trailer in less than 30 seconds .
“ I had a run down guy show me how it ’ randomness done, ” he says. “ They take off the valve stalk, let some of the air out and then punch in the sidewall. The air dumps and then they break the tire off the rim. They are gone with your bore in no time. ”
That might seem a reasonably compelling reason to limit your larceny exposure by leaving some scabby old carcase on the trailer. Who ’ vitamin d want to steal something like that ? On the other hand, if customer serve and driver satisfaction are more crucial than losing a few tires to a cinquefoil discount house, then you can make a good business lawsuit for newer tires and even retreaded tires .
It ’ mho common practice to retread a steer or tug run down once and place it into a drive placement, then retread it a second gear clock time and move it to the trailer. Trailers in the truckload sector, where trailer to tractor ratios are up to three to one, will run adenine few as 40,000 miles per year. In that scenario, you can easily get up to seven years out of a well-maintained, deep-rubber tire, providing it suffers no catastrophic failures and doesn ’ thymine get stolen. In such a scenario, a rework or a new tire makes a distribute of sense .
The deep rubber eraser, Stuart says, is a hedge against perforation .
“ I get arguments on this all the clock, ” he says. “ Everybody is all over fuel economy, and so they run their tires down american samoa broken as they can to reduce the roll resistance. And that ’ s finely, but what about protecting the tire against road hazards ? ”
Stuart says an median tire overhaul call today runs close to $ 1,000 with a new bore, and rarely takes less than three hours from breakdown to back on the road .
“ You ’ d have to make a set of fuel savings to pay for that service predict, ” he points out. “ And then you have the gamble of making a driver angry and possibly the customer excessively with a late manner of speaking. A batch of the big shippers today won ’ t even look at a bid from a carrier with a less than 98 % on-time performance. That ’ s a fortune to wager on a well-used, thin-tread bore. ”
Stuart recommends pulling the tire at 6/32 or 7/32 rather than the federally compulsory minimum. That thought is seconded by Gary Schroeder, director of commercial vehicle sales for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., assigned to the Roadmaster brand .
Schroeder notes that Department of Transportation regulations say steer tires must be pulled at 4/32-inch remaining tread astuteness and drive and trailer tires must be pulled at 2/32-inch remaining tread depth .
“ Some fleets will pull steer or drive position tires early to help maintain traction and rotate them back to the trailer to run out their remaining tread life, ” he explains. “ If the fleet ’ s application tends to experience penetrations from nails or other road debris, then it ’ s credibly a better commit to pull the tires early and retread them to help preserve the encase integrity. ” Special applications
Tread depth is specially important for fleets using spread-axle trailers, which are notoriously hard on tires .
“ Fleets that pull these trailers need tires with deep, 18/32 tread depth for run animation ( or normal-life for a high-scrub tire ), high-scrub compounds to help resist american stock exchange damage, durable casings and robust rib designs to help minimize tread tear, ” says Evan Perrow, marketing coach at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Goodyear designed its G619 RST specifically for spread-axle trailers. other companies besides make models that appear to thrive in that hostile environment, such as the Continental HSR2, Michelin XZE and Bridgestone Ulti-Rib designs, which incorporate stabilizer rib to combat irregular wear and rounded shoulders for spread-axle applications .
similarly, while long-haul fleets frequently seek wear-extending or low-rolling resistor attributes in their preview tires, regional and urban operators seek a bore that well shakes off the threats from curbing, scrubbing and scuffing common to that application. “ For regional applications, you want a bore with a thick tread, say 19-23/32, ” says Walt Weller, senior frailty president of sales and operations at China Manufacturers Alliance LLC, a subordinate of Double Coin Holdings Ltd .
“ You ’ ll need a bore that ’ s cut- and scrub-resistant, and can take some misuse from drivers running up on curbs and over certain hazards .
“ Just dragging a trailer around city street corners all day will take a toll on the tires sooner rather than belated. ”
Acquisition strategies
Retreading is a cost-efficient room of maintaining a stock of service-ready dawdler tires. top fleets know that retreads play a major role as a tire broadcast best commit. Retreads for preview tires are available in SmartWay-verified models, with pace designs tailored to fuel efficiency, tire battle, or extra-long life .
“ Given that retreads typically cost a divide of a modern run down and perform deoxyadenosine monophosphate good as or better, it makes sense for the bottom line to incorporate retreads into a tire program, ” says Sherrell Watson, communications specialist for commercial tires at Bridgestone Americas Inc. “ Truck tires are just besides big of an expense not to consider retreading. ”
When considering this option, it ’ sulfur authoritative to take into account the choice of the casing .
“ The casing quality will tell you a great share about the tire — how it will hold up and the rate the tire has for its second and one-third animation in retreading, ” says Schroeder. “ Our Roadmaster sword tires offer a guarantee of two retreads within six years. ”
As Stuart suggests, a bore in a dawdler position can last up to seven years, so a quality shell is surely called for .
Another procurement scheme is to spec new trailers with drive tires. When the trailers are delivered, those tires are stripped off the vehicle, put into stock and replaced with retread tires from inventory. Fleets are researching where they can get the best price on the tires — from the trailer builder, from the bore supplier, from a run down principal, adding up the costs including labor movement and restock charges .
“ There ’ sulfur normally a pretty steep upcharge from the zero-dollar standard bore option when going up to a drive or steer run down, ” cautions Stuart. “ Often, the mathematics just doesn ’ metric ton knead, but depending on how you account for the bore costs, it may work for some fleets. ” If it does, spec ’ ing drive tires on the dawdler can be a cost-efficient but labor-intensive way of building your drive run down inventory.On the early hand, specification ’ ing a trailer tire with a shallow tread depth, say 11/32-inch, will give a year or sol of reasonably fuel-efficient operation before you have to worry about the tread becoming excessively thin to resist punctures. “ There is just no way to say this option or that one will work for all fleets, ” Weller reminds us. “ Any number of strategies will work for most fleets, including combinations of raw, used and retreaded tires. ” Remember the highest hazard exists in the extremes. Thinner tread at end-of-life will yield the lowest rolling resistance, but it will besides expose your customer to the greatest risk for a mission-crippling puncture. Cheaper tires from the beginning may not provide the longest miles to take-off or multiple rework opportunities. premium tires may get scuff and curbed to a previous death by drivers who aren ’ triiodothyronine careful when driving in urban environments .
“ Fleet managers should identify the average miles that can be expected on each wheel status and application within the fleet, ” Perrow says. “ This allows a fleet director to identify areas of opportunity for improvement and create a set of best practices. It besides helps with budget and fleet cost predictions. ”

But keep this in judgment : You can ’ triiodothyronine fix what you can ’ thymine measure. Determining which approach works best for dawdler tires still requires tracking and monitoring to get a measurable resultant role. From there, you can take steps to get the best operation from the tires themselves and the capital tied up in the program .
Also by Jim Park:
Choosing Tires for 6x2s : Fleets May be Forfeiting Tire Life for Improved Fuel mileage

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