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Are Retreaded Tires Only Suitable for Certain Vehicles or Applications?

School busses in a line, ready for retreaded tires

The discussion of tire retreading often revolves around trucking fleets. However, are they the only vehicles suitable for retreaded tires? 

With new cutting-edge retreading equipment and manufacturing methods that are almost identical to the way the world’s leading manufacturers produce new tires, retread tires have improved significantly in recent years and are a great, sustainable option for several different commercial vehicles and applications. 

An Assurance of Safety 

Tires remanufactured with state-of-the-art retreading processes are just as safe, if not safer, than new tires. The remanufacturing process meets the same standards as the original tire manufacturing process and follows many of the same steps. Retreaded tires are only manufactured with certified materials and undergo multiple vigorous inspections.

For more information, Wonderland Tire, a co-developer of the AcuTread® process, answers the question “Are Retreads Safe?” in their guide to retreads and their benefits.

Vehicles That Rely on Retreaded Tires

Vehicles rated at two tons or more are often considered good candidates for retreads. That includes both box trucks and straight trucks. However, vehicles that are smaller in size like cars, passenger trucks, and one-ton trucks that use light-truck tires typically aren’t retreaded.

What types of vehicles utilize remanufactured tires? These vehicles are known for relying on retread tires to keep them rolling:

  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks
  • Semi-trucks and trailers
  • Aircrafts
  • School buses
  • Medium trucks
  • Military vehicles

Airplane on a landing strip, capable of having retreaded tires

Applications of Remanufactured Tires 

You can find an array of different retread types that serve several different applications. For example, an off-road application requires that your tire have a self-cleaning tread design, cut resistance, and aggressive traction for performance both on and off the road. Long-haul, regional, short-haul, and P&D applications require a tread that decreases irregular wear and increases your mileage.

Failure to equip your commercial vehicles with the right tires will lead to subpar performance. You should consult tire professionals when it comes to the remanufactured models you should use for your application to yield the best results.

AcuTread® Products | Retread Tires for Sale 

Traction – Designed to give you full traction wherever the road may lead, full-depth siping means you will never lose traction throughout the entire life of the tire.

Learn more about our Traction products.

Highway – Designed for the long haul, these treads are specially engineered to improve fuel economy and reduce road noise.

Learn more about our Highway products.

Wide Base – Designed for wide base applications, these treads offer stability, puncture resistance, and decreased road harmonics.

Learn more about our Wide Base products.

On/Off Road – Designed to give you optimal performance on and off the road, these treads will get you wherever you need to go.

Learn more about our On/Off Road products.

Choosing a Retread Partner

Partner with a retread dealer that can meet the needs of your fleet with custom retread programs. A qualified dealer can provide guidance on which products are best suited for your fleet based on your vehicle, terrain, etc.

Find your nearest AcuTread® dealer!

Man works on a retreaded tire

Jon Langerak is Modern Tire Dealer’s 2023 Tire Dealer of the Year

Magazine featuring the 2023 Tire Dealer of the Year

Learn How AcuTread Fueled Wonderland Tire’s Growth

Congratulations to Jon Langerak, president and CEO of Wonderland Tire, for the title of MTD’s Tire Dealer of the Year! We are proud to be a part of Wonderland Tire’s success story and are excited to continue growing with them. Keep reading to learn more about Jon’s journey with AcuTread and AcuTread’s role in Wonderland Tire’s rapid growth.

And don’t miss Modern Tire Dealer’s article in the September 2023 publication highlighting Jon Langerak, his history with the company, and his commitment to top-of-the-line technology like AcuTread!

Jon Langerak’s Journey With AcuTread

“In the early ’90s, me and my brother, Bill, who was also working in the family business and running our retread plant, decided we were going to go out on our own and start our own retread plant. We started to buy and store our own equipment,” said Jon in MTD’s article

This endeavor is what led Jon and Bill to strike up a friendship with AcuTread’s founder, Bob Majewski, and begin selling AcuTread retreads. Eventually, Jon, Bill, and Dave Langerak convinced Wonderland Tire’s then-owners, Henry and Earl Kamps, to take a risk on the AcuTread product under the Wonderland Tire umbrella

Their confidence in the AcuTread mold cure technology paid off and was a huge step for Jon in the direction of ownership. AcuTread shook up the markets where Wonderland Tire operated and became a major growth catalyst for the company. With the success of AcuTread and the rapid growth of Wonderland Tire, Jon and Dave’s responsibilities within the company multiplied and they became majority shareholders in 2008. 

