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Commercial medium tire debris study final report.

DOT HS 811 060; UMTRI-2008-34

In: DTNH22-05-D-01019; Task Order # 0012; Sponsored by: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Applied Vehicle Safety Research (NVS-322).

Authors: J. F. Woodrooffe, Oliver Page, Daniel Blower, Paul E. Green.

Trucking fleets and owners of commercial vehicles utilize both new and retread tires on their vehicles in the United States. Retread tires are used primarily for the cost advantage they provide over a similar new tire. Despite the advantages that retreaded tires may bring, public perception is that retread tires are less safe than new tires as evidenced by the amount of tire debris frequently found on the sides of U.S. Interstate highways. During summer 2007, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) under a subcontract from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) collected and studied truck tire debris and discarded tire casings from five sites in the United States. A random sample (totaling 1,496 items) of the tire debris/casings collected was analyzed to determine the probable cause of failure and its original equipment or retread status. This report presents the methodology and results from this investigation into the underlying causes of truck tire failures and gives an overview of the crash safety problem associated with heavy-truck tire failures. Also, background information on the manufacture of a truck tire, the truck tire retread industry, tire failure modes, industry stakeholder perspectives, an overview of other previous tire debris studies, conclusions, and recommendations for topics for further research are given.

Research Group: