Does anybody actually use retreads?
Yes, nearly half the truck and bus tyres on the road in the UK have been retreaded and operate very safely. In fact, all the major tyre manufacturers without exception manufacture their tyres for multiple lives, meaning they are designed to be retreaded. Indeed many of them also operate their own retread plants in the UK.
Retreads are also used on passenger cars throughout the UK – not only for standard vehicles but for high performance vehicles and even for motorsport.
Retreads are also used in aviation and are retreaded many times. Every commercial airline uses retreaded tyres and in fact over 90% of all aircraft tyres are retreads.
Can you drive at normal speeds on retreads?
Yes, of course. The idea that retreaded tyres can not be used at normal road speeds is a complete myth. All passenger retreads (with the exception of a few specialist winter and off-road tyres) are speed rated at least to S (180 kmh – 112mph) and many are rated as high as V (240 kmh – 149 mph)
Can you use retreads in winter?
Absolutely. In fact, retreaded winter tyres have been particularly successful across Europe. If you are looking for extra safety in the winter weather but feel that switching to new winter tyres is too much of an expense, then why not use a set of winter retreads. They offer excellent performance and superb economy.
How can we be confident of the quality of retreaded tyres?
Retreaded tyres have been manufactured to the requirements of a British Standard (the BS au 144 series) for many years. However, two new EC Regulations relating to the “type approval” of retreaded tyres (ECE Rulation 108 for car tyres and 109 for commercial vehicles tyres) became mandatory in the UK with effect from January 1st 2004.
The two new Regulations, which identify uniform conditions for the approval of individual retreading facilities, effectively means that retread producers have effectively become ‘licensed’ operations, a move which is has made a considerable contribution towards ensuring that the quality, integrity and performance of retreaded tyres are, at the very least, on a par with that of new tyres.
What about all the rubber we see on the side of motorways. Doesn’t all that come from retreads?
No. This is just as likely to come from a new tyre. The fact is that the majority of tyre failures are the result of improper tyre maintenance. If tyres are not regularly checked for damage or under/overinflation there is a risk that they might fail and it doesn’t matter whether they are new tyres or retreads.