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Author Topic: Bandags for drivers?  (Read 4293 times)
Sean
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« on: March 04, 2009, 08:31:52 PM »

Folks,

I am on the horns of a dilemma.

My lovely Bridgestone M711 M&S drivers, in 12R22.5, have come to the end of their life.  Actually, one might argue they are past end-of-life.  I need new shoes, right now.

As I've said here many times before, we run block-tread "drive" tires on our drive axle for good reasons, and I don't really want to get into that debate here -- we're going to stick with them.  But I'm having trouble finding them in our preferred size, which is 315/80R22.5.

The last time we changed drive tires, we gave up trying to find 315's, and settled for the 12R22.5 size.  But with 24,000 lbs on the drive axle, I have to run those tires at very close to their maximum pressure of 120 psi.  It's hard to find truck stop air hoses that run enough pressure to keep them properly inflated, and, on top of that, I really feel that 95-100 psi would give us better performance in sand, mud, and snow.  (The load tables for the 315's say I can run as low as 90 psi for my load).

There are only three (AFAIK) drive-pattern tires in this size that are not speed-limited to 55mph.  Those are the Goodyear Regional RHD, the Continental HDR, and the Michelin XDN2-Grip (although if anyone is aware of any others, I am all ears).  Before anyone asks, yes, I have already checked Bridgestone/Firestone, Kumho, Yokohama, Toyo, and Goodrich.

Of these, I have already pretty much ruled out the Michelins, although they are an excellent tire, for two reasons.  First is that this is a directional tire, so I could never rotate them, unless I wanted to dismount/remount them to do so.  Secondly, they are $620 apiece (not including taxes, mounting, or balancing), and with my coach going through drivers in less than 100,000 miles, I can't see spending three grand on a set of them.

Calling around to Goodyear dealers suggests that the RHD exists only in the catalog and maybe some fantasy world someplace -- no one has them in that size, and can't seem to get them (for that matter, even the Michelins are hard to find in that size -- nearest is in South Carolina, and I'm in Whittier, California at the moment).  I will be calling around to Continental dealers tomorrow.

All this leads up to the $64,000 question.  I can get Bandag retreads made on a nice set of Michelin 315/80R22.5 casings (from a coach) in any tread pattern I'd like -- they have at least three M&S patterns that would work.  They'd cost me about $265 per tire before taxes and mounting.  So given the weight on our axle (24,000 lbs) and the way we use our bus (mostly keeping to 60mph or below, except when on Red Cross assignment, where we "wick it up" to 65-68 for maybe eight hours a day, five to ten days per year), what says the group here about running Bandags on the drive axle?  And yes, I know I am opening a can of worms, and that we've had similar discussions here in the past.

More importantly, is (or has) anyone here run retreads on their bus, and, if so, what was/is your experience with them?

Any and all opinions considered, but we need to make our decision in the next few days.  We're pretty much stuck here until we put six new tires on the coach (the steers, however, do not present the same problem).

Thanks.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 08:47:48 PM »

Sean my dad being a truck driver all his life and on the road most of it, always told me to never use caps if at all possible due to them just being a band aid type tire. You see them (gators) all over the highways and that in itself is telling you, it's just a matter of time before yours will join them. You get what you pay for is my theory and although the caps are cheaper NOW, it's the road service and NEW tire in the middle of somewhere that will take that savings away!

I would opt for the 12r22's since you already have had experience with them. Maybe go that route until you can get back on the cheap coast and find what your really looking for and then sell off the ones you bought out west!

Ace
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 08:49:51 PM »

Sean, I ran Bandags for years on my trucks on the drivers and the trailers with out problems.The new casing gave me more grief than the recaps, one problem with the Bandags or any cap is balancing. Over the years I have found Dunlop to be a good source for lug tires         good luck
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 09:04:30 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 09:31:05 PM »

Sean:

I'll let others weigh in on your question about the recaps, but I will throw out some info regarding the tire manufacturers and shipping locations.

I spent a few years as an automation consultant for the tire industry, and have been in most of the major tire manufacturing plants in the U.S.   Since you mentioned you are currently in California, it is unfortunate that you aren't anywhere near any of the major plants.  For some reason, all of the tire plants are located in the central US or further east.  Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are about as far west as they go.

This may be more trivia than useful information, but here are some details...

If you go the Goodyear route, your tires will likely be produced in Topeka, Kansas or Danville, VA.  In addition to truck/bus tires, Topeka's plant also produced the huge earth mover type tires and the military's Hummer tires. Danville is also a big truck tire producer as well as aircraft tires.

