Fleets should predetermine their pull point for the tire, advises Michelin’s Phil Boarts. “A fleet running long haul could have a different pull point than a fleet running regional vehicles,” Boarts says. “Regardless of when a fleet pulls tires for retreading, however, there must be an adequate amount of undertread to support the retread. The pull point should maximize the number of retreads per casing and include an age of service limitation for the first, second and third life of the retreads and their position.”
“Fleets should establish and enforce the best tire management and maintenance policy to preserve the future life of their casings,” says Marangoni’s Ron Elliott. “Everything is important, including inflation, balance, load limits, wheel position, correct design for the correct application and tire inspections. Understand the reason for any premature failure to refine tire policies.”
Overall, the manufacturers say that fleets should develop customized retread specifications for each particular operation and application. They should know which casings to accept for retreading to maximize the use of retreads without compromising safety or uptime.
SmartWay verified retread offerings
As part of EPA’s SmartWay Technology program, the agency has verified that certain low rolling resistance retread products can reduce emissions and fuel use on long haul Class 8 tractor-trailers by 3% or more. These improvements are achieved, according to EPA, when:
• Verified retread technologies are used on both drive and trailer axles;
• Retread technologies are used on the axle positions for which verification is specified;
• Verified low rolling resistance steer tires are also used; and
• All tires are properly inflated.
EPA also notes that manufacturers specify the intended axle position(s) for retread technologies, and EPA’s verified list points out retread technologies that achieve rolling resistance target values for those axle positions. Retread technologies verified for the trailer axle position meet the rolling resistance target for the drive axle, and if the tire performance characteristics are acceptable, then the manufacturer may specify use for that application. Consequently, verified trailer retread technologies are acceptable for use on the tag (undriven) axle of 6×2 tractors if the performance is confirmed to be acceptable for that application.
For a full list of low rolling resistance retreads that are SmartWay verified when used on Class 8 linehaul tractor-trailers, click here.