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Where Do “Road Alligators” Come From?

  • September 20, 2019
  • Tire Retreading ,

The Myth Behind Tire Retreads & Road Alligators

Commercial truck drivers all over the United States are familiar with the art of dodging debris on the road from blown-out tires (or “road alligators”). While many mistakenly believe that this debris is due to the use of tire retreads, fleets will be surprised to learn that tire retreads may not be the main culprit behind road alligators. In fact, learning where these obstacles truly originate may help fleet managers save money on unnecessary repair costs.


The Myth Behind Tire Retreads & Road Alligators


While tire retreads have historically been pegged as the culprits behind road alligators, recent studies have shown that this is actually not the case. In fact, one study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed a sample of truck tire debris found on the highways in five different U.S. states. The results of the study concluded that of the road debris that was identifiable, 78% came from new tires and 22% came from tire retreads.


Furthermore, an additional NHTSA study concluded that the most common causes of tire failure were road hazards (38%) and maintenance problems (32%). Put simply, the main reasons for tire blowouts can be traced to unsafe driving patterns and failure to stick to a preventative maintenance plan. Fleet managers need to ensure each of their commercial drivers is prepared to practice safe driving methods and understands their individual role in the fleet’s preventative maintenance strategy.


Preventative Maintenance for Extended Retread Tire Life


Fleet managers should discuss the maintenance strategy with each of their drivers so they can practice tire safety throughout the duration of their travel. The following should be employed by all commercial truck drivers:


  • Before Departure: Prior to leaving, drivers should perform a thorough inspection of their tires. Elements such as tire pressure, tread depth, and structural integrity should be in optimal condition before ever hitting the road.
  • During Travel: Drivers should perform visual inspections at each rest stop, taking note of changes in tread depth or tire pressure and addressing as needed.
  • After Arrival: Once a driver has reached their destination, they should once again inspect their tires thoroughly. Any damage incurred should be immediately addressed to avoid unnecessary tire failure and lost productivity.


In addition, drivers should practice safe driving habits as doing so can decrease wear and tear on tire retreads. The best way for fleet managers to implement a preventative maintenance strategy and ensure safe driving across their commercial operation is by partnering with a tire retread provider.


STTC Preventative Maintenance for Your Tire Retreads


STTC employs the most advanced tire retreading techniques in the industry, providing fleet managers with safe, reliable commercial truck tires they can trust. With our personalized preventative tire maintenance plans, we’ll create a customized solution to help extend the life of your tire retreads even further. Contact our team today to find out more about how partnering with STTC can help your fleet’s tires stay on the road for longer!