If you go the Continental route, your tires will be produced in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  After a nasty Union strike in Charlotte NC, they closed that facility and invested heavily in the non-union Mt. Vernon plant.  Continental also has a joint venture with Toyo in that facility.

Michelin is based out of Greenville SC and they have a number of plants in North and South Carolina. They also have plants in Nova Scotia, and a few other US sites.  Michelin also owns the Goodrich brand and produces their tires.  Ardmore, OK was a big site for them, although I'm not sure that plant is still producing for them.

Again, this doesn't help answer your question, just a bunch of related info.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 09:40:45 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 09:36:11 PM »

If re-manufactured tires create trouble, you can be sure that the big fleets, both truck and bus, would not be using them. Just in time freight delivery and passenger travel are two places that a fleet simply cannot afford downtime in any way, shape or form.

There is simply no verifiable measurements against re-manufactured tires. period.

At best, this is a superstitious or spiritual based decision for those with anti-re-man beliefs.

The gators at roadside are no more representative of re-mans than of virgin casings. And they're all overwhelmingly caused by low tire pressure, or by being run with obvious and existing tire damage.

The government funded the research back some years ago, sent the university kids out to collect gators in an appropriate fashion, and studied the debris.

They had an eye on whether some regulation might be required to rein in these supposed troublesome tires.

The way a tire died is as plain to these folks as what a dead body is to the coroner.

Wish I knew where that body of work is...that set of links died two computers ago....

Bandag is a worthy name in re-man circles. Goodyear and Michelin have their house brand re-mans too. The good ones have extensive quality control, and warranty the re-mans generously.

My Freightshaker runs on re-mans, and depending on my tire trade cycle amongst the heavy vehicles within my sphere of influence, the coach will too, without a second thought.

Make them balance the tires, to alleviate any suspicions.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 09:43:29 PM »

If the Bandag bullet doesn't convince you at least its cool to hear a 16v92 screaming its guts out
 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 09:45:45 PM by quantum500 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 11:18:05 PM »

We use recaps on all our trucks. I very seldom have a tire problem anymore.
The old caps used to use a "cold bonding" process. Really all they did to make those was slather some sort of glue on the carcase and bond the already formed tread onto the carcase. It was kinda problamatic to say the least.
They now use a hot bonding process that really bonds the tread to the tire. It has turned out to be much longer lasting.
I just replaced the caps on my last truck and had 250 k on them. I usually get 300k on virgins. Hopefully that helps some.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 11:28:06 PM »

Sean- try looking at Dunlop commercial tires.  I ran Dunlops on my truck since it was front heavy (14200lbs) and they worked well.  Dunlop makes a 315/80R22.5 SP581 that is an on/off highway all position, but has an aggressive tread pattern.  It is an 68mph tire.  I don't know the quality of Dunlop since Goodyear owns them now. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 06:09:17 AM »

Sean,

I ran bandags on my trucks for years with no more problems than I had with new tires. Most of the problems seem to be with bad casings. You already use best practices I think, keep them properly inflated, check for damage, and

CHECK THE CASING THOROUGHLY!!! Then, have whoever is doing the capping check the casing. If you don't think the tech did a good job, politely gather up your casings & go to another dealer. This may be harder than it sounds but I had a choice of 3 dealers when I was trucking. I had a feeling that one tech was not always using best practices when capping. Mind you, I could not watch the actual process but what I could see did not seem to be exactly right. One of those "I don't see any thing wrong with what is being done but SOMETHING is not EXACTLY RIGHT". I had most of my problems, which were not many, were with that dealers caps. Mind you, between me & my family and friends, we had close to 100 trucks, so we had a bigger base to draw experience from. Once we quit using that particular dealer, our problems were almost nil.

Use the bandags. I don't think you will be sorry.

FWIW,

TOM
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 06:47:03 AM »

I had recaps on the drives on my converted Courier 96 for a while: no problems at all.

We always have recaps on the drives and tags on the hockey team's bus with no problems. Just keep them inflated properly.

On my Courier 96, I now run virgin take offs that I get from a trucker friend of mine. 1  to 2 years old, 50 to 75% tread, $100 per. Works for me and him because $100 is what he would get for the casing value. Might be worth a call to some trucking companies.

JC
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 08:13:19 AM »

Sean, consider the forces a large cargo aircraft puts on tires and that being said if recaps are not safe how is it that they are commonly used on aircraft.  Good carcasses and a careful shop equals tires that will perform just like the originals.  John
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 08:16:01 AM »

Hi Sean,
Did you get the answer you needed?  Grin

I am confused by your comment on rotating the tires; rotate the drivers where? They are drivers they stay there for life but if you must rotate them; change the inside left to outside right and outside left to inside right and so on. The tires are now rotated from crown to shoulder and inner to outer and still turning the same direction.
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 09:10:57 AM »

I found it! Isn't the internet and search engines terrific?

