Choosing the proper truck tire

Choosing the proper truck tire

Selecting the proper steer, drive, trailer, and dolly tires for your fleets is not always intuitively obvious. Depending on the specific service vocation, there are plenty of tire options available in the market. Fleet operators, maintenance managers and tire purchasers all need to understand the tire selection process and the thought process in selecting the specific tires, which will maximize tire removal mileages, maximize the number of retreads per casing, increase fuel economy and give the best traction possible.

Many fleets have vehicles that run in various service conditions. Some vehicles may run in pure line-haul operations from coast to coast in a straight line while others may see more regional line-haul service. There is city driving that is included the pickup and delivery category. Vocational trucks typically see both on- and on-off road applications. The most important consideration when specifying tires is to clearly define the specific service vocation. Every tire manufacturer has tires that fall under these various vocational categories.

Tires designed to run in pure line-haul highway operations will have long lasting tread compounds to produce high tread mileage and great fuel economy (low rolling resistance). These tires are designed to resist irregular or uneven wear. Tread depths can’t be too deep because tread squirm will lead to both irregular wear and high heat. There is an optimum tire tread depth for the various wheel positions.

Tires that run in pick-up-and-delivery-type service see a high incident of turning and road hazards. Special compounds are developed for this type of service along with the ability to resist punctures. Sidewalls are designed to minimize damage from curbing on city streets.

In some cases, vehicles may see a combination of service vocations for which you need a tire that is a compromise. These tires may not perform as well as tires specifically designed for a particular service vocation, but they will provide good overall performance.

Many vehicle considerations include tire space requirements. The appropriate tire size is specified based on the worst case vehicle load scenario; air is what carries the load. There are normally only two or three tire sizes that can do the job based on your worst case load scenario. In order to select a new tire size for a given application, the dimensional clearance of the tire must be acceptable. When it comes to tire clearances, there are three measurements to keep in mind:

  • Vertical clearance;
  • Front tire clearances; and
  • Overall width.

Click “Next Page” to continue reading.

You May Also Like

International Truck integrates S13 engine with Allison automatic transmissions

Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series, 4000 Series fully automatic transmissions available for International RH, HX Series trucks, respectively.


Allison Transmission announced that International Truck integrated Allison fully automatic transmissions into S13-equipped trucks. The Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series (RHS) is now available to order in International RH trucks equipped with the S13 engine. Additionally, the Allison 4000 Series is also available to order with S13-equipped International HX trucks.

Beyond standard TPMS: The crucial role of customizable tire health alerts

Delving into the shortcomings of standard TPMS and why customizable tire health alerts are crucial for commercial vehicle fleets.

Driving for Alabama: A family affair

The stories of two truck drivers for ’80s country hitmakers Alabama.

Photos by Amazing Grace Photography
So you want to write for Fleet Equipment?

Of course you do. As the premiere online publication for the heavy-duty truck market, charting the latest in trucking equipment, technology, and service trends, Fleet Equipment has a knack for digging up the stories behind the stories (while having a lot of fun along the way). Now you can be a part of it! But

Write for Fleet Equipment
Babcox Media mourns the passing of Tim Fritz, longtime editor and friend

Babcox Media Editor Tim Fritz passed away on Feb. 23 from a heart attack. He was 53 years old. Related Articles – Debating the merits of ethanol – Why isn’t a truck’s appearance part of the PM process? – Change is coming to U.S. energy policies Tim joined Babcox Media in 1990 and spent 31


Other Posts

Volvo announces plans for hydrogen ICE trucks on-road testing

Customer tests for Volvo hydrogen combustion engine trucks will start in 2026, with orders starting by the end of the decade.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index declines 1.2%

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello cites continued market softness, potentially leading to reduced industry capacity.

CMA, Double Coin launch dealer portal

The platform is said to provide real-time information and navigation tools for CMA customers to access information and place orders.

Navistar releases decarbonization update in 2023 sustainability report

Navistar said the report also looks at its commitment to sustainability through environmental initiatives, human rights due diligence and more.