Different types of Specialized tires

Disscuses how all tires are not created equal and even tires can be made very specifically

Winter tires vs All season tires - A Comparison

This article compares general winter tires to all season tires and lists pros and cons of each

How to decode an alphanumeric tire code

Every vehicle on our roads leaves the factory with a set of tires chosen specifically by the auto manufacturer

Plus sizing tires on your stock car

Popular modification for both hot rodders and the average car enthusiast alike is the installation of aftermarket tires and rims

Racing tires - Applications for the track and the street

Automobile racing is one of the most demanding environments a vehicle will ever face

Retreads - As safe as regular truck tires

what you need to know about tires

Tire Safety Hazards that are out of your hands

Have you ever been traveling down the highway and seen long strips of rubber crowding the shoulder of the road?

Tire Safety Tips - Tread Maintenance

One of the most often neglected variables is tire pressure

Tire Safety Tips - Tire Inflation

Manufacturers often also incorporate a tread wear indicator into the design of their tires

Knowing your tire’s maximum load can save your life

Crucial information you need to read about your tire maximum load

How to choose the best discount tires for your money

Important tips to keep in mind when shopping for discount tires

Selecting the right tires for your car

Factors to consider when shopping for your new tires

Low Profile Tires

Important advantages and disadvantages to consider when shopping for low profile tires

Recycling Tires Makes sense

Why you should consider recycling your tires

Retreads - As safe as regular truck tires

Have you ever been traveling down the highway and seen long strips of rubber crowding the shoulder of the road? Or perhaps you have had to swerve to avoid these same rubber strips on the interstate. What exactly causes this debris?

The answer is to be found in a specialized area of tire technology called retreading. Retreading is the process of taking a used tire and giving it a new tread, allowing it to be used again. A form of recycling, used tires called casings are carefully inspected to ensure that no structural defects exist which could cause safety issues. A new rubber tread is then bonded to the casing, creating a tire that is as safe as the original was when new, but much less expensive.

While such a claim may seem dubious given the secondhand nature of a retread, it is supported by fact. Virtually 80 percent of aircraft in the US, be they military or commercial, take off and land on retreads every day. In addition, retreads can be found on millions of heavy road vehicles, ranging from school buses to semi-trailers. Not only are retreads less expensive than new tires, but they also offer a significant benefit to the environment, as a great deal of rubber and oil are saved by the retreading process in comparison to commercial tire manufacturing.

If this technology is so safe, and so widely adopted, why then do we encounter so many retreads in pieces on the side of the highway? Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of blown retreads are caused by operator error. Given what we know about the effects of poor tire inflation and alignment on a passenger car, it is possible to imagine how they could be amplified by the size and weight of a fully loaded semi-trailer. Improper retread maintenance can easily lead to a blowout, which spreads the retreaded portion of the tire our behind the truck responsible for the incident. Another cause for a retread tire blowout is contact with foreign objects on the road. These could be sharp metal or stones, potholes, or even gradual contamination and weakening from gasoline or oil found on the road. It is estimated the 25 percent of all retread blowouts are caused in this manner.

I know that many of you are saying to yourselves, well, if retreads are really so vulnerable to these types of accidents, then perhaps they are not as safe or viable as they seem. After all, it is rare for the average driver to blow a tire at highway speeds, let alone as many retreads as we see every day on our nation’s highways. It is important to remember, however, that large trucks do not have only 4 tires, but 18 tires to keep track of. Imagine multiplying your current tire maintenance by a factor of 4.5 and it quickly becomes easy to see how these ‘gator backs’ of the interstate shoulder can quickly begin to pile up. The answer to keeping highways clean lies not in vilifying the retread industry, but instead holding trucking companies to a strict standard of maintenance and safety.