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crash%20Avoidance/2008/811060.pdf

this is the study, warning to the slower connected, it's a 236 page research paper.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 10:09:18 AM »

Some interesting reading.
22 gallons of oil to make a new tire vs 7 gallons for a retread.
Most failures from 2 year old tires, least from 16 year old tires. Statistics are wonderful. Should I buy only 16 year old tires or their numbers are so low because there are so few on the road.
Three basic types of retreads; 1 hot cap at 300 degrees and 2 cold cap at 200 degrees.
Re-grooving is still being done; mostly in the bus industry.
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 11:12:45 AM »

Sean…glad you ask. My recap tire experiences in the 60’s were only used in van trailer…never on truck tractor, sausage trucks and concrete trucks where I have worked. They were not Bandag (unknown to us then) but made by local recap company.

Now since I have read Bandag’s history and process, I have learned that their processing of recapping tires is difference of the one I have known. So it maybe more cost effective route. Thank you Sean for me to update the subject via research on the internet.

Most ripped tire junk I ever seen in close-up have steel wire in them which mean casing fail due to improper tire’s inflation. In other words, whenever we see them, it not always from recapped tire.

Suggestion…look for the latest casing build date before purchasing. All tires still have weathering curing life. Curing rate is faster with heat.

Good:
1)   Is the prices is right
2)   They have special selection for buses
3)   At least 2 years casing warranty
4)   Four years thread warranty
5)   Dealers and service available in most of the USA states
6)   On the road service repair from them

Bad:
1)   After 2 years warranty on casing…you are on your own
2)   After 4 years warranty on thread…you are on your own
3)   The risk of ripping the bus’s fender after the 2 years
4)   New tire casing will add a few more years of life over old tire casing.
5)   If you can only get half of life for what new tire casing…you may be purchasing 2 recap for one new tire.

Environmental Story

The following is a part of their quote from the link.

They see the large chunks of scrap rubber on our highways and are quick to blame retreads for that mess.
According to the Tire Retread Information Bureau it is basically an educational challenge for the retread industry. Because that scrap rubber usually has a tread pattern in it, most people just assume it is out there because a retread failed. If you take a closer look, you will almost always see wire in the scrap rubber. Retreaders don’t put any wire in the rubber they put on a tire casing. The wire indicates a casing failure not a retread failure. The truth of the matter is that scrap rubber is the result of tires which self-destruct due to insufficient air pressure and heat buildup.

The rubber along the road could just as well be from a new tire or a tire that has never been retreaded. The real reason scrap rubber is on our highways is because a truck carrying a heavy load probably had a tire that was either injured in route or started the trip with an insufficient amount of air. A radial truck tire traveling down the highway under a heavy load is already running at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. For every two pounds of under inflation the temperature increases by as much as five degrees. If a tire is seriously under-inflated, it becomes hotter and hotter until the components inside the tire weaken and tear apart spreading wire-embedded rubber all over the highway. Under these circumstances, neither the newness of the tire nor its status as a retread or “virgin” will have any effect on the tire’s fate. If you still think there is a safety issue with retreads, you might be surprised to learn that if you ever ride a commercial jet you are probably taking off and landing on retreads. Even military jets are equipped with retreaded tires.

Retreads are the replacement tire of choice for school bus fleets. And those small package fleets with guaranteed delivery times, you guessed it, that dependability is delivered on cost effective retreads. Despite the public’s misperception about retreading and scrap rubber, truck fleet managers who have the facts know they can cut their tire cost in half and not sacrifice any reliability by using a sound retreading program. Since tires are the third largest expense after labor and fuel in running a fleet, those savings represent a substantial competitive advantage. In North America, trucking fleets are already purchasing as many retreads as new replacement tires. With the recent introduction of Application Specific™ retread products, many trucking fleets are finding they can actually get better performance from the technology enhanced retreads than they do from a quality new tire.

From an environmental point of view, retreaded tires give you a number of benefits. Retreads play a major role in conserving our fossil fuels. Truck tires are basically petrochemical products. It takes 22 gallons of oil to manufacture just one new truck tire. Most of that oil is found in the casing which is reused in the retreading process. As a result, only seven gallons of oil are needed to retread that same tire, generating savings of hundreds of millions of gallons of oil.

A second environmental benefit comes in the form of avoiding a disposal option. Truck tire casings that are retreaded don’t require a trip to the landfill or other even costlier disposal options.

