School Bus TiresIf you are going to buy or already own a school bus, you need to give some thought to maintenance and repair costs. Just as occurs with passenger cars, you will eventually need to replace the tires on a bus. The question is should you go with new school bus tires or get the old ones retreaded?
New tires are just what you would think. They are brand new, and typically provided with a warranty. The particular size for your bus should be ascertained by looking up the specs in the owner's manual for the vehicle. One should also pay close attention to the air pressure numbers detailed there as well. The correct air pressure is the number indicated in the owner's manual, not the number on the tire.
Retreaded tires simply take the tires off your bus and refurbish them. The tires have an inner lining that acts as a base for the outer rubber. A retreading facility will strip the old tread off and replace it with a new tread. The new tread is sealed to the tire through heat and is as strongly adhered as one would find with a new tire.
When it comes to performance, there really isn't much difference between new and retreaded tires. We are, after all, talking about a bus here. It isn't like you are going to be racing down mountain roads. Given this, there really isn't any reason to prefer new tires over retreads. There is some thought that new tires may last longer than retreads, but it is a difficult assertion to pin down since every bus goes through a different route.
Ultimately, the cost of the tires is the deciding factor in this comparison. You might be surprised to learn school bus tires are really not that expensive. You can get a new tire for between $200 and $300 depending on the brand. Still, this means six new tires on your bus could set you back $1,200 to $1,800. That's a hefty cash investment.
Retread tire prices are on par with passenger cars. You can get a tire retreaded for between $60 and $125 depending on the type of tire and where you are located. This can slash your overall bill, with six retreaded tires costing in the $360 to $750 range. You can see the savings.
School bus tires are an expense you are going to have to deal with at one point or another. If it were my bus, I would take a good, long look at retreading my tires instead of buying new tires to save a bit of money. Ultimately, the choice is really up to you.