While they are not likely on the forefront of everyone’s mind, retreads have become an important part of a fleet’s tire program. They serve to drive down overall tire costs while maximizing tire life.

“Retreading is an excellent way to save money and utilize the full life and value out of a casing,” says Ted Becker, vice president of marketing for Michelin North America, adding that delivering on fuel efficiency and mileage are central points that customers want from their retreads.

“But not every retread is created equal,” Becker warns. “Through the tread design and rubber compound technology that Michelin uses, combined with our Michelin Retread Technologies (MRT) process, we deliver significant performance in both fuel efficiency and wear for our retread products.”

Fleets also look for the same tread patterns on retreads that they use on their new tires, Becker points out. “Our customers find our new tires’ tread patterns in retreads, enabling them to enjoy high levels of performance, just like the new tire,” he says. “Some customers also need retread products for specific applications, from linehaul to regional or urban use.”

THE SAME PERFORMANCE

Michelin launched its X One XDN2 Pre-Mold earlier in the year. According to Becker, the retread combines the fuel and weight savings of the X One wide single product with the mileage and traction of a traditional lug-based tread pattern. It also comes with the Michelin On Michelin guarantee.

“The Michelin On Michelin guarantee gives 30% more mileage than that of competitors’ retreads and also guarantees a second X One trailer retread on a Michelin casing,” Becker emphasizes. “We’re that confident in our retread product technology, our MRT retreading process, and the retreadability of the Michelin X One tire casings.”

When it comes to tire retread innovation, “Goodyear has responded with best-in-class solutions to help fleets and owner-operators reduce their fuel costs and downtime,” says Mike Manges, communications managercommercial tires.

Goodyear recently introduced retreads for two of its newest wide-base truck tires, the G392 SSD and G394 SST. Both contain the company’s exclusive Fuel Max and DuraSeal Technologies. The G392 SSD drive and G394 SST trailer tires are both available in load range L in a 445/50R22.5 size.

“To help our customers optimize their new tire investment, we also have unveiled a new UniCircle retread product for these wide-base tires,” Manges says. “UniCircle is an exclusive, spliceless technology that provides an easy-to-balance, custom fit. UniCircle covers that vast majority of tire designs and sizes in the marketplace, and based on strong demand, we are extending UniCircle to even more truck tire sizes and designs.”

Bill Sweatman, president & CEO of Marangoni Tread North America, says customers are most interested in improved reliability, long mileage, and treads that improve mileage and fuel economy.

“Marangoni’s premium technology is Ringtread, which is a spliceless precure retread sold and serviced by independent retreaders across North America,” says Sweatman. “By eliminating the splice in the retread, we have eliminated the source for heavy spots, tread distortion, and any potential for open splices. The Marangoni Ringtread provides for long, reliable mileage, which many fleets love.”

ADDING ROLLING RESISTANCE

The company has recently launched Energeco, a product line that combines the Ringtread technology with low rolling resistance treads.

“We are currently expanding our line of wide-base treads using Ringtread technology as well, which is a growing demand by those fleets looking to successfully retread those tires,” adds Sweatman.

In addition to seeking quality products, customers are also looking for quality throughout the tire purchasing process, and that includes the customer service provided by the local Bandag dealer, explains Chris Ripani, director-marketing communications & services, Bridgestone Commercial Solutions (BCS). “Our customers want the newest and most innovative products that will deliver the lower-cost solutions for their fleet and provide critical performance data to help them better identify areas of improvement in their tire maintenance program,” says Ripani.

Bridgestone launched four new Bandag Fuel- Tech retread products at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. These retreads, which complement the Ecopia drive and trailer lineup, include many of the same benefits as the Ecopia new tires, such as lower rolling resistance and tread designs for long, even wear. When compared to leading competitors, according to Bridgestone, fleets could save up to 29% in total tire wear cost when retreading an Ecopia casing with a Bandag FuelTech retread.

The Ecopia line includes the new R283 Ecopia steer, plus wide-base single and conventional duals for drive and trailer positions. For fleets using duals, there is the M710 Ecopia drive and R197 Ecopia trailer.

“BCS also continues investing in the latest technology to improve the overall retread process so our dealers spot potential issues before they become problems on the road,” says Ripani. “Bandag dealers use state-of-the-art shearography technology to look inside of the tire before it is retreaded to spot possible damage that may not be visible [to the eye].”

Bridgestone also offers the BASys suite of IT products, which are “specifically designed to track a customer’s tires and provide accurate, customized reports on in-service tire inspections, out-of-service tire analysis, performance tracking and vehicle inspections,” Ripani says. “This technology can improve productivity rates and downtime costs for fleets by flagging tires before they become a problem. The BASys system also provides fleets more real-time knowledge and control so they can budget more effectively.”

Regardless of which tire brand you use, though, having an effective tire program, which includes taking advantage of the latest in retread technology, can improve fuel economy, reduce downtime, and lower overall operating costs.