The widening reach of wide-base truck tires 

The widening reach of wide-base truck tires 

Here's where wide-base tire adoption stands with trucking fleets.

As trucking fleets of all sizes and applications look to improve efficiency, the adoption of wide-base tires is seeing rapid expansion. It’s a trend that is only expected to continue as talk of electrification and sustainable efforts develop.

“As we’re looking forward, especially with the additional weight that the battery packs add into the mix, there’s a strong opportunity in the future that you could see an even higher adoption rate for wide-base tires in the EV market,” Coy Jones, senior marketing manager, Michelin, said. 

Additionally, with the price of diesel on the rise, Jones noted that more and more fleets are considering the adoption of components that could improve fuel economy in order to ease the pain at the pump. The decarbonization resulting from improved fuel economy from the wide-base tires aids sustainability efforts.  As prioritization of eco-friendly transport continues to climb,  fleet operators that have turned their attention towards fuel-efficiency through weight savings are reaping the ROI and decarbonization benefits. 

Adopters of wide-base tires saw significant savings not only from increased payload capacity but also thanks to improved fuel economy. By design, wide-base tires are produced with a lower center of gravity, a wider contact patch, and reduced overall weight compared to dual tires. With a lower rolling resistance due to less drag force and improved stability, vehicle operations will be smoother and more fuel-efficient. 

Of course, application will still determine the best placement for wide-base tires. While a majority of  applications could benefit from the wide-base tires, not every application will reap the same financial earnings overtime. Tom Clauer, senior manager of commercial product planning, Yokohama Tire, noted that if you’