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November 7, 2023

Repair, Retread, Or Replace: OTR Tires For Heavy Equipment

Off-the-road tires — the unsung heroes of many construction sites or industrial operations. Their condition can significantly impact the efficiency of the operation as well as your company’s overall cost-effectiveness — it’s one of the most significant investments in your business. Knowing when to repair an OTR tire rather than replace it can save you unnecessary downtime that cuts productivity and pushes deadlines, all while saving you a whole lot of cash. 


Identifying common types of damage on your OTR tire is pivotal and should be done daily. You should look for flaws such as:

  • Punctures and cuts: Find any holes or gashes in the tire’s surface. These damages are typically caused by sharp objects, such as rocks, debris, or metal, penetrating the tire’s structure. They can lead to air loss, reduced tire performance, and, in severe cases, tire failure.
  • Separation: Separation occurs when the components of the tire, such as the tread or the steel belts, detach or separate from each other. Various factors, including manufacturing defects, overloading, or irregular wear, can cause this. Separation can significantly impact tire stability and safety.
  • Impact breaks: Impact breaks are damages that result from sudden and forceful impacts with obstacles, such as potholes or curbs. These breaks may weaken the tire’s internal structure and compromise its integrity. Impact breaks can lead to hidden internal damage that may not be immediately visible.
  • Heat separation: Heat separation occurs when excessive heat is generated during prolonged use, especially at high speeds or under heavy loads. The excessive heat can cause the internal structure of the tire to separate or weaken, decreasing tire life and creating safety risks.
  • Over deflection: Over deflection results from a tire being used beyond its intended load capacity, causing it to deform or flex excessively. Over-deflection can result in structural damage, including tread distortion, sidewall damage, or internal fatigue, and create serious safety hazards.
  • Bead fatigue: Bead fatigue occurs when the tire’s bead area, which is responsible for securing the tire to the rim, weakens or becomes damaged. This can result from improper mounting, demounting, or excessive bead stress. Bead fatigue may lead to tire detachment from the rim, causing catastrophic failure.

When left unnoticed, damage to your OTR tire can have costly consequences and dangerous ones that put those operating heavy machinery in harm’s way. East Bay Tire recommends relying on one of our many tire service locations to learn more about our service and to protect your investments.


When deciding whether or not a tire is replaceable, there are a lot of factors to take into account:

  1. Size and Location of Damage: The physical characteristics of the damage, including its size, location on the tire (sidewall, tread, bead area, etc.), and depth, are crucial considerations. Minor and superficial damages may be reparable, while larger or deeper ones might necessitate replacement.
  2. Type of Damage: Different types of damage can impact a tire’s repairability. Common types include punctures, cuts, impact breaks, and heat separation. Understanding the nature of the damage is essential in making the right decision.
  3. Repair Standards: There are industry standards and guidelines for OTR tire repair, which outline what types of damage can be safely repaired and which cannot. These standards consider factors like the size of the repair, the location of the tire, and the repair method to be employed.
  4. Consulting with Experts: It’s advisable to consult with tire experts or one of our service centers that specialize in OTR tire repair and have the necessary experience. Our expertise can help evaluate the extent of the damage accurately and recommend whether a repair is a viable option.
  5. Tire History: The history of the tire, including its age, previous repairs, and overall condition, plays a role in the decision-making process. Older or extensively repaired tires may be less suitable for further rehabilitation.
  6. Equipment and Usage: The type of equipment the tire is mounted on and its typical usage conditions are vital factors. Tires on heavy machinery subjected to rugged terrains may require different considerations than those on lighter equipment used in less challenging environments.
  7. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Conducting a cost-benefit analysis is crucial. While repairing a tire may seem like a cost-effective option, especially for expensive OTR tires, it’s essential to weigh the repair cost against the potential benefits and longevity of the tire post-repair.
  8. Safety: Safety should always be a top priority. Assess whether repairing the tire compromises its safety or performance, which could lead to accidents or operational issues. In such cases, replacement may be the safer choice.
  9. Environmental Impact: Consider the environmental impact of tire repair versus replacement. Repairing tires can be more sustainable by reducing waste correctly and safely.


Retreading your tires offers many positive benefits, the most important being safety. When East Bay Tire receives tires for retreading, we put them through a rigorous inspection before even beginning the retreading process. Attention to detail must ensure that the retread tires are produced as safely as possible. Once they are retread, the tires are as safe as a brand-new one.

Another important benefit of retreading is the cost savings that come with it! When worn-out tires are retreaded, you’re able to enjoy premier tires without paying the premium prices that come attached to new tires.

You’ll also get the benefit of feeling a bit heroic, as retreading tires is an eco-friendly practice that uses significantly less oil and keeps rubber out of landfills.  


To avoid mistakes, downtime, and loss of tire life, visit East Bay Tire, where we can offer a range of repair services such as:

  • The capacity to retread the largest OTR tires in the world, including section and spot repair
  • Wheels & wheel components
  • Tire life
  • Rim assessment and sales
  • Scrap tire analysis

Our service locations offer the largest, most modern fleet of service trucks that can handle every OTR situation. We have top-of-line trained technicians who are TIA-certified, Klinge-trained, and MSHA certified. We offer technology solutions that include Tons-Per-Hour (TMPH), a data collection assessment that helps gauge operational costs. 

Visit one of our onsite service centers at: