Where does loose rubber on the road come from?
The rubber pieces you see on the road come from both new and retreaded tyres. It is important to note that most of the rubber on the road comes from truck tyres and is caused mainly by underinflation, overloading, and tyre abuse.
Are retreaded tyres really as safe as new tyres?
Yes. Adjustment percentages of retreaded tyres are about the same as with new tyres. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that nearly all tyres involved in any tyre related accidents are underinflated or bald. Properly maintained tyres, whether new or retreaded, do not cause accidents.
Do any standards (federal or industry) control the quality and safety of retreaded tyres?
Yes. Passenger, light pick-up, and 4x4 tyres are retreaded according to standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation and carry a code number on the sidewall indicating where and when the tyre was retreaded. Due in part to the standards established by the truck retread tyre industry, the U.S. Department of Transportation has not developed regulations for manufacturing retreaded truck tyres. The overall quality of retreaded truck tyres has increased dramatically in recent years with the introduction of high technology, including the use of computers in manufacturing and non-destructive tyre testing.
As with passenger car tyres, most problems with truck tyres can be traced back to poor maintenance (primarily underinflation) and abuse (overloading).
Can I buy retreaded radial and high performance tyres?
Yes. Steel belted and non-steel belted radials and high performance tyres are retreaded. Since high performance tyres are usually manufactured with cap plies, the retreadability of the original tyre casing is greatly improved.
Can retreaded tyres be driven at highway and interstate speeds?
Yes. Retreaded tyres can be driven at the same legal speeds as comparable new tyres with no loss in safety or comfort.
How long will they last?
With proper maintenance and care, retreaded tyres will provide the same amount of service as comparable new tyres. Retreads tread life varies from the same as a comparable new tyre to 75% of a new tyre. The variables here, relative to a comparable new tyre are, 1. Retreads often start with less tread depth, 2. Due to casing conditions, the retread footprint may be smaller/narrower then the new tyre, 3. Trailer tyres are removed from service for reasons other then wear out over 80% of the time, especially with in-line haul service.
Are there any driving conditions where retreaded tyres should not be driven?
No. Retreaded tyres can be driven wherever comparable new tyres can be driven. The only restriction is on the steer axle of busses hauling passengers.