Man loading tires into a tire mold for retreading

AcuTread: A Game-changing Move in the Right Direction

Before becoming an AcuTread retreader, Wonderland Tire was affiliated with another tread rubber supplier. But, AcuTread caught their eye and they began buying our mold cure products from Newport, KY-based Sumerel Tire Service Inc., a company Wonderland Tire eventually acquired in 2021. 

“We put them into our fleet customers to see how they would run,” said Jon in MTD’s article. “And they were fantastic! We called (AcuTread founder) Bob Majewski up and said, ‘We want to become an AcuTread retreader.’”

After taking the “million-dollar” leap of investment, Wonderland Tire built its first AcuTread product in 1998 and the customer feedback was immediate and positive

Jon and Dave soon began developing new tread designs. “We don’t go as wide as Michelin or Bandag or Goodyear, but we cover all the essentials,” said Jon. “We even have SmartWay-verified products.” 

And now, according to Dave Langerak, AcuTread is “the most pivotal, strategic thing we’ve done as a company.” Investing in AcuTread was a huge step for Wonderland Tire, and AcuTread’s mold cure technology proved to be a game-changer, transforming their company for the better. 

The Key to Retreading Success: Protecting Your Current Tire Casings

A trained AcuTread® inspection technician is looking for specific tire conditions that either qualify or disqualify the tire casing for retreading.

Planning on Retreading? Learn How to Protect Your Current Tire Casings

Retreading is the best choice for fleet owners looking to significantly lower the lifecycle cost of their tires while still maintaining their initial investment. The retreading process aims to restore a large majority of fleet casings, making it a far more efficient, economical, and eco-friendly choice than new tires.

However, retreading is only a viable option as long as your fleet’s tire casings are in good condition. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about preserving your fleet’s tire casings including:

What Are Tire Casings?
Why Does My Tire Casing Need to Be Protected?
How Can I Protect My Tire Casings for Retreading?
Where to Buy Retread Tires—The Acutread® Difference

What Are Tire Casings? 

Tire casings are the body of the tire. They include components such as the bead, belt system, sidewall, body ply, and inner liner—almost everything but the tread. Tire casings are ultimately the foundation upon which the tread sets, supporting the structure of the tire.

Why Does My Tire Casing Need to Be Protected? 

The retread process relies solely on the quality of your tire casing—it takes a quality casing to produce a quality remanufactured tire. And because today’s commercial truck tires are designed to be retreaded multiple times, protecting the investment of your tire casings is critical for your retreading efforts and your wallet.

An AcuTread® technician perfects the buffing of the tire casing's old and worn tread before applying new rubber.

How Can I Protect My Tire Casings for Retreading? 

Proper maintenance is essential for extending the longevity of your tires. Maintaining proper inflation, completing regular tire rotations, and avoiding road hazards can all help ensure your tire casing remains at retreading quality. 

What Automatically Disqualifies Your Tires for Retreading? 

• Age – Usually once a tire reaches six years of active performance, it is considered unsafe to retread.
• Linear cracking or separation – Sunlight, water, and salt can all accelerate the degradation of tire rubber, causing cracks or separations over time that make retreading unsafe.
• Belt separation – Improper flat repair, manufacturing errors, improper driving behaviors, or overuse can all cause belt separation and prevent a tire from being retreadable.
• Excessive or large damages to the belt – Sharp objects and debris on the road can create damages to the belt that are either too big or too difficult to safely repair for retreading.
• Excessive or large injuries to the sidewall – Sharp objects and debris on the road can create damages to the sidewall that are either too big or too difficult to safely repair for retreading.
• Bead damage to the belt – Driving on over- or under-inflated tires, poor driving habits, and road hazards can cause bead damage, rendering the casing unsafe for retreading.
• Run flats – In heavier applications, run-flat tire casings would take quite a beating while the tire is deflated, and would likely be damaged beyond repair, making them unsuitable for retreading.

What Can I Do to Properly Maintain My Tire Casings? 

Proper tire inflation 

One of the best ways to maximize the retreadability and durability of your tire casings is to maintain proper tire inflation pressure.

