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Remould tyres for 4x4s: everything you need to know

4x4 Wheels

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Remould tyres (sometimes called retread or remanufactured tyres) carry a bit of a long-standing reputation for poor quality that has been hard to shake off. In this article we’ll explain why this reputation is no longer fair, and why remould tyres can make a great choice for certain 4×4 drivers.

Remould tyres on Land Rover

What is a remould tyre?

A remould tyre is a combination of a used tyre carcass with new tread and sidewall moulded to it. Remoulds made by the best brands, such as Insa Turbo, have been through rigorous design, research and development stages and extremely strict quality control.

The benefits of remoulds are well known to the commercial vehicle and civil aviation industries. According to the BTMA, 80% of civil airliners are fitted with remould/retread tyres.


What are the benefits of remould tyres?

There are two main benefits of remould tyres – cost saving and reduced environmental impact.

From a cost perspective, a good quality remould like an Insa Turbo all-terrain is roughly half the price of an equivalent new premium-brand tyre, yet to look at one close-up you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a brand new tyre.

And from an environmental standpoint, remoulds reduce the energy needed to make tyres, reduce the use of raw materials including oil and steel, and reduce the resulting air pollution. In fact, Insa Turbo say they have prevented 7 million tons of CO2 emissions in the past 20 years.

A high quality Insa Turbo Desert Track remould tyre

Are remould tyres safe?

As long as you choose a reputable brand, and look after them, remould tyres are as safe as new tyres. Insa Turbo tyres are made in Spain and must conform to ECE regulations (there’ll be an ‘e’ mark on the sidewall). Insa Turbo also inspect each used tyre one-by-one to make sure it’s safe to use again, and they only use carcasses under 5 years old.

Of course you need to follow the same advice as with new tyres, like regularly looking for sidewall damage, and as they get older make sure you keep an eye on the manufacturing date (the 4 digit code that shows the week and year of manufacture). Once they get past about 5 years old you should consider changing them as the rubber will be starting to lose compliance.

It’s also important to consider load and speed ratings of remoulds compared to new tyres, as they’re usually a little lower. For example, an Insa Turbo all terrain remould in 265/70R16 size has a load rating of 112 (1120kg) and a speed rating of Q (100mph), whereas the equivalent BFGoodrich tyre has a load rating of 121 (1450kg) and a speed rating of S (112mph). In the real world it might not matter, but it’s worth knowing that you’d always be driving nearer the limits of a remould tyre.


Are remould tyres suitable for 4x4s?

In a word, yes. There are several situations where using remoulds makes sense for 4x4s, all cost related (leaving the environmental benefits to one side). If you’re going off-roading at the weekend but your truck doesn’t get used all week, you could consider remoulds to keep your costs down. Likewise, the lower cost of remoulds could make it easier for you to run two different sets of tyres on a vehicle, such as an all-terrain and a mud terrain. That way you could use a tyre that’s more comfortable and quiet for road use, and a different tyre that’s designed to cope with heavy mud when you go off roading.

Remoulds also make a lot of sense for off-road racing, where you might want to have different treads available for different events, and where the cost of replacing potentially regular blow-outs could get pretty high.

For off-road racing, pattern choice is also really important. Because Insa Turbo make so many variations of MT and AT tyre, there’s plenty of choice of tread patterns. For example, we range five different Insa Turbo remould mud terrain tyres, each with a different level of aggressiveness. The more aggressive the tread, the better it will be at plugging mud, but this will be at the expense of outright speed. So depending on the type of racing you’re doing, you can choose something that’s really dialled-in to the terrain without needing to spend huge amounts.

Insa Turbo Special Track remould tyres on a race vehicle

What type of tyres are available as remoulds?

A decent manufacturer like Insa Turbo will have a number of different tread patterns in their range. As well as the five mud terrains we already mentioned, we also list three all-terrains including the popular Ranger, which uses a well-proven tread design that could easily pass for something twice the price.


Summary

Remoulds shouldn’t be looked on as inferior any more. Of course, you get what you pay for and a premium-brand new tyre is likely to last a little longer, be a bit quieter, and perform a bit better on the road, if you don’t mind paying the extra cost.

If you do plenty of off-roading, you might find that a decent remould like an Insa Turbo gives you the performance you need with lower purchase and environmental costs.

As usual, if you need any advice on your specific circumstances, just get in touch with our experts.