It may sound crazy, but crushed acorn shells are a great, environmentally-friendly way to increase traction on slippery winter roads.
A few years ago, the brains behind Tire Recappers’ great retread tires decided to go the extra mile and put even more grip in our already grippy winter tires. To the pleasant surprise of our neighbors to the north, crushed acorn shells worked wonders. Plowing companies and winter drivers from Michigan, New York, and the Northeast report that our tires work great in the worst conditions and rely on Tire Recappers for their winter tires.
The days of road-destroying studded tires and cumbersome (and damaging) tire chains are long gone. Today, crushed nut shells are added to the tread rubber and act as a mild abrasive, helping winter tires grip to icy streets. Instead of carrying around bags of sand or kitty litter, let the acorns from Tire Recappers do the heavy lifting. Crushed acorn shell fragments act as tiny spikes that puncture ice or hard-packed snow, without damaging the underlying road, providing much-needed extra traction.
Thomas Ford Sr., of Tire Recappers, explains the process as follows: “We use an Orbitread retread tire machine to sprinkle tiny fragments of crushed acorns into the tread rubber as our tires are being made. Using retread tires on your vehicles is a great way to recycle and using crushed acorns is a smart way to use natural materials. They do a great job and they’re biodegradable. It’s hard to imagine, but some companies use crushed glass to improve grip. With a Tire Recappers tire, as the tire wears, all that’s left behind are natural shell fragments.”
As the nut fragments fall out, the tiny pockets left behind also help our tires stick to the road.