Nothing damages a tire’s casing faster than improper tire inflation. Over-inflating wears out the center of the casing, while under-inflating wears on the tire’s shoulder and damages the casing’s structure.

Rotate your tires regularly 

Periodical tire rotations help to even out tire wear, extending their lifespan and maintaining their integrity for future retreads. 

Steer tires need to be rotated side-to-side, but drive tires can be rotated from the front axle to the rear axle, side-to-side across the axle, or crisscrossed!

Take care of your current tread

Clean your tread

Tires can run into anything on the road, including salt, chemicals, and debris like nails and glass. Premature tire wear is often caused by one of these hazards but frequently goes overlooked until your tire is removed. 

Washing your tires anytime you wash your truck is a good way to combat those hazards along with regular damage inspections before and after each trip.

Drive carefully

Aggressive stopping, starting, turning, and speeding can produce excessive wear on your tires, along with other truck components. Making sure you are driving carefully and mindfully is another great way to combat premature tread wear.

Watch your treadwear

In order to preserve your tires for retreading, it’s necessary to stop using them when the remaining tread gets down to 4/32nds. Allowing the tread to get any lower than this will only increase the likelihood of casing damage, which also reduces the chances of retreading those tires.

A row of finished AcuTread® retreated tires ready for redistribution to their fleet owners.

Where to Buy Retread Tires—The Acutread® Difference

The AcuTread® remanufacturing process is a highly advanced retreading system, engineered second to none. It allows us to produce tires that are built expertly for safety, uniformity, reduced heat buildup, and longer tread life. 

When you choose AcuTread®, a trained inspection technician will look for specific tire conditions that either qualify or disqualify your casings for the possibility of retread. Your casing will be checked for micro-porosity and injuries. If detected, your casing will then be repaired using a 2-piece cured repair system.

Interested in retreading your tires with an AcuTread® manufacturer? Find an AcuTread dealer near you.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint with Remanufactured Tires

A fleet of blue and white semi-trucks using remanufactured tires are parked in a line

Are you looking to cut costs and reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint? Using fuel-efficient retreads can save you money on both tires and fuel.

Fleets that prioritize fuel efficiency know the importance of using remanufactured tires. And with recent advancements in tread design, you can benefit from even more fuel savings — without having to buy a completely new set of tires. Take advantage of the latest tread patterns and compounds, all while remaining environmentally responsible.

What Are Fuel-Efficient Remanufactured Tires and Do They Come With Any Trade-Offs?

Truckinginfo quotes Johnny McIntosh, senior director of commercial services at Goodyear Commercial, who said, “Fuel-efficient retreads have lower rolling resistance and require less energy to roll at the same speed as other tires, which translates to less fuel consumption. They can also extend the lifespan of the casing and retread by producing less heat. Increasing the miles to removal also helps increase engine efficiency which can, in turn, lower emissions.” 

Learn more about low rolling resistance remanufactured tires.

Tires are generally designed to meet three primary objectives: traction, wear, and rolling resistance. And up until recently, a focus on any one of these areas required fleets to adjust their expectations of the others depending on the goals of their tire program. For example, a long-life tire design commonly took advantage of higher-wearing tread compounds and patterns but would have a reduction in traction. 

However, retread manufacturers have worked hard to improve all three aspects of tire performance, enabling fleets to focus on their primary objectives. Enjoy fuel savings, increased traction, and maximum tire wear without having to make sacrifices in any one area. 

The AcuTread® product is no exception! Thanks to our specially formulated rubber compounds and properly buffed casing dimensions, AcuTread® remanufactured tires have superior adhesion, long wear, fuel efficiency, and cut resistance.

View Our Products.

Choose the Right Remanufactured Tires With EPA Smartway

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay website, low rolling resistance is defined as any tire technology that reduces rolling resistance and provides a fuel or emissions benefit for the engine. With that definition in mind, EPA developed a set of criteria by which it determines the tires that qualify. 

And in order to make things simple, EPA offers a list of low rolling resistance tires and treads it deems verified for fleets to utilize when choosing tires for specific applications. And of course, tire suppliers are also a great resource when choosing the right retread.

Learn more about our SmartWay-Verified Low Rolling Resistance Tire Models on EPA.gov.

Remanufactured, low rolling resistance tires are lined up next to each other in a row.

 

Mold Cure & Precure Retreading Processes Compared

There are two main retreading processes: mold cure retreading (sometimes called hot retreading) and precure retreading (sometimes referred to as cold retreading). But when it comes to high-quality tires, the mold cure retreading process is the clear winner. 

This guide lays out the differences between the mold cure and precure processes so that you can choose the right retread partner for your fleet. 

 

The Initial Steps

Even though the final products vary, the process for mold cure and precure retreads begins in much the same way. 

First, each tire candidate is carefully inspected by experienced technicians. The inspectors use specialized equipment to guarantee the integrity of the tire casing. No matter how worn the tread is, the casing must still be structurally sound enough to retread. And when casings do not pass the inspection, these compromised casings are discarded to ensure quality and user safety.

Once the tire casing is approved, the remaining original tread is then removed using high-speed buffers. This process removes worn rubber, truing the tires to an exact diameter and radius so that they are ready for retreading. 

But here’s where the methods differ…

 

 

How Precure Tire Retreading Works

Precure retreading works by wrapping a new tread—which has already been vulcanized (sulfur and heat treated) with the new tread design—around the old tire casing and splicing it using a bonding agent known as cushion gum. The tire is then placed into a chamber to be cured. 

 

How Mold Cure Tire Retreading Works

When using the mold cured or remold process, raw (unvulcanized) rubber is wrapped around the tire in one continuous strip—similar to new tire manufacturing. Then, the tire is placed in a rigid mold to be cured. 

 

The Final Step  

The mold cure and precure retreading processes find commonality once more during the final step. After the retreaded tire has been removed from the mold, a careful final inspection is executed to ensure industry standards are met and that the tire is ready for sale.

 

Mold Cure Retreading: A Superior Choice Over Precure 

With a trustworthy manufacturer and the latest production technology, the precure method can produce safe and reliable retreaded tires. However, mold cure products tend to be safer, more reliable, and of higher quality—with a process that’s almost identical to the way the world’s leading manufacturers produce new tires. And while the precure method does allow a company to produce a number of different sizes and treads at the same time, the bonding isn’t as secure as mold-cured tires, whose higher curing pressure results in a tighter bond and a cleaner finished appearance.

Keeping quality in mind is essential as you consider which retread supplier to partner with because not all retreads are created equal. Just like poorly manufactured tires, poorly retreaded tires have a higher likelihood of failing

To help make sure you choose the right retread partner for you and your fleet, check out our buyer’s guide. 

 

Mold Cure Retread Production Vs. New Tire Tread Production

What do we mean when we say the mold cure retreading process is almost identical to the new tire production process? Well, from rubber extrusion to the curing press, these processes could be one and the same. 

Much like the mold cure process, new tire components such as tread, sidewall, and apex are prepared by feeding uncured rubber compound through an extruder to shape the tire tread or sidewall profiles. 

Once the profiles have been shaped, the new tire moves to the curing press. This is where the tire is vulcanized for a certain length of time at a certain pressure and temperature. The raw rubber becomes flexible and elastic during this process, allowing the curing press molds to be engraved with the tread pattern and sidewall markings.

 

The AcuTread® Mold Curing Process

The AcuTread® mold curing process is a highly advanced retreading system, engineered second to none. It allows us to produce tires that are built expertly for safety, uniformity, reduced heat buildup, and longer tread life. And the clean, modern manufacturing environment and advanced training programs foster a culture of quality that makes the AcuTread® process extremely successful.

 

Our Process 

Professional Inspection. 

Trained AcuTread® Inspection Technicians look for specific tire conditions that either qualify or disqualify the casings for the possibility of remanufacturing.  The casing is checked for micro-porosity and injuries; when detected, they are repaired using a 2-piece cured repair system.

 

 

Computerized Buffing 

AcuTread® Computerized Buffing is specific to each type of casing. The precision of this machine provides a tolerance within 1/32″ in diameter. This results in one of the most uniform and consistent finished products on the market today!

 

 

Cushion Extrusion 

A thin layer of high-tack, uncured cushion rubber is applied to the buffed casing. An exact specified width and depth automatically fill buzz-outs in the tread area. This thin layer of rubber becomes the base for the extruded tread rubber, promoting tread-to-casing adhesion values that rival that of new tires.

