With Higher Tire Prices, Fleets Turn to Retreading

Nov 16, 2011
As the economy continues to be a pressing issue for many commercial fleets, businesses are doing everything they can to save money on their operating expenses. Since the price of new tires began steadily rising, more and more customers are looking to retreaded tires as a cheaper alternative:

“I can tell you that retreaders are just booming,” Marvin Bozarth, president of Bozarth Tire Industry Consultants, Shelbyville, Ky., and senior technical consultant to the Tire Industry Association told Light & Medium Truck.

“A truck tire that may have cost $275 a few years ago may now sell up to $400 a piece,” Bozarth said. “That is a big, difficult hike for smaller operations.” About half of all commercial tires currently in use are retreaded.

Despite the demand for these refurbished tires, it is important to remember that they are not always the right choice, as wear and tear still makes tires unrecoverable later on.

 “If it’s a light-duty commercial vehicle tire, our position is that if it’s been used on a dual rear wheel drive, we will retread it once,” said Scott Perry, group director of vehicle supply management for Ryder System, Miami. “If the tire has been on a vehicle with a single axle on either side, we’ll stay with buying original tires,” he added.

If your fleet is looking to cut costs, retreaded tires can be part of the solution. Just make sure you’re not sacrificing quality or safety.

Photo courtesy of The Tire Zoo and re-used under the Creative Commons license.