Re: Tire replacement costs
Seeing that I just got out of the tire business Ill throw my .02 in there on the subject. Keep in mind I no longer work for the tire company so I will spend your money as if it was mine and yes I like a good deal. I was an account manager for a tire company so I took care of VERY BIG (swift, fedex, Old dominion, arnold) and they buy at national account pricing so that will not come in to play here.
Good tires are expensive for a reason. Are they worth the price.... Yes they are. When we talk about a good tire we are talking about tier 1 manufactures. Those would be Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear and the big boys in the mix.
I am partial to michelin. I toured their plant where they make them so the quality is very good but that comes with that very good price.
Take a moment to access your how you use your bus and match up the tire. If you are a long haul (lots of miles) buy a very good tire. You made a nice investment on your vehicle so please put a good tire that wont give you any issues. If you dont drive that often you can go to a lesser grade tire. You wont get the mileage and wear that a tier one tire will but again it will be reflected in the price. If you are a weekend warrior and only use it a limited amount a cheaper tire wont be out of reason. What comes to mind chinese made tires. They use to be a bargin but the tariffs have made those not so much the bargin any more. if you put these one and are expecting high mileage out of them.... It wont happen. We have seen some semi trucks get less that 20k out of them. Just to get a perspective of what a tier one time will get in mileage. I have seen them go 300k.
Do not discount recaps if you have the option. They are a good option if retreaded by a quality retreader. DO NOT PUT THEM ON THE FRONT. You always need a virgin tire on the steer axle. Once they start to wear roll them to the drive axle and and the ones that come of.... go have them retreaded.
One thing that a lot of people do not keep in mind.... The tires coming off your bus can be purchased by a company for a casing credit. Most places have a time limit as to how much they will give based on their age but its usually 5 years or less. trust me on this.... they will may use your casings if you do not see them drill holes in the side. Lots of places make money on this. they will charge you a disposal fee and send them in to be retreaded at a very low grade. There is always some fleet that will buy so when its cheap.
When you are looking for someone to put them on..... shop the labor part. This is where they make most of their money. The cost of a tire is very thin when it comes to margins between some manufactures. So the mouting cost can VARY a lot. I think we charged 45 per wheel for people off the street? I have seen it half the cost at some places. Do you need to balance commerical tires....in most cases no with a tier 1 tire. They will wear a little bit better with a balance but again not always needed.
Hope this sheds some light on the subject. If you have specific questions please PM me. I would be glad to answer them.