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Commercial Truck Retreads: How Long Do They Last?

When determining a tire age limit or when is a tire might be too old to be safe, it's essential to understand all the deciding factors before keeping a tire in operation or removing it. 

First and foremost, retread tires are a safe and cost-effective way to manage tires for your fleet when your budget doesn't always allow for the purchase of new tires. They must meet the same quality and safety standards as new tires, and every Bandag Retread Tire purchased under a National Fleet Customer Agreement has a lifetime limited warranty.

Once you have determined to use retread tires, here's what you need to know.

How long do retread tires last, and what is their expected life usage?

A well-maintained retread or recap tire will last as long as a comparably priced new tire. On average commercial tires last between three and four years when driven 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually. And it is normal for this to vary depending on use, and maintenance just like a new tire. When properly cared for, a retread tire can drive in any condition and at any speed that a new tire can and perform just as well. 

Retread tires, like new tires, should be considered for replacement at around six years and most definitely by ten years, depending on your driving conditions. Other factors like wear, casing condition and other types of failure will cause a tire to be taken out of service earlier. 

How should a retread be maintained to extend its safe usage?

Retread tire maintenance is the same as new tire maintenance. Make sure you are doing the following:

Maintain Proper Tire Inflation – Overinflation or underinflation are two primary causes of tire failure. Check the tire pressure before each trip and top off if they dip below the manufacturer's recommended PSI. 

Weather Prep: Hot temperatures and hot road services can create irregular tire wear patterns. And colder temperatures can gradually decrease tire pressure, which impacts your fuel economy, tread life and overall safety on the road. 

Check Tire Tread: Checking and making note of uneven wear patterns and tread depth are vital. If you have a tire or tires that show uneven wear and improper tread depth, this can shorten how long a retread tire will last. It can also lead to lead to issues on the road and put drivers' safety at risk. You should routinely check tire treads during pre-and post-trip inspections. And, of course, when the treads do wear down, you can retread the tire again. 

Check Tire Alignment: If your tires are misaligned, this can shorten the life span of your retread tires and your trucks. Irregular tire wear is a crucial indicator that tires are not correctly aligned.

Are there age requirements for tires to be retreaded?

here is no specific guidance for when asking is a tire too old to be safe to retread. However, when considering how old a tire is too old, general practices are that tires are considered "old" at six years. Age, while a factor, is not the primary decision factor when determining whether a tire is suitable for a retread. The condition of the casing will help make this determination more than anything. Consider how many times it has been retreaded previously and the tire's application when making your decision.

Regardless of their age, tires with extreme working conditions such as long-standing or off-road driving may not be suitable for retreads. Bandag dealers put each casing through a rigorous testing and repair process to ensure that the sidewalls satisfy our top-quality standards for retreading and will only retread a tire that we know meets the standards of our name and warranty.