Tire forensics: The importance of scrap tire analysis

Tire forensics: The importance of scrap tire analysis


Though it may look like junk to the untrained eye, a used tire can actually be a useful source of information and a way for fleets to recoup major savings. Analyzing scrap tires can offer a number of critical insights to help maximize miles and minimize down time and wasted opportunities to retread a casing.

When you start caclucating the savings, poking around your out-of-service tires seems a lot less like a waste of time and more like uncovering a mystery—a mystery that directly makes an impact on your bottom line.

“Scrap analysis is tire forensics,” says Walter Weller, senior vice president of the China Manufacturers Alliance (CMA). “It can show a fleet maintenance manager the major causes for their tires being out of service. This could lead to changes in maintenance procedures, revisiting removal tire tread depths and a number of other countermeasures that could result in increased tire life and reduced tire-running costs.”

Evan Perrow, senior product marketing manager for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., says that the scrap tire analysis process can help fleets spot trends that will help clarify decisions about tire and vehicle maintenance.

“Things to consider during a scrap tire analysis include applications, vocation, brand, type of service, wear—including the existence of unusual wear patterns—and the number of times that a tire has been retreaded, if applicable,” he says. “Scrap tire analysis also can help indicate if the truck tire was properly maintained or if a fleet should consider adjusting its maintenance practices. And it can help fleets select tires with the right tread designs for their applications in the future.”

Kevin Rohlwing, the Tire Industry Association’s senior vice president of training, says scrap tire analysis is valuable because it’s impossible to fix problems that you can’t see.

“[Scrap tire] data can be route specific, driver specific, vehicle specific, geographically specific, application specific, etc.,” Rohlwing says. “Most fleets run different brands of tires, so scrap tire analysis can assess the retreadability, or lack of retreadability, for makes and models. It can tell them how many times a casing can be retreaded and the best applications. By using the data from scrap tire analysis, it helps fleets get the most miles out of every casing and prevents a lot of problems before they happen.”

CMA’s Weller adds that the process of using scrap tire analysis to determine which models and brands are performing best for individual needs and working with your retreader are valuable tools.

“Retreaders process many different brands of casings, and they have software systems that keep track of the casing brands that they receive for retreading and what percentage of them have been successfully retreaded in their plants. This will give you a good indication of how one brand compares to another.”

Weller also cautions that it’s important that the sample of the brand is large enough to make a statistically accurate assessment.

“Contrary to popular opinion, virtually all brands of radial truck tires can be retreaded. The issue is the percentage that can be retreaded successfully,” he says. “I would recommend that every fleet manager keep track of the percentage of their casing are being successfully retreaded by brand and compare that with their retreader’s percentage for that brand in total.”

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