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Author Topic: Bandags for drivers?  (Read 4083 times)
BG6
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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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Sean
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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
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
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johns4104s
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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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crown
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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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john
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uncle ned
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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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johns4104s
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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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jackhartjr
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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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Jack Hart, CDS
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Sean
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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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