Eric Matson, manager of field engineering at Goodyear, says that during the tire shortage of some years back, retreading found its way up to the largest tires in the world—63 inches.
Above: One fleet manager installs new tires on the front at replacement time and retreaded tires on the rear, thus reducing overall tire-replacement costs and creating a source of spares.
“Fewer ultra-large tires are being retreaded today, versus back then,” says Matson, “as more new tires are available. Nor are many 57-inch tires being retreaded. But when you get into the smaller quarry and aggregate sizes, retreading seems as popular as ever.
“For instance, Goodyear has a retread facility in Ontario, and we’re retreading quite a few 49-inch tires—27.00R49—for 100-ton trucks, as well as smaller sizes. If the retread costs 50 percent of new and the user gets 75 percent of new-tire life, that’s obviously a cost savings. Recapping large haulage tires could come back if things tighten up, but it doesn’t seem economically feasible at present.”