 

 

Precision Rubber Application 

AcuTread® Precision Rubber Application uses a new digitally controlled extruder that applies a continuous splice-free strip. Matched tire diameters result in even loading, a smooth ride, even wear, lower cost per mile, and improved fuel efficiency.

 

 

Tread Molding and Curing 

AcuTread® Tread Molding and Curing Technology uses segmented curing presses with three heat zones to ensure minimal heat exposure to the casings while in the presses. AcuTread® Molding uses high internal air pressure which results in superior adhesion values.

 

 

Final Inspection 

After the molding and curing process, there is a very thorough final inspection of the retreaded tire to ensure that the quality of the final product is at an unrivaled level.

 

 

Interested in the AcuTread® product? Find an AcuTread dealer near you!

Buyer’s Guide to Retread Tires | Choosing a Retread Partner

Looking to switch your fleet to remanufactured tires? Here’s what to consider when choosing a retread supplier.

A semi-truck is driving down the highway into the sunset on retreaded tires.

Determine Your Application.

Different applications will require different treads and will influence your choice of a retread supplier based on their product availability.

Remanufactured tires can be used for applications ranging from trucking to aviation. These uses will determine the characteristics you want to see in a high-quality retread.

For example, an off-road application requires that your tire have a self-cleaning tread design, cut resistance, and aggressive traction for performance both on and off the road. Long-haul, regional, short-haul, and P&D applications require a tread that is built to decrease irregular wear and increase your mileage.

Failure to equip your commercial vehicles with the right tires will lead to subpar performance. You should consult tire professionals when it comes to the remanufactured models you should use for your application to yield the best results.

View the AcuTread Product Line.

The AcuTread® Computerized Buffing machine buffs a commercial truck tire, providing a tolerance within 1/32″ in diameter.

Know the Product and Process.

Becoming familiar with the process used by a potential retread partner will help you learn what the retread process involves and give you confidence in the final product for your fleet.

When evaluating a remanufacturing process, consider:

1. The method. Mold cure and precure treading are the two most common methods for retreading. Wonderland Tire outlines the difference between the two, most notably that the mold cure process, like our own, is much closer to how a new tire is manufactured.

2. The final product. Your remanufactured tires should be comparable to new tires. Does the manufacturer’s process yield a tire that’s perfectly balanced, with a high-quality tread pattern and no product defects?

3. Safety. Do the retread facility, its process, and its products meet tire industry safety standards?

4. Quality. Quality control is crucial to meeting and maintaining these tire industry standards. Rigorous product inspections and automated technology are two indicators that quality is upheld throughout the process.

5. Equipment used. Does the remanufacturing facility use modern equipment? Reliability is key when it comes to retreading. Top-of-the-line retreading equipment should be able to support up to 150 tires per shift without lacking in consistency and uniformity.

6. Your fleet’s needs. Does the manufacturer’s process yield a tire that meets the needs of your fleet such as traction, extended mileage, long tread life, etc.?

You can learn about each retread process by requesting plant tours and getting an in-depth look at each step of manufacturing.

Get to know our process.

Learning more about the product can show you how it is designed for the qualities that you value and that your fleet needs, such as:

1.Tread design. The types of vehicles in your fleet and your driving conditions will determine the types of tires you need. Does your retread provider manufacture models that suit your needs?

2. Balance. A premium remanufactured tire will be perfectly balanced, giving your tires a longer lifespan and keeping them free from irregular wear.

3. Premium casings. Ensure that the final product was retreaded on a good quality original tire casing. This will protect your investment by keeping your retreaded tires on the road longer, performing better.

4. Quality and durability. A premium remanufactured tire should result in even loading, a smooth ride, even wear, lower cost per mile, and improved fuel efficiency.

This can be done by getting a look at the products up close and personal to determine how the retreads actually perform. Request a plant tour.

Remember to be careful when assessing retread suppliers because not all retreads are created equal. Just like poorly manufactured tires, poorly retreaded tires have a higher likelihood of failing. That’s why we developed the AcuTread® process to remanufacture tires that are built expertly for safety, uniformity, reduced heat buildup, and longer tread life. Our streamlined technology and safety benefits include:

☑ Matched tire diameters. The AcuTread® segmented molds produce a fixed diameter every time—just like new tires. Each tire—regardless of brand—is within 1/32” in diameter. This important feature promotes even distribution of load, extending mileage and reducing heat build-up.