There is a reason truck fleet managers are so serious about getting the maximum return on their tire investment. Unlike a new passenger car tire which might cost between $25 and $100 (unless your car requires performance tires), a new truck tire might cost in excess of $400. Since there are 18 tires on most trucks, the per truck investment for new tires is between $5,000 and $6,000.
However, truckers enjoy a little bit of a wear advantage over the family buggy.

While the typical auto owner might be ecstatic with a set of tires that deliver 60,000 to 70,000 miles, long-haul truckers routinely expect between 200,000 and 300,000 miles from their tires before they retread them for another 200,000 to 300,000 miles. If they are properly maintained they might be retreaded twice, racking up a total life of 700,000 to 900,000 miles. Many new tire manufacturers actually warrant their truck tire casings to have a useful life in excess of 700,000
miles. Even with all those miles, the tire will not disintegrate on the highway unless it is run at an insufficient air pressure level.

With all of the comforts and conveniences we enjoy, trucks and tires will continue to play a role in the world’s most efficient transportation system. Scrap rubber along the side of the road will unfortunately continue to be an annoyance for the immediate future.

Education and modern technology is helping to remediate the scrap rubber problem. As trucking fleets track their operating costs on computers they are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting their tire investment with good air pressure maintenance programs.

Suppliers to the trucking industry are introducing technology which will make it possible to monitor air pressure levels from inside the cab of a truck. However, until all of that technology is in place, we would all do well to remember that we are served by the world’s best logistics system. The dedicated truckers and trucking fleets that deliver all of those products our hearts desire are doing it with one of the most cost effective transportation systems in the world. With improving technology allowing for the recycling of even more tires, that carry those trucks across North America, we should see additional efficiencies that benefit all of us.

Bandags No Detour

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 01:45:29 PM »

All this leads up to the $64,000 question.  I can get Bandag retreads made on a nice set of Michelin 315/80R22.5 casings (from a coach) in any tread pattern I'd like -- they have at least three M&S patterns that would work.  They'd cost me about $265 per tire before taxes and mounting.  So given the weight on our axle (24,000 lbs) and the way we use our bus (mostly keeping to 60mph or below, except when on Red Cross assignment, where we "wick it up" to 65-68 for maybe eight hours a day, five to ten days per year), what says the group here about running Bandags on the drive axle?  And yes, I know I am opening a can of worms, and that we've had similar discussions here in the past.

More importantly, is (or has) anyone here run retreads on their bus, and, if so, what was/is your experience with them?

I've never run recaps on a coach.  I had them on the drives of my tractor when I drove big trucks, and never had a problem with them.  They are ROUNDER than factory tires, because the casings have already been broken in before the Bandag caps get put on, so they come out of the oven the same shape they'll be on the wheel.

The only consideration on caps is tire inflation.  If you run caps, check them EVERY MORNING, add or dump air as you need to.  If I were to put caps on my coach, I would install an automatic pressure gauge, either CatsEyes or one of those with the radio transmitter.
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2009, 03:50:54 PM »

I am confused by your comment on rotating the tires; rotate the drivers where? They are drivers they stay there for life but if you must rotate them; change the inside left to outside right and outside left to inside right and so on. The tires are now rotated from crown to shoulder and inner to outer and still turning the same direction.


Generally we rotate the drivers from side to side.  That means they end up turning in the opposite direction.

We can't rotate from inside to outside without a dismount/remount -- aluminum outers with steel inners (the lands are not deep enough for dualed aluminums).

To answer another suggestion -- we already have tire monitors.  We have the type that monitors both pressure and temperature, and adjusts the alarm thresholds for pressure based on temperature.  The added benefit is early warning about overheating brakes or hubs.

Because of the way the monitor works, when we rotate tires, we rotate the duals side-for-side, and we "X" the steers and tags, which has the effect of "reversing" the display on the monitor.  The little graphic on the monitor has a "windshield" to connote vehicle direction, and when we rotate the tires, the windshield becomes the "rear window," so to speak.  This avoids the very tedious process of reprogramming every one of the eight sensors.

-Sean
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2009, 03:53:41 AM »

I had the good fortune to meet the owner of Bandang, (deceased now) He was putting on a big customer appreciating steak dinner for one of there distributors. He have on show some great looking 18 wheeler racing trucks. He also gave me a tour of his  fabulous Eagle conversion, it had the roof raised 18" it sure was a gem. He was one of a kind.

John
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2009, 08:17:08 AM »

hi sean i live in costa rica and most people use the buss to get around and go work you can get a bus to anywhere
bandags has a plant hear and i would say 99 0/0 use bandags if you bring in a cassing it first goes through a check
and testing if it fails there control they wont use it i guess my point is we have a lot of bad roads heer some bus routes
run on graval or dirt if they hold up in costa rica i think you would be ok in the usa john
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2009, 06:29:44 PM »




Sean

  Go to buscentral .com   They have the tie rod ends you need.

