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Do Semi Trucks Shed Tires? (16 Facts You Didn’t Know)

Both new and old tires experience wear and tear which can lead to undesirable results. 

Some tires may blow out, while others may break apart, the key is to keep them well maintained. 

Here’s a short summary on Whether Semi Trucks Shed Tires:

Semi trucks shed tires when they are wrong out. This typically happens to tires that have been retreaded, which means the bald tire has been fixed with fresh treads on the outside. If these treads are not maintained, or experience a lot of stress, they may rip off and fall onto the roadways. 

Do Semi Trucks Shed Tires?

Semi trucks do shed tires, but the reasons why may be different than you previously thought.

Semi truck tires go through a process known as “retreading”. This is when a balding tire is deemed acceptable but in need of repair.

If a semi truck tire is thought to be salvageable, then a new tread is attached to the old tire which is known as the casting. This gives the balding tire traction once again so that it can be used for a longer period of time. 

New treading is typically applied by heating new tread to old castings which fuses them together.

Tires shed because either the casting was done poorly, or the truck’s weight or friction caused the tread to crack and break off. 

Do New Tires in a Semi Truck Shed or Pull off?

New tires can certaining shed or pull off under the right conditions or if they were applied incorrectly.

Shedding is when the tire rips at the tread, and for a tire to pull off means the tire has fallen off of the rim. 

Shedding of a new tire can occur when the tire is poorly inflated if the roadways are rough and/or very hot. If a tire is inflated poorly it can cause too much uneven pressure on the rubber and cause it to break.

Roadway conditions can break the tire from debris and a very hot roadway can cause the rubber and metal to warp and the pressure to become unevenly distributed. 

The leading cause of a new tire pulling off is if the tire was applied to the truck incorrectly. This can mean it was crooked when it was put on, or the tire may have been misshapen. This can cause it to pop off the rim. 

Do Retreaded Tires in a Semi Truck Shed or Pull off?

Yes, retreaded tires can shed and pull off under the right conditions.

Retreaded tires are more susceptible to shedding than new semi truck tires because the conditions which cause new tires to shed are exacerbated with retreaded tires. 

Heat and debris on roadways can more easily impact retreaded areas on a semi truck tire, especially if the retreading job was poorly done. This is the leading cause of treaded tires breaking off and shedding. 

The reasons for a tire pulling off is similar to a new tire, but it can also be caused by pulling points on the tire which causes certain spots on the tire to be more susceptible to wear.

So, over time, this can wear the tire down and cause it to break or fall off. 

At what Mileage do Semi Truck Tires Shed?

Shedding can occur at any time if you do not adhere to safe driving and conscientious maintenance. However, shedding may be more likely to occur when the lifespan of a tire runs out. 

Most tires last about 25-75,000 miles before needing to be replaced. Of course, the tire itself is salvageable if retreaded before damage occurs to the tires.

But, if you are reaching this mileage mark you may want to check up on your tire tread.

Why do Semi Trucks Shed Tires?

The main reason semi truck tires shed is due to roadway conditions, weak points in the tire, or poor inflation of the tire. 

Of these, poor inflation is the leading cause of tire shedding. This is because the weight of the truck presses on the tire and can cause the wear on the tire to be uneven and more intense. 

Roadway conditions are another prime factor. The prime season for tire blowouts in the U.S. is between late spring and early fall.

This is because heat is such an integral part of your tire’s lifespan since it causes the interior and exterior of the tire to warp and become uneven. 

Another less common issue is roadway debris. If your tire is in good shape, it’s not necessarily invincible but it can prevent a great deal of small debris from impacting your tire intensely.

But, debris can wear out your semi truck tire or puncture and break it. 

Be sure to pay attention to all these factors and signs on your tire of wear to ensure the lifespan is extended. 

Is it Bad if your Semi Truck Shed Tires?

The simple answer is, it certainly isn’t good for your tire to shed. Most of the time, it is harmless since the tread shedding does not necessarily mean the tire has broken completely or is no longer driveable. 

With that being said, you should only drive it to the nearest rest stop or truck stop.

The best option is to pull over and get roadside assistance if possible and you are far from the next stop. If you see smoke from the tire, it is best to stop right away.

It could be the rubber burning as it sheds, but if it explodes it can damage cars beside you or cause you to lose control. 

When a tire sheds, it may make you lose traction, it can cause it to shed further, or cause the tire to break under pressure because it lost some support.

Tires are expensive to replace, so tire shedding can be a costly affair as well. 

Aren’t Tire Treads on the Road Dangerous for Other Vehicles?

One of the biggest threats posed by tire treads in the roadways is on highways.

If a tire sheds or blows out on a highway (which is where most tires shed or blow out) it can cause vehicles traveling at high speeds to be knocked off course.  

Additionally, if smaller vehicles do not see them and attempt to swerve to dodge them at high speeds, they may hit another vehicle. This is largely a problem on highways as well, since it is easier to dodge roadway debris at slower speeds than high speeds. 

