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SparePart said:
Great post SC - I just wanted to make a few comments about commercial truck tires because I work FOR a retread manufacturer (it's all we do) and I work WITH many trucking/transportation companies. Commercial tire explosions are absolutely deadly - not just to other motorists, but to technicians who work on truck tires as well. However, maintenance plays a FAR greater role in whether a tire blows than whether it's original or retreaded.

Some of the largest, best maintained fleets in the world successfully run their maintenance program and retreads - even on the steer tires (UPS uses them on all of the their package vans). Most commercial jetliners run retreads on their landing gear. School buses run retreads for drive tires. However, I could give you a list of companies that I would be nervous to pass even with brand new radials on their trucks because I know from firsthand inspection that their maintenance practices are not the same as most.

Retreading is not only safe when used in a responsible maintenance program, but it's smart for consumers and the environment. Holding a CDL, I'm sure you've seen the old "if it's in the store it came by truck" type campaigns? Well, when you have 18, or more, wheel positions a reduction of $150 per wheel position also saves on transportation costs, which saves the shipper, which in turn allows good old capitalism to allow them to be more competitive (read: cheaper products).

Also, one new commercial truck tire (11R22.5 for example) takes 26 gallons of oil to manufacture. Retreading a quality worn original takes 7 gallons - a savings of 152 gallons of oil per set of drive tires. Retread manufactures also recycle all of the old tread removed during the retread process and it is used for things like playground fill, floor mats and asphalt filler.

Anyway, we get a bad rap in the retreading industry because a lot of companies either don't maintain their tires properly (inflation mostly) or try to retread casings that should not be retreaded. Personally, one way I see to reduce the amount of debris on the road is to mandate quality standards for trade trucks (trucks that are traded in by large fleets for new trucks). These vehicles usually have tires on them that are sub-standard to save money and are re-sold with these same tires.

Well, sorry for getting on a soapbox, but I'd be glad to answer any questions. I know it's frustrating - trust me I hear the stories and I've seen the explosions.

Spare
Ciao SparePart, I'm not trying to knock the whole "Re-Tread" Industry in the least. Just trying to preserve a few lives under the current conditions. As you so accurately stated, much of the life expectancy of a recapped tire depends on maintaining proper inflation, and maintenance on the Truck itself.

I will say however that based on my experience even in a properly maintained and responsibly driven Rig, that re-caps have their application where they can be safely utilized for the benefit of all.

Airlines, School Buses, and local or regional trucks when proper maintenance is maintained are an ideal venue for this type of tire usage. Airlines, School Buses, and local or regional trucks do not run their caps for the total length of time that the OTR trucks do. They stop and subsequently cool their tires much more often.

However long distance "Over the Road" rigs, especially those of which run extreemely close to gross maximum weight IMO cannot safely utilize these tires all year round.

In the winter, and cooler parts of the year, even the OTR trucks can make due with re-caps.

In the summer months, especially in the desert areas in July, August they cannot.

During the hot days of the year in the desert environment with ambient road temperatures reaching well into the 140's F. or more, and the OTR trucks running essentially 660 to 770 miles non stop, even properly re-capped tires on properly maintained equipment can and do fail REPEATEDLY. I've personally seen caps go in less than 3,000 miles, and with no signs of separation or fatigue in these settings. I have to maintain my stance that they should be outlawed for use on OTR Trucks at least during the summer months. They simply do not/can not hold up to the heat generated in these scenarios.

The monetary savings for everyone in running recaps, as well as the consumers of the goods transported is valid, and the main reason for their existence in the first place. Their reliability due to the constantly growing technologies is MUCH better than ten years ago, but their failure rate even when properly maintained is still TOO HIGH, IMO to allow their usage in all venues.

They have their place and application where they can be safely utilized to the benefit of all, but IMO year round OTR Trucking is not one of them.

Sincerely, SHADOWCHASER ;)
 

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SHADOWCHASER said:
Ciao SparePart, I'm not trying to knock the whole "Re-Tread" Industry in the least. Just trying to preserve a few lives under the current conditions. As you so accurately stated, much of the life expectancy of a recapped tire depends on maintaining proper inflation, and maintenance on the Truck itself.

