Retread tires that meet Federal specification ZZ-T-381 (Tires, Pneumatic, Vehicular-Highway) for passenger vehicles are not readily available. Retread tires that meet Federal specs for trucks and large equipment are available (call 888-473-8732 for local supplier information).
Retread tires for trucks and large equipment offer major cost savings.
Retread tires that meet Federal specs are being used on airplanes, Post Office trucks, etc. Retread tires were tested early in the 1990s. The test was a 20,000 mile highly controlled road course with gravel road segments incorporated into the route. The tires (new and retread) ran 100% of their load carrying capacity. The tread mileage was extrapolated out to the tires wear bars and to wearout using an extremely accurate mathematical formula. Retread light truck tires and medium truck/bus retreads consistently showed much better tread wear than the new tires, which were running along side of them during the testing. This is the reason commercial fleets take good care of their casings and run retreads, not only from a base cost advantage, but for treadwear as well.
Per Betty ("BJ") Morris (HQ NNSA), DOE does not have any restrictions on retread tires. "DEAR policy 923.703 says sites should give preference to retread tires. However, the justified exceptions are applicable where retread tires are either not available for the particular vehicle/equipment or do not meet performance specifications.
General Services Administration fleet vehicles must comply with GSA requirements, which per the National Maintenance Control Center's Policy document dated September 18, 2000 are:
Retread tires shall be procured to the maximum extent practical when suitable for the intended use, reasonably available, convenient for our vehicle operators, economical and of good quality.
Retread tires shall not be used on sedans, station wagons, and passenger vans.
Retread tires are not allowed on the front (steering) axle of buses and large trucks but can be used on the rear (non-steering wheels).
If uncertain about the applicability of retreads on a particular vehicle, please contact the local Fleet Management Center to resolve the issue.
Every tire that is retreaded cuts our dependence on imported oil because the rubber used in tires is mainly synthetic and petroleum based. Also, every tire that is retreaded means one less tire for our landfills.
Send all comments, technical questions, and requests for password access to: HSS User Support P2Support@hq.doe.gov (800) 473-4375