When Is A Tire Too Old To Retread
The retreadability of a worn truck tire casing is not solely a function of its age. The condition of the casing is a function of a number of things. Among these are the applications in which the tire has performed - long haul, on & off road, pick up & delivery, the type of equipment on which the tire has been mounted, such as single-axle or dual axle tractors, cement mixers, etc., how well the equipment on which the tire has been mounted, has been maintained (did it have regular alignment?), and how well the tire has been treated while in operation (was it overloaded, underinflated, run flat?).
A new tire in a service application with poor attention to equipment and tire maintenance may turn "old" well before its calendar life is over, and may not, in fact, be retreadable. On the other hand, a tire which, by the calendar, is older, but has not been subjected to overloaded or underinflated conditions and which has been on equipment that has had regular maintenance, is likely to be retreadable multiple times. Although a tire six years or older might be a suspect, in the final analysis, it is the retreader's job to determine the retreadability of the incoming casings through a visual inspection as well as the use of a growing arsenal of sophisticated non-destructive test equipment. The appropriate and informed use of these inspection techniques allows the retreader to make a determination of the retreadability of a worn casing based on more than just its calendar age.
The last thing any quality retreader wants to do is retread a tire that will not endure a useful second or third life. He/she would much rather reject the casing even if it means the customer may be unhappy. His/her philosophy is, "Better to have an unhappy customer now, than a tire failure 500 miles from home that may possibly incur safety hazard to equipment and life!" He/she knows that in the long run this is the only way to injecting safe and meaningful retreading practice thus, building sincere and reliable relationship with his/her customer.
TRIB, urges truckers to visit their retreader's plant and learn more about inspection techniques in use today. Then when a retreader rejects the worn tire, the trucker will have a better understanding why and can take steps to improving his/her tire maintenance, and prolonging the useful life of the operational casings.