☑ Superior adhesion values. Each AcuTread® tire is cured with direct physical pressure resulting in very high adhesion values. AcuTread® products can withstand severe twisting and turning and higher running temperatures—just like new tires. This puts the AcuTread® process at an advantage over precure retreading.

☑ Contoured tread. The technology of the AcuTread® process ensures that every casing is prepared to an exact width and contour each time. Proper buffed casing dimensions reduce casing fatigue, shoulder separations, and tread edge lifts while also promoting even wear for extended mileage.

☑ Splice-free. Using a computerized rubber extruder, specialized rubber compounds are applied to the casing in one continuous strip, eliminating the need for a splice. Alternative precure retreading processes apply fully cured tread to casings and splice it together where the ends meet. The splice can cause a weak point and ride disturbance from an out-of-balance condition.

☑ Full-depth siping. Siping assists in dispersing heat from the tread. This “new tire” feature reduces casing fatigue and stress due to excessive heat build-up in the tread. Lower tread temperature is a key factor in extended wear and fuel economy.

An AcuTread® specialist uses the AcuTreader Tread Rubber Builder in the Wayland, MI manufacturing plant.

Get the Facts.

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding retreads.

Doing informed research, touring retread facilities, and seeing the products and process in action will allow you to determine how remanufactured tires perform in actuality. Visit any of our manufacturing plants for a full tour of how our tires are made!

Wonderland Tire, a co-developer of the AcuTread® process, outlines the benefits of retreading and why state-of-the-art retreading processes produce tires that are just as safe, if not safer, than new tires.

Not only are remanufactured tires safe, but smart for your fleet.

A Wonderland Tire branded semi-truck pulls out of the Byron Center, MI store location.

Partner with a Qualified Dealer.

Ready to see retreads in action, saving you money and keeping your fleet on the road reliably? Partner with a retread dealer that can meet the needs of your fleet with custom retread programs.

A qualified dealer can provide guidance on which products are best suited for your fleet based on your routes, terrain, etc.

Find your nearest AcuTread dealer!

Wonderland Tire: A Top 50 Retreader of the AcuTread® Product

 

In their April 2023 issue highlighting the Top 50 retreaders in the United States, Modern Tire Dealer published Wonderland Tire as 28th largest nationwide retreader as an AcuTread® manufacturer. We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this achievement with them! Get a look inside Wonderland’s Wayland, Michigan AcuTread® retread plant on the front cover. 

The AcuTread Segmented Mold Cure Process used by Wonderland Tire was first designed by Bob Majewski in 1994. The AcuTread® process was a huge innovative development for Wonderland Tire that they incorporated into their manufacturing process in 1998. 

Shortly after this shift to mold cure retreading, Wonderland and Bob Majewski became partners in forming the AcuTread Alliance Group (AAG). This group was formed to develop the AcuTread® process further to bring an unparalleled remanufactured tire to the market and bring profitability to independent retreaders. 

Wonderland Tire eventually acquired the AcuTread® Process in 2014 to further promote growth and innovation. And in March of 2021, Wonderland Tire added Sumerel Tire Service Inc., Hancock County Tire, and Wilson County Tire & Retreading to their family, thus expanding our reach.

April 8, 2023 marked 25 years of the AcuTread® Process at Wonderland Tire! The AcuTread® Process is a highly advanced retreading system that is engineered second to none. Our clean, modern manufacturing environment and advanced training programs cultivate a certain level of quality that makes the AcuTread® Process extremely successful. 

Each April, Modern Tire Dealer ranks the “Top 50 Retreaders in the U.S.” based on the average amount of tread rubber used to retread different types of tires. MTD rewards one point for every seven points of rubber used per retread. Each light truck tire retread equals 1.7 points, each truck tire retread equals 3.5 points, and each OTR retread equals 46 points. (The point total does not include industrial tires)

Read all about it in Modern Tire Dealer’s newest issue! 

It’s a huge honor to be recognized for our 25 successful years working alongside Wonderland Tire, an independent retreader of the AcuTread® mold cure process. So, here’s to 25 more years of success and providing an industry-leading retread product! 

Are you thinking of becoming an independent retreader? With our highly advanced retreading system, you too can be successful and profitable with a clean operation and a second-to-none product for your customers!