I will say however that based on my experience even in a properly maintained and responsibly driven Rig, that re-caps have their application where they can be safely utilized for the benefit of all.

Airlines, School Buses, and local or regional trucks when proper maintenance is maintained are an ideal venue for this type of tire usage. Airlines, School Buses, and local or regional trucks do not run their caps for the total length of time that the OTR trucks do. They stop and subsequently cool their tires much more often.

However long distance "Over the Road" rigs, especially those of which run extreemely close to gross maximum weight IMO cannot safely utilize these tires all year round.

In the winter, and cooler parts of the year, even the OTR trucks can make due with re-caps.

In the summer months, especially in the desert areas in July, August they cannot.

During the hot days of the year in the desert environment with ambient road temperatures reaching well into the 140's F. or more, and the OTR trucks running essentially 660 to 770 miles non stop, even properly re-capped tires on properly maintained equipment can and do fail REPEATEDLY. I've personally seen caps go in less than 3,000 miles, and with no signs of separation or fatigue in these settings. I have to maintain my stance that they should be outlawed for use on OTR Trucks at least during the summer months. They simply do not/can not hold up to the heat generated in these scenarios.

The monetary savings for everyone in running recaps, as well as the consumers of the goods transported is valid, and the main reason for their existence in the first place. Their reliability due to the constantly growing technologies is MUCH better than ten years ago, but their failure rate even when properly maintained is still TOO HIGH, IMO to allow their usage in all venues.

They have their place and application where they can be safely utilized to the benefit of all, but IMO year round OTR Trucking is not one of them.

Sincerely, SHADOWCHASER ;)
Shadowchaser,

Thank you - that is one of the best thought out replies I've heard. Also an educated reply, so it's obvious you know the business. They key point you mentioned is "no signs of separation or fatigue". That has always been the downfall of retread technology. Identifying seperations and casing (what we call a worn original for others reading) damage internally was always difficult without destroying the casing. Destruction of the casings was obviously not an option if you want to retread it.

So, here is what we came up with: http://www.berlinbandag.com/ProductsServices/pop_7400.html In the last four years we've developed technology to effectively "x-ray" a worn original casing.

Also, keep in mind that whether gvw is 80,000 or 105,500 tires are designed to run a certain speed, at a certain load, with a certain pressure. The reason for this is not only to carry the load, but also to reach a thermal balance. The tire will reach operating temperature (only slightly impacted by ambient or surface temps) and bleed off as much heat as it generates. Overloading and underinflation in hotter climates have an absolute effect on failure in these situations.

In any event, I really appreciate your thoughtful response and respect your personal experiences. There is no debate that can counter your experience or knowledge of your profession.

Thanks!

Spare
 

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SparePart said:
Shadowchaser,

Thank you - that is one of the best thought out replies I've heard. Also an educated reply, so it's obvious you know the business. They key point you mentioned is "no signs of separation or fatigue". That has always been the downfall of retread technology. Identifying separations and casing (what we call a worn original for others reading) damage internally was always difficult without destroying the casing. Destruction of the casings was obviously not an option if you want to retread it.

So, here is what we came up with: http://www.berlinbandag.com/ProductsServices/pop_7400.html In the last four years we've developed technology to effectively "x-ray" a worn original casing.

Also, keep in mind that whether gvw is 80,000 or 105,500 tires are designed to run a certain speed, at a certain load, with a certain pressure. The reason for this is not only to carry the load, but also to reach a thermal balance. The tire will reach operating temperature (only slightly impacted by ambient or surface temps) and bleed off as much heat as it generates. Overloading and underinflation in hotter climates have an absolute effect on failure in these situations.

In any event, I really appreciate your thoughtful response and respect your personal experiences. There is no debate that can counter your experience or knowledge of your profession.

Thanks!

