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Brahler's Retreads

The case for retreading truck and bus tires
Retreading truck and bus tires is another way to “go green.” Tires largely consist of petrochemical products. Specifically, tires include synthetic rubber polymers, carbon black, and processing oils. It takes approximately 22 gallons of oil to manufacture one new truck or bus tire. The tire casing contains most of the oil and some natural rubber, along with wire beads and steel belts. The casing is recycled in the retreading process, so retreading uses only about seven gallons of oil to create an additional tire life.

Each time you retread a tire casing, you save approximately 15 gallons of oil. Since the U.S. retreads approximately 15 million truck and bus tires annually, retreading conserves about 225 million gallons of oil every year and reduces waste!

Retreading also provides a significant cost saving.Compare Ringtread to a New Tire.Truck and bus operators who retread their own worn tire casings can save as much as 40% of the cost of a new tire. In many cases, the savings from retreading equals or exceeds a company’s annual net profit. Tire retreaders, like Brahler’s, also produce retreads on purchased casings for sale to an operator who cannot supply his own worn casing, still at significantly less cost than a new tire.

Truck operators gain the lowest cost per tire mile when retreading a new steel belted radial tire twice. Published university studies show that a worn radial tire casing retains its strength, so you do not diminish safety. Typically, the first retread is a thicker, drive-axle tread design. The second retread uses a lighter rib tread and the tire goes on a trailer axle.

Now, old-timers will say that they have had problems with retreaded tires in the past. That is true, but the good news is that today’s tire retreading technology has advanced to the point where both new tire and retread problems are rare and roughly equal in frequency. In fact, much of the “rubber along the roadway” is the result of truck tires (new and retreaded) that have failed due to severe under-inflation or penetration resulting in loss of air pressure. With a dual tire axle, the driver may not notice the problem until the damaged tire has disintegrated, leaving pieces of itself strewn along the side of the road. Today, cases of a retread’s tire tread actually separating from a sound casing are infrequent. Brahler’s designs multiple inspection procedures into each process to minimize retread failures due to workmanship or materials.

Tires affect fuel consumption. Studies show that about 35% of fuel goes to overcome tire-related drag on an over-the-road truck. Factors include the tire’s flexing and rolling resistance, along with road surface friction and vehicle speed. Given today’s high fuel prices, careful selection and maintenance of tires can mean significant fuel cost savings. Brahler’s premium quality Ringtreads, produced by Marangoni of Italy, provide optimum fuel saving benefits.

Brahler’s developed the B-SMART™ concept whereby truck and bus operators can rely on the Brahler team to collaborate with them to design and implement a custom-tailored tire program that balances safety with the lowest total overall cost (TOC). Ask your Brahler’s representative for details about the B-SMART™ concept.

Three basic retreading processes
Modern retreading plants utilize three basic processes. Some retreaders offer only one, while others use two or more. All three processes produce reliable retreaded tires. The newer techniques provide certain appearance and cost saving advantages. The three basic processes are:

  • Precure, using full circle, contoured tread rings (most advanced and pioneered by Marangoni of Italy)
  • Precure, using spliced, flat tread strips (similar to Bandag)
  • Mold cure, using uncured rubber that is then cured in heated molds (similar to Hawkinson bands and segmented molds)

Brahler’s Truckers Supply uses the first two, more recent precure processes to retread truck, bus, and industrial tires at its modern retreading facility in Jacksonville, Illinois. In both cases, Brahler’s receives consistent quality precured tread designs from tread rubber suppliers including Marangoni. Brahler’s then applies the precured tread after carefully preparing the worn tire casing.
Full circle, precure treads, pioneered by Marangoni of Italy, represent the newest and most advanced retreading method, whereas mold cure is the oldest and most labor-intensive process.