How Long can you Drive a Semi Truck with Tires Without Treads?

This depends upon how bad the damage is.

Overall, if you notice your tire has shed the tread, you should get it fixed as soon as possible and try to avoid driving on it. Many drivers will take their trucks to the nearest rest stop for repairs. 

As long as the inner belts and structure of the tire are not exposed, then it generally meets regulations.

It is not recommended that you finish a route with a shed tire, however, you may still get to a close repair center. 

Many drivers do not notice their tires have shedded and may continue driving until the rubber wears down and the tire receives further damage.

This is not recommended, so it is best if you notice the tire shed, to try to get it repaired sooner rather than later.  

Are Tires without Treads considered as a Tire Blowout?

Although a shed tire can lead to a blowout, they are not the same thing. A tire blowout is when the tire explodes more or less, due to wear, pressure, a lack of inflation, too much inflation, or the loss of a tread. 

If your tire loses its tread or sheds, this can expose the tire further to damage from the roadway. A shed tire has less protection from debris, from objects which can puncture it, or from the heat pressure. 

A blowout can occur if the heat is too much on the bald tire, or a sharp object punctures the bald tire, which is potentially hazardous to the driver and other motorists.

Why do Truckers Retread Tires instead of using New ones?

The main reason truck drivers retread their tires is to save money. Truck drivers can easily spend thousands of dollars each year to get new tires so retreading is an excellent way for them to save money. 

A side benefit of retreading a tire is it saves the world a lot of wasted rubber and keeps tires out of landfills longer. This is why in the long run it is more affordable and beneficial to you and the world.  

As long as they are monitored and you keep the appropriate upkeep, they are perfectly safe to operate with and can save you a lot of money each year. 

Can you Retread all the Tires in a Semi Truck?

Yes, you can. You want to be sure you are getting the retreading done correctly and well, however. You would hate to have all of your tires retreaded poorly and thus have multiple tires fail while driving. 

This can be prevented by getting them done by a professional, or learning to do it yourself and guaranteeing it’s done well. 

Another important factor is, of course, maintenance. Make sure they are all maintained and you have them properly inflated.

As long as they are done well and maintained properly, you should not be concerned about retreaded tires any more than regular tires.

How many Times can you Retread a Semi Truck Tire?

Typically, a semi truck tire may be retreaded up to three times for long-haul trucks.

This means, if you are traveling far distances in your truck, it may not be a good idea to retread it more than this, because the balded tire may have gotten damaged and thus cause wear on the tire itself. 

For local driving or for waste management trucks operating in cities and towns, retreads can be done up to 5 times. This is because they experience less friction due to the lower speed at which they travel. 

Why are Tires called Gators?

Actually, the reason these tire shells are called gators is fairly obvious: it’s because they appear similar to an alligator’s body.

The treads are thought to resemble the alligator’s rough and bumpy skin and the color looks similar to a dark green alligator. 

Another resemblance is in how the tires appear when they are shed. They typically sort of curl into an arch that resembles an alligator’s body when it is moving in the water.

That is why these tires bear that name, they sort of looks like an alligator, or a gator. 

What do the Regulations say about Retreading Tires on a Semi?

The primary legal code which regulates semi truck tires is the federal code CFR 393.75. You can find the full code here:

In a summary, however, this code specifies that tires must be intact and inflated while in operation. Intact means that no inner tubing or belts may be exposed on the tire. The tire must not be cracked and separated from the rim. 

Additionally, the code specifies that treads must be 4/32-2/32 inches in depth in order to pass inspection.

These inspections are typically performed at stations and by local law enforcement. If your tire sheds or blows out, it is important to get appropriate repairs as soon as possible. 

How can you Prevent your Semi Truck from Shedding Tires?

The best way to prevent shedding or blowouts for your tires is to ensure they are properly inflated. Inflation is the number one cause of blowouts and shedding because it is the root cause of many other issues. 

An under or over-inflated tire is more susceptible to heat strain while driving and more likely to blow out or shed. This can occur to old retreaded tires or brand new tires, so make sure this is maintained properly!

Another way to prolong the life of your tire and prevent shedding is to not speed. This can cause unnecessary friction to your tires and make them wear out much faster.

Also, avoid standing water, or allowing your vehicle to rest in puddles since this can wear out your tires. 

Make sure you rotate your tires and follow the manufacturer’s instructions about when and how to. 

What are the Best Tires for Semi Trucks?

Michelin tires are considered one of the best brands of tires for semi trucks.

They have a couple of different lines, from the X Energy D and the X Energy Z model. They are each equipped with great traction and resistance to shaking which helps maintain a straight path and easy turns. 

Another similar yet cheaper brand of semi truck tires is BFGoodrich. BFGoodrich has great treads and steering capabilities so that you can drive safely. 

The best thing to look for in tires for your truck is longevity and abilities. Some are better designed for long distances, while others are especially good for wet roadways and snow driving.

It’s important you know your routes when getting your tires!