Spare
Thanks SP for your very eloquent, and informative response. [thumbsup]

Your link looks very promising as far as a quality control measure. I have no doubt that as the technology matures and becomes wider spread in application, that it will eliminate most of the veteran OTR drivers, as well as my own concerns with re-cap failures.

Good Folks such as yourself are truly a blessing to the industry that is riddled with those who seem adamant to rape it buy cutting corners with no regards to anyone's safety, or anything else, other than lining their own pockets. [clap] [clap] [clap]

I do hope that in the near future that Re-tread technology and quality control can reach a reliability rate that is at least equal to their virgin counterparts. After all there is no fix for the human equation other than excessive engineering. [thumbsup]

Lord knows that trucking has more than their fare share of the uneducated and ignorant. :p

Anything that can be done to buffer the abuse that these individuals impart, whether it be by better technology or by more stringent laws governing their usage, will in effect make the product essentially "Idiot Proof". [laugh]

IMHO this is what it is going to take to get the failure ratio down to an acceptable level, as well as creating a safer environment for ALL the motorists sharing our nations roadways. [thumbsup]

Thanx again for you valuable contribution to this thread, and to this potentially life threatening issue. [thumbsup] [clap]

I'll look forward to seeing the results of you and your associates hard work and foresight on this very important issue of PUBLIC safety.

Ride safe my friend, SHADOWCHASER ;)
 

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Shadowchaser, you posted great tips, info that people should be aware of and I'd like to repost it on a car forum - would you mind?
 

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GIR said:
Shadowchaser, you posted great tips, info that people should be aware of and I'd like to repost it on a car forum - would you mind?
Why sure GIR, help yourself to anything you feel would be helpful on your other forum. :)

Anything to promote awareness and safer conditions for everyone! [thumbsup]

[TJack](BTW: How's your "Sinfully Scarlet" fella doing? ;) ) [/TJack]
 

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SHADOWCHASER said:
Why sure GIR, help yourself to anything you feel would be helpful on your other forum. :)

Anything to promote awareness and safer conditions for everyone! [thumbsup]

[TJack](BTW: How's your "Sinfully Scarlet" fella doing? ;) ) [/TJack]
Cool, thanks - I figure it can't hurt to let people know things from your perspective, I always endeaver to help people be better drivers :)

As for Aldente (my 620) he is okay, recovering. I had my first street ride a coupla-few weeks ago and laid him down on my leg and he sustained some minor damage. Lucky for me Hiero is a marvelous human being and he saved me with some parts he had that covered the functional injuries (thanks again David!). The only downer is that my leg got squished agains a curb and is now seemingly not healing very well - it looks better but may even hurt more then it did before :p
 

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GIR said:
Cool, thanks - I figure it can't hurt to let people know things from your perspective, I always endeaver to help people be better drivers :)

As for Aldente (my 620) he is okay, recovering. I had my first street ride a coupla-few weeks ago and laid him down on my leg and he sustained some minor damage. Lucky for me Hiero is a marvelous human being and he saved me with some parts he had that covered the functional injuries (thanks again David!). The only downer is that my leg got squished against a curb and is now seemingly not healing very well - it looks better but may even hurt more then it did before :p
Oh damn. I'm sorry, I hadn't heard about your whoopsie. If there's anything I can help out with just PM me and consider it done. Hope your leg gets better soon. ~Steve
 

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I have way less worries passing 5 feet in front of a truck when changing lanes than anything else on the road. Who cares if he can't stop quickly? The one thing I know is that he is not going to be increasing speed quickly. He can maintain the same speed or slow down, that's it. I don't make a habit of merging in front of trucks in situations that would leave me boxed in... Isn't the point of changing lanes to move to an open lane?
 

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nerm said:
I have way less worries passing 5 feet in front of a truck when changing lanes than anything else on the road. Who cares if he can't stop quickly? The one thing I know is that he is not going to be increasing speed quickly. He can maintain the same speed or slow down, that's it. I don't make a habit of merging in front of trucks in situations that would leave me boxed in... Isn't the point of changing lanes to move to an open lane?
Who cares about anyone else on the road but you? ???

Who cares about the secondary accidents that you create? ???

When someone cuts infront of you at a distance of "five feet" you know for sure they are going to continue accelerating.?. :-\

Who cares that the driver who is just trying to do his job and most likely feed his family, will if responsible, most likely react in panic mode. (At best shifting his/her load, at worst overreacting and loosing control of an 43,000-80,000lb vehicle and either run off the road trying to avoid killing you, or even worse run into or over another innocent motorist in an adjoining lane because of you.)

There are more truck accidents caused by this type of thing than anything else! (Do you honestly think that all the trucks you see turned over off the side of the highways were caused by the driver falling asleep? [laugh] 9 of every 10 incidents where a truck leaves the road is because the driver was forced to in order to avoid hitting what ever jumped in front of him/her and knowing it is impossible to stop! :mad: )

The drivers know that even if you are in a car, there is no such thing as a slight love tap by a Semi traveling at speed! If he/she connects with you the kinetic energy involved from that much weight in motion WILL BE EXPLOSIVE to say the least!
(Think smacking a raw egg with a hockey stick!)

Drivers react this way knowing that if you, or your bike screws up, or something on the road caused you to slow slightly, or God forbid lay it down, and you are passing at "five feet" he/she will definitely have to live with having killed you!

Truckers die EVERY day in this Nation trying to avoid killing ignorant individuals. :mad: When a truck turns over due to a quick steering reaction or leaving the road, two thirds of the time the driver is killed.

If a drivers load shifts due to trying to avoid you, do you really think that loads never break free on to the highway? Have you ever seen what kind of damage is done when a Large spool of web printing press paper or a steel coil (Both between 7-10 thousand pounds) breaks free uncontrolled at high way speeds?

Anything that dense with that much kinetic energy will literally rip right through the side of the trailer and more than one car if they are in-line with its trajectory when it breaks free. (Think about it. That's more than twice as heavy as the average car with no one controlling it or slowing it down. :eek: ) (Can you see through the tarps on flat beds or walls of the trailer on vans to know exactly what that particular truck is carrying, and how well it is secured?)

How many people should die because your actions? ??? ................"Who Cares?" :p

On a vehicle as nimble and fast accelerating as a motorcycle WHY would you find it necessary to pass with in "five feet"? You have the advantage here. Use it for your and your fellow motorists safety.

How do you like it when traveling at highway speeds on your bike when a car cuts in front of you at a distance of "Five Feet"? What does it matter that he cut into your safety margin? Who cares if you can't stop? I'm sure you wouldn't panic in the slightest in this scenario. :p
 

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I have no love for some of the truck drivers out there (the bad apples seem to be multiplying) but I agree 100% with Shadowchaser. In every situation on the road you need to keep in mind how the others around you might react to you and a smart driver/rider is considerate. I'm no angel by any means and drive/ride faster than I often should however try to never make moves that will negatively affect the flow of traffic in my wake. If I was driving along and some dick cut in front of a trucker causing him to hit the brakes in front of me, you bet your ass if and when I ever met up with the person who did that they'd get a lesson in respecting others on the road.
 

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I can't say I really agree. I should have clarified that I'm moving quite a bit faster than the truck, and there may not be very much room to make the pass. I'm also not necessarily talking about a nice uncrowded country highway. Also, if a trucker swerved or jammed the brakes in this scenario, he has zero training. These guys know what they're doing.

If you are going to plan to lay it down every time you change lanes, stop riding. The risk of being merged into by a soccer mom is astronomically higher. I don't change lanes if I don't see an opening and one or two exits. I'm not talking about riding blindfolded. I'm one hell of a lot more nimble than a semi - he should turn up the Johnny Cash, stay on course at 55, and let me worry about getting out of the way.

I appreciate that truckers need love too, but I don't agree with giving an entire truck length. Basically, as long as a big rig uses its signals, it will not hit me. Period. As long as he isn't trying to hit me, he aint catching my monster.

I am a little surprised at the hate. When you are commuting, you are telling me that if you see a nice opening, you will not take it unless you can give a nice steady lumbering semi truck a full truck length? That's impractical and I don't believe it for a second. You'd be stuck in traffic like a cager and at way more risk of some moron plowing into you. I say move fast and worry about what's in front.

Also, lethe, being an internet tough guy makes you a silly goose. Pardon my language.
 

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nerm said:
Also, lethe, being an internet tough guy makes you a silly goose. Pardon my language.
I'm merely pointing out how I feel about those who act in life as they are the only ones who matter. Riding in that manner is reckless and foolish. If you don't have more room to pass than five feet then you're going far too fast for the situation. Also, I never post anything I wouldn't be willing to say in a face to face conversation. If you wish to speak more of it, feel free to PM me at any point. Until then your contrary viewpoint on this topic takes away from an otherwise informative and worthwhile thread.
 

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lethe said:
Until then your contrary viewpoint on this topic takes away from an otherwise informative and worthwhile thread.
This is completely wrong. I am offering my own opinion which is directly related to the topic. How f-ing boring would any forum be if everyone had to agree with the original poster?

I'm saying I've always felt comfortable around big rigs because 1.) The drivers are experienced and competent and 2.) they can't and don't change course fast or unpredictably, at least in relation to a fast bike.

I am 100% with the truck-length passing in a car, but on a bike you can accelerate so quickly and have so many more escape paths than a car does. I feel comfortable zipping around trucks far more than with cars. If the driver knows what he's doing, he will stay on course. I'm not a fan of risking my own life so I do it when I feel that it's safe. You are saying I am being self-centered, but any scenario where my actions are putting the truck at risk of damage, I am dead. I don't want to die, so I'm careful. As long as the truck driver doesn't freak out, nothing will happen. And he won't. He knows swerving is a much bigger risk than just assuming I know what I'm doing.

I may be wrong, but I bet lots of other people ride this way. It's an interesting and pertinent topic.

Bottom Line: I feel like trucks are very predictable, so I am more comfortable passing them. Who the f**k knows what a car (especially a fast one) is going to do. That porsche owner might go full throttle because he sees my passing as a challenge. A truck is driven by a pro.

VVVV That's a good point, overall. I've never ridden in big city environments and I would probably be a lot more careful.
 

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I commute 250 miles a day and those 250 miles include country roads, the streets of New York City and the highways between. Trust me when I say to never assume anybody knows what the hell their doing. To assume every trucker out there is on top of his game all the time will get you killed. I've seen them do some scary **** that doesn't make an ounce of sense and I try to give them all as much room as possible at all times. I'm sure the good drivers appreciate that as well.
 

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A truck length may be a bit much in urban/heavy traffic circumstances, but five feet :-\ The driver may not even see you.
 

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howie and shadowchaser, thanks for the good will - I didn't get emails about this thread so sorry for the delay.

and nerm, i'm just over 5 feet short and thus am very familiar with that range - trust me that is too close to get to a semi under any circumstances* ;)


*given that you are not simply passing by in an adjacent lane. Even then...
 

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Steve-

As always, your thoughtful input is greatly appreciated. I have a feeling there a great many members reading this thread who have never really given any thought to this subject.

Good info here, fellas! [thumbsup]
 

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I think the majority of us are aware of the danger posed by semis, whether its common sense or sheer intimidation. Again, its refreshing to have specific guidelines, for sharing the road with rigs, layed out in an informative post. 8) I liiiike! (Borat - funny movie)

- HK
 

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Re: Question to Shadowchaser re: big rigs and motorcycles

SHADOWCHASER said:
Stay in the center of your lane PACE the truck, and briefly flash your high beams off and on to catch our attention. Watch the trucks turn signals too make sure he doesn't miss understand your intentions as welcoming him over into your lane.
I agree with everything you posted on page one, except flashing the lights. As you stated the trucker may confuse your intentions.

I always use my lights to signal trucks that it is ok for them to move over in front of me and it seems to be pretty universally accepted. So, I wouldn't want to confuse them as I am about to pass.
 
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