Performance of remolded tires: results of an independent test featuring Treadwright's tires
TreadWright, a US-based company that renovates old tires in a sustainable manner producing a totally new rubber for vehicles, claims that their innovative product is cost-effective, durable, top-quality and environment-friendly. The company takes used tire casings and remolds new rubber onto the old casings– this procedure prevents accumulation of waste tires on landfills and finds use for thousands of discarded tires.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) indicates that the US discards approximately 290 million tires annually. Normally, 90 percent of all waste tires are stockpiled, however, occasionally they are given a second life and are used as an energy source in cement kilns or electric utility boilers. In addition, they can be reprocessed and recycled into various rubber goods; they can substitute raw materials when roads are constructed and they can be applied for civil engineering purposes.
However, TreadWright is concerned with safe and economic reuse of tire casings and shares its method to remold the new tread onto old tire casings. For the company, remolding is a synonym for new tire production, which, reportedly, should not be confused with retreading, as the process involves creation of a new tire surface around top-quality casings taken from used tires, which were originally produced by recognized tire brands as Michelin and Goodyear. The company works exclusively with the process of remolding, which is often used to produce tires for airplanes and school buses. According to Gear Junkie, TreadWright believes that this technique leads to creation of a more durable product compared to any average retread.
A tire tread longevity is significantly less than that of casings taken from old tires, therefore TreadWright’s decision to apply carefully examined used casings looks rational. This strategy helps the company use only 6 gallons of oil instead of 18 gallons, which are needed to produce entirely new tire, as new rubber is simply remolded around an old casing.
Gear Junkie decided to try a pair of TreadWright’s tires and share their experience with readers.
The pair of tires that had been tested, was the TreadWright’s mountain-terrain Guard Dog tires, which are guaranteed to provide top off-road traction and reduce traffic noise. The trial had lasted for six months. The tires were installed on a Toyota Tundra full-size truck. The overall driving distance during the experiment was about 8,000 miles.
Before the actual test, GearJunkie’s team heard mostly negative feedback about TreadWright’s tires, however the company says that their merchandise is of better quality now, as they started to use upgraded rubber compound.
For a start, Gear Junkie mentioned appealing appearance of the tires, which almost totally resemble new ones, except for a tiny piece of rubber which is used to connect the tire and the rim, which was named “flash” – an aftermath of the remolding process. Regarding the wear of these tires, it seemed they were no different from other tires. After the completion of the 6 month experiment, no more than 2/32 of an inch have been worn. The brand’s tires are given a DOT rating of 40,000 miles, however the company said that, on average, their clients make more than 80,000.
The Guard Dog tires had an enormous massive traction in mud and snow. According to TreadWright, significant investments had been made into the compounding technology, so it could become a decent rival to the leading international brands. Even though the Gear Junkie’s team could not verify this fact, their test of Guard Dog tires showed that the compound is good for driving on various surfaces, including snow, wet and dry pavement. What makes TreadWright tires stand out is their economical pricing: normally, they are sold for smaller prices compared to leading brands, BF Goodrich, Michelin, Goodyear, Toyo who sell their tires for $250. Meanwhile, TreadWright’s Guard Dog are sold for $195 per tire; during the trial, these tires were sold at a discount price – $160. TreadWright offers tires which are 40 percent cheaper than the ones that are produced by big brands. Gear Junkie also mentions that the company provides free shipping.
TreadWright is an American company that has a long business history. It manufactures its products in the US, and tires are sold only to US-based customers despite popularity of remolded tires in Europe. In 2014, it constructed one more factory in Houston, Texas.
In general, GearJunkie’s test concluded that the quality of TreadWright’s tires is in no way superior to the big brand’s products, though their remolded tires are reasonably priced and provide the best value to the customer. What also makes the brand distinctive is its sustainable and environment-friendly nature.
Press release by Gear Junkie.