QUESTION: Can I Use Retreaded Tires on the Steer Axle?
Per FMCSR Part 393.75(e), a regrooved tire with a load-carrying capacity equal to or greater than 2,232 kg (4,920 pounds) shall not be used on the front wheels of any truck or truck tractor. Buses are restricted from operating with regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels regardless of load-carrying capacity.
From a compliance standpoint we know retreads are prohibited on the steer axle, but what about using them on other axles? For most fleets, tires represent a good portion of their operating budget and retreads might be a good alternative. Compared to buying new tires, retreads can save a trucking company a lot of money in replacement costs, but they still require the same (if not more) attention to realize that savings. All tires should be properly inflated and not overloaded to maximize fuel efficiency. Yokohama Tire Corporation found that, “tire under-inflation by 8 psi can lower your miles per gallon by up to 2%, reduce tire tread life by up to 15%, increase carbon dioxide emissions, and increase tire fatigue which can reduce tire service life." Wheel misalignment can also add additional drag and increase fuel consumption by up to 25%, so think of the air that keeps your tires properly inflated as “free” fuel!
If you have any further questions about post-collision testing or truck insurance, feel free to talk and/or meet with one of our Great West Casualty Company agents. They'll help you get the answers and services you need.