“Our new glue-on treads are designed to boost traction on worn tires. They’re easy to apply and are far more cost effective than buying new tires,” says Dave Auble, GlueTread LLC, Hiram, Ohio.

    He and son Andy have come up with a kit that includes pieces of new, pre-cut rubber tread and an adhesive that bonds the pieces to the tire. The kit is designed for off-road tires found on 4-wheelers, utility vehicles, golf carts, and tractors. The treads glue on right over the tire’s existing treads and require about an hour to cure.

“Our add-on treads won’t convert a tire with worn lugs to like-new condition, but if the rest of the tire is still good they’ll let you keep going without having to spend the money for new tires,” says Auble. “The treads are especially useful if you’ve got an old vehicle with limited life or with tires that haven’t been off in many years and may be difficult to remove.”

Various tread sizes and styles are available. Standard tread pieces measure 1 1/2, 2, or 3 in. long, 1 in. wide, and 1/2 in. thick with longer sizes available for tractor tires. Short knobby treads are available for ATV’s and utility vehicles.

“The cost to improve the tread on an average tractor tire, which may require up to 100 tread pieces, is about $50 per tire. If the tire is really bald the treads can be glued on side by side,” says Auble. “The cost to update a bald front tire on a utility vehicle is about $20 per tire. We can hand cut the treads in our shop to whatever size the customer wants.”

  The 2 men use a super glue-type adhesive called Cyanoacrylate combined with a rubber compound that dries quickly and bonds firmly. “There’s no need to remove the tire from the rim, and the wheel assembly can remain on the vehicle,” says Auble.

The company first confirms what the customer needs. “We ask which part of the tire you’re trying to fix, whether the tire is completely bald or not or whether it’s just scalped. Then we ask you to measure the tread length on it,” says Auble.

No special tools are required to install the treads. “It works best if you sand down the worn treads until they’re smooth before applying the glue,” says Auble. “The adhesive shouldn’t be used to fill in a gouged tread because you won’t have any rubber to rubber contact so the tread won’t bond.”