Just 110,000 dollars.  also get a lot more spare parts

just kidding   

uncle ned
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2009, 06:40:23 PM »

Uncle Ned,

I see the name Huggy Bear, do you have that great guys old coach. I used to see Huggy at the rallys, he really new his bus work, he could fix anything on a bus.
He did lots to one of my 04,s when it was owned by Bob Vorech, I miss both those guys.

John
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2009, 09:09:26 PM »

Sean...I've been in trucking in one form or another for 34 of my 51 years and can say this;
At one time you were taking some risks with recaps...however...ESPECIALLY with the Bandags they are GREAT tires.
And I've read all the studies and see a lot of 'Gators' on the road...most are from new tires, not recaps.
The whole thing is about proper inflation!
Jack
PS...I once worked for the man that kept seeing uneven wear on the edges of steering tires, (It's called 'Scalloping') and said, "Hey, why not cut a thin groove around the edge of the tires and see if that will provide some releif on the edge..."
PSS...not trying to hyjack the thread...however in a few years a lot of us will have the "Super Single" tires and wheels on our buses.
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2009, 08:57:35 PM »

Thought I would post an update here with the final outcome of all the tire ruminations.

We came very close to buying the Bandags.  What ultimately nixed that idea was the Bandag guy himself, who basically told us that he would not stand behind the tire if we were going to run it at 90-95 PSI -- he wanted to see at least 110 PSI in the tire.

Well, that defeated the whole purpose of switching to the 315/80R22.5 size.  At 110 PSI, the 12R22.5 tires we've been running are more than adequate to support our load.  The idea, for us, behind switching to the larger size was to run a lower pressure to help with loose surfaces such as sand and mud.  (And, yes, we do park on the beach, and we have been through plenty of mud, getting stuck once.)

Furthermore, one of the tools in our chest for dealing with soft surfaces, which we have thankfully never had to use, is to lower the pressure in the drive tires if needed, as any off-road enthusiast will tell you.  Manufacturer load and inflation tables allow a substantial drop in pressure (or increase in load) at extremely low speeds, and we could conceivably drop our tire pressures to 70 PSI or even lower to get out of soft stuff, then use our on-board 150 PSI compressor to re-inflate to normal pressure before resuming driving speeds.

With the advice against running the tire below 110 PSI, we felt that we'd be more nervous doing this with a re-treaded 315 than with a virgin tire, even the 12R.

After we ruled out re-treaded 315's, I went back to the phones to try to find open-shoulder drive tires in either size.  315's were extremely difficult to locate, and I was not happy with the couple of patterns we could come up with.  The tires I really wanted in that size, Goodyear Regional RHD or Continental HDR, were unavailable.  Even the Michelins were scarce, assuming I wanted to pay $660 a tire (gulp).  To top it all off, on virgin rubber, the difference in Federal Excise Tax between the two sizes came to $25 per tire.

Once we regrouped and converged back on the 12R22.5 size, which itself was scarce in our tread pattern, we decided to again evaluate the Bandags, looking at capping our existing casings.  That would have had us on blocks at the tire shop for three days, plus my casings are DOT 1304, making them five years old this month -- we'd only consider running them for another year or so, at most.

In the end, I was able to locate a set of four Bridgestone M711's, the very same tire we were already running, with 4708 dates.  Way more money than the Bandags, but I am confident I will get another four years and 80,000 miles or so out of them, which is what the last set gave me.

We also switched out our cupped Goodyear 315/80R22.5 steer tires for a pair of virgin Firestone FS560s in the 12R22.5 size.  I won't run recaps or used tires on the steer axle, but I was darned if I was going to put another set of $550 tires on an axle that has demonstrated a propensity to cup tires in a mere 20,000 miles or so.  At least not until we can cure whatever is causing the premature wear.

Total bill, with six tires, FET, CA state tax, mounting, and two spin-balance (steers only) came to $3,400.  Of that, the drivers were $486 apiece, plus $36.76 FET.  I think capping my existing casings would have run less than $200 apiece, and no FET at all.

Posted to inform (or appall, as the case may be).

I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to post their advice here.  I think, had circumstances been just a bit different, we may well have gone with the re-treads.  In fact, we may look at re-treading this set in about three year's time, before they are worn to the belts and when they still have a few years of casing life left.  And I am certainly going to look into re-treading the tag tires when they wear out, or at least trading them for re-treads on clean casings.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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