Tuesday, July 13th 2004, 9:27 AM CDT
Monday's accident on the Turner Turnpike resulted in a fire, a destroyed tractor trailer, but no serious injuries.
Some at the scene speculated it was a re-tread tire that came apart and caused the accident. News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells did some checking on re-tread tires and says he found some interesting things about tires in general and re-treads in particular.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who investigated Monday's accident it was caused by a blown front tire. Those in the industry tell us most over the road trucks run re-treads everywhere but the front tires and they say not all that loose rubber on the highway is coming off re-treads.
Jim Hill with Mileage Masters: "I'd say a good estimate is 50-50, because I mean, the same thing is going to kill new tires as a re-tread, they lose air, get hot and they just un-ravel."
Hill says most trucks on the highway are running on re-treads and they are safe. Re-treads are inspected several times during the process and that new tread is pressure cooked on at high temperatures for 3 and 1/2 hours.
A trucker can save up to two thirds the cost of a new tire buying a re-tread, it helps them stay competitive.
Here's the little nugget of information for all of us from this, the biggest enemy of tires new or re-tread is low tire pressure, keep them aired up especially in the summer heat.