Keeping the Rubber on the Road

The tread is the patterned part of the tire that provides the grip for safe, controllable acceleration and braking, helping to disperse water to keep vehicles from hydroplaning in wet conditions and are designed for specific driving applications. Keeping track of tire and tread wear on commercial vehicles is vitally important. These massive machines move heavy loads in slippery conditions where the grip coefficient is far less than ideal. New and unworn tires provide these multi-ton vehicles the grip and control they need to move and stop, even in the mud and dirt.

Tire Inspections: What to Look For

Tires are designed to provide optimal grip and performance under certain conditions. However, tires not inflated properly or otherwise compromised can lead to lower efficiency, lack of grip, blowouts and poor fuel economy. These potential dangers make it paramount to inspect tires regularly. Rims should be checked for dents or damage that can compromise sidewall seals, such as deformed beads. Sidewalls should also be checked for marbling or abrasion damage—typically caused by insufficient tire pressure—and for visible cord cables or other obvious damage. The tire’s valve and cap should also be intact and in good condition. Finally, all tires, both drive, and freewheelers, should be regularly checked with a calibrated gauge to ensure proper pressure. Tires lose air naturally, but they may also have tiny punctures or perforations that are impossible to see with a visual inspection.

Next, take the time to perform a tread inspection. Tread should maintain constant contact with the road to provide the grip needed to maintain control. A tire depth gauge will measure the depth of the tread to make sure it’s still within the manufacturer’s minimum specifications. In some cases, tread damage can be repaired by a qualified tire professional, but not always. Because of the potential consequences, tires should be inspected by a professional who can tell whether a tire is safe, repairable or requires replacement.

To Retread or Replace… that is the question!

Once a tire reaches the end of its tread life, there are two options: replace or re-tread. Replacing is self-explanatory but can be a bigger impact on the P&L statement. Retreading, however, is an option that not only can save companies money but can salvage up to 90% of the original tire material as well, making it far more efficient and budget-conscious than new tires. Retreading is a process by which a professional retreading facility, such as Bauer Built Tire, buffs down the old, worn tread, applies a fresh new cap of rubber, and then cures it with a new tread pattern leaving you with a grippy, like-new tire at a fraction of the price.

Bauer Built knows tires like no one else and is the undisputed industry leader in commercial truck retread tires with seven state-of-the-artMICHELIN® Pre-Mold Retread plants across the Midwest. To learn more about our commercial and retreading services, visit us at


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