Raben Tire operates multiple retreading facilities that manufacture Goodyear and Oliver retreads. Raben also offers Michelin retreads as an associate dealer. If you’re interested in moving your fleet to retread tires and would like a representative to contact you, click Connect With Us and we will contact you shortly.
What is “Retreading”?
Retreading is the process where selected and inspected worn tires, called “casings”, receive a new tread. Only sound, carefully inspected tire casings are used for retreading. The worn tread is buffed away and a new tread bonded to the tire body in a process very similar to the manufacture of a new tire. There are different processing techniques, but the ultimate objective is always the same – affixing a new tread through the application of heat, time and pressure. Tire retreading is an established industry that began in the early 1900s and has grown steadily. Retreaded tires in all applications have consistently demonstrated the same reliability in operation as new tires. Many trucking fleets plan their new tire purchases with the intention of having their worn casings retreaded two or more times as a routine part of their tire budgets. Today, in North America, there are as many retreaded tires in operation as there are original tread life tires. Retreaded tires are used safely every day on airplanes, school buses, fire engines, ambulances, trucking fleets and military vehicles.
A retreaded tire costs less to produce than a new tire and sells for less. Retreading truck tires saves the trucking industry over $3 billion each year. Retreaded tires are such a good value because most of the manufacturing cost of a new tire is in the tire body or casing. The tread (the portion of the tire that meets the road) represents only a percentage of the new tire cost. Today’s steel radial commercial truck tires are an industrial product designed to provide multiple tread lives over the life of the casing. This useful casing life is monitored and managed closely as tires are the number one maintenance cost of operating commercial vehicles. Casings are inspected on and off vehicles at many points in their lives. When a tire becomes worn and seems ready for discard, the bulk of its cost remains unrecovered. In fact, the tire’s useful life has hardly begun.
Retreading is very environmentally friendly and conserves oil. The manufacture of a new medium truck tire requires approximately 22 gallons of oil, but it takes only seven gallons to retread. Every year in North America, the use of retreads saves hundreds of millions of gallons of oil. Also millions of tires that would end up in landfills continue their useful lives for thousands of more miles. According to a 2016 Ernst & Young study(highlighted by Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau), retreading:
- Reduced carbon emissions by 24%
- Reduced natural resource extraction by 70%
- Reduced water consumption by 19%
- Reduced air pollution by 21%
- Reduced land use by 29%
Part of the retreading process involves buffing off the old tread of a casing so a new tread can be applied. Almost 12.5 lbs of rubber is buffed off each commercial tire. In the US alone, that means 89,000 tons of rubber is buffed from truck tires each year! (Source: TRIB) This rubber is recycled and turned into products many of us use or see every day. Just some of the applications are playground and gym surfaces, rubber mats, turf fields and mulch. Retreading uses recycling as part of the manufacturing process to add to the environmental credentials of this industry.