Low Rolling Resistance Tires: Choosing a Fuel Efficient Retread

Low rolling resistance (LRR) tires are becoming increasingly popular due to their potential to improve fuel efficiency. Low rolling resistance commercial truck tires come in both new and retread models. As you consider your choices, you should know what LRR tires are, their benefits, and how they can be identified. Read on to learn more!

 

What Does “Low Rolling Resistance Tires” Mean?

Rolling resistance refers to any forces that work against the forward movement of your vehicle, and therefore the energy that your vehicle needs to provide to overcome that resistance and maintain constant forward motion along the road. While the number is lower for passenger vehicles, heavy trucks use up to 30-33% of their fuel just to overcome rolling resistance

Low rolling resistance tires refer to the specific type of tire designed to counter these forces. Since they require less energy than a standard tire to get and keep them rolling, they generate less heat and require less fuel. 

Low rolling resistance technology is found in two types: new tires and retreads. New LRR tires can be used in any tractor trailer position: steer, drive, and trailer; retreaded LRR tires can be used in drive and trailer positions only. Truck operators should ensure that they are using their tires on the intended axle position and that their tires are properly inflated for best results with fuel efficiency and low rolling resistance. View our low rolling resistance models that meet the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s standards for size, performance, and testing.

 

How to Identify Low Rolling Resistance Tires

As their name indicates, LRR tires have a few key identifiers that work together to combat rolling resistance, resulting in a more fuel-efficient tire. These unique properties are characteristic of low rolling resistance tires and distinguish them from standard models:

 

1. Tread compounds

Low rolling resistance tires and retreads are manufactured from unique rubber compounds to form a stiffer, more energy-efficient tread. This efficiency is achieved because a harder tread allows the tire to stay cooler, meaning less energy is lost in the form of heat. 

Learn about the proprietary rubber compounds used in our remanufactured tires

 

 

2. Tread Design

The tread makeup of low rolling resistance tires plays a role in their efficiency and distinguishes them from standard tires. Low rolling resistance tires are designed with a continuous tread design and reduced tread depth, rather than an individually blocked design. The benefit of this “connected” design is that it can seamlessly and harmoniously roll along the road as one unit, giving a streamlined performance and requiring less energy to propel your vehicle as a whole.

Learn more about our SmartWay Verified Low Rolling Resistance Tire Models on EPA.gov

 

3. Tire Sidewalls

The sidewall construction of a tire can also be optimized for low rolling resistance capability. Energy loss comes into play when your tires are in motion and undergo deformation—the “flexing” or “squishing” of the tire as it meets the surface of the road. The less deformation a tire undergoes while in motion, the less energy will be required to propel the tire: this is where sidewall construction comes in. A stiffer sidewall construction promotes less deflection to achieve a more fuel-efficient tire. 

 

Do Low Rolling Resistance Tires Work?

Tires and fuel economy make up a large portion of fleet costs: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “approximately one-quarter of fuel efficiency” in class 8 trucks “comes from the rolling resistance of the tire, making the opportunity for cost-effective energy savings substantial.”

Significant advancements have been made in both tire manufacturing and retreading to design tires that maximize in fuel efficiency but don’t cost you in performance. 

 

Switching to Wide Base Tires

Another increasingly common option to improve fuel efficiency and reduce rolling resistance is to replace traditional duals with wide-base tires. Wide-base tires achieve a lower rolling resistance compared to dual tires by reducing vehicle weight, rolling resistance, and therefore strain on the engine. Wide-base tires have a slight advantage over duals by being slightly less wide, further improving fuel efficiency (by an estimate of 1-2%). Wide based tires also have the advantage of lower cost compared to purchasing two duals and potentially less maintenance. 

 

Explore wide-base tire options for greater fuel efficiency.

 

 

What is the Benefit of Low Rolling Resistance Tires?

LRR tires provide many benefits when used in the proper axle position, including:

  1. Reduced energy loss. 
  2. Estimate of 5-7% savings in fuel economy. 
  3. Better emissions. 
  4. A smoother ride. 
  5. Better traction.

SmartWay Verification for Two Mold Cure Drive Retreads

AcuTread Alliance Group Gets SmartWay Verification for
Two Mold Cure Drive Retreads

Our 445/50 STT1 13/32nd Trailer/Drive Tread and our SAT 17/32nd Trailer/Drive Tread are now verified under the provisions of the Federal EPA SmartWay verification program.

