According to the United States Department of Transportation, "the minimum tire tread depth of a full-size, mid-size or smaller vehicle is 1/16 of an inch." (See References 1 & 2) A commercial truck must have a minimum tire tread depth of 4/32 inch on power unit steering axles and 2/32 inch on all other axles. The out-of-service criteria only requires 2/32 inch tire tread depth on power unit steering axles and 1/32 inch on all other axles. (See References Section 3) Regrooving the treads of a tire can prolong the life of the tire and meet the legal tread depth requirements. Recapped tires should not be regrooved, and if the tire regroover exposes metal weaving within the rubber, then the tire is no longer legal for use.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Tire tread depth gauge
- Tire regrooving apparatus
- Extension cord
Plug in the tire regrooving tool and allow to heat up thoroughly. Place the cutting edge of the regroover into the trough between the tire tread. Apply even forward and downward pressure on the cutting edge and push the regroover forward through the trough.
Watch as tire rubber cut from the trough feeds through the back side of the cutting blade. Pull this rubber out of the regrooving tool at the end of the cutting stroke. Cut a straight line through the tire tread groove or trough instead of following the original tread groove pattern.
Pull the vehicle forward to regroove the entire tire groove. Measure the depth of the groove or trough using the tire tread depth gauge and continue regrooving until reaching the legal tread depths in each circumferential groove.
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