Here is a bit of news from TRIB regarding our FIRST SmartWay Verification for two Mold Cure Drive Retreads:

TRIB (Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau)
April 11th, 2017

“The precision manufacturing process and operational advantages of mold cure retreading are now available in a SmartWay verified trailer / drive retread,” said technical director of the AcuTread Alliance group, Bob Majewski. “AcuTread remanufactured retreads are produced under strict processing guidelines by authorized AcuTread  Licensees.”

Jon Langerak, President / CEO, said he is “proud and excited with the advancements and growth we are having in our industry with these remanufactured products.”

Factors that Influence Tire Wear

Air Pressure

  • 15% under inflation in a tire equals approximately an 8% decrease in expected tread mileage
  • 10 psi under inflation can cause tire wear out to be 20% faster than normal
  • Tires can lose 3 psi per month just due to air migration
  • Tires can run up to 5 degrees hotter for every psi the tire is under inflated due to excessive flexing
  • Matching tire air pressures is critical in dual assemblies. A mismatch of 5 psi can change the tire circumference, and over 100,000 miles would be equivalent to dragging the under inflated tire 246 miles.

Tread Size

  • For every size that a tread width is undersized from the recommended width, mileage is reduced by 10%.

Tread Depths

  • Across axles and between tandem axles, tread depths need to be within 4/32″.

Wheel Position/Matching Duals, Twin Screw Tractors

  • Should be less than 1/4″ difference in diameter (less than 3/4″ difference in circumference).
  • Left front steer tire wears faster than the right tire

Alignment

  • Toe alignment greatly affects tire wear since a setting just 1/16 of an inch off will make the tires want to travel sideways about 150 feet every mile. Toe-in is when the tires are pointed towards each other; toe-out is when the tires are pointed away from each other.
  • Camber is the tire’s tilt inward (negative) or outward (positive) when viewed from the front and has significant impact on handling and shoulder wear.
  • Caster is the angle of steering axis tilt when viewed from the side and while it does not affect wear, it does affect the vehicle’s handling and tendency to track straight down the road.
  • Mis-aligned drive and/or trailer axles will cause “dog-legging” and pulling of the vehicle, resulting in steer tire irregular/rapid wear.
  • As the vehicle is pulled to the side by the mis-aligned axles, the driver over-steers to compensate, resulting in toe-out-on-turns. The effect is that the inside wheel /tire turns more sharply than the outside when turning the steering wheel away from center.
  • The 1/8″ rule – drive and trailer axles should have less than 1/8″ variance parallel to each other and perpendicular to the frame/chassis.

Engine Torque, the more torque; the less tread life

  • Many diesel engines typically develop 1,200 to 1,300 foot-pounds of peak torque at 1,300 rpm.
  • “Big Bore” diesel engines with upwards of 900 cubic inches of displacement in an in-line 6-cylinder can generate upwards of 2,000 foot-pounds of torque, this increases stress, deflection, and deformation of the tire, resulting in reduced tread life. When a fleet purchases new vehicles, check the torque rating of the new truck vs. the old trucks currently in the fleet, and make a note on any tire mileage records.

Surface Types Affect Tread Wear

  • Smooth Asphalt – 100%
  • Coarse Asphalt – 10% reduction compared to smooth asphalt
  • Concrete – 30% reduction compared to smooth asphalt
  • Very Coarse Asphalt – 50-60% reduction compared to smooth asphalt
  • Crushed Stone – 60-80% reduction compared to smooth asphalt

Working Application

  • “Tough” applications have a large impact on tire wear when compared to over the road applications. Examples of such applications are: high scrub applications, Inter-city, diminishing loads, heavy loads, waste haul, construction, mining, logging, and other sever service related.

Recommendations to Optimize Tire Wear

  • Create a tire management policy
  • Conduct regular fleet inspections to ensure compliance to your tire policy standards
  • Establish and maintain a strict air pressure maintenance program
  • Check for signs of axles being out of alignment and align as needed
  • Conduct driver training and implement responsibilities requirements for drivers
  • Balance free-rolling axle tires
  • Match tires for size, pressure and design-type
  • Make sure all tires have “flow-through” valve caps
  • Implement a mounted tire program
  • Work with a quality retreader to develop a retread program for your tires
  • Track tire performance frequently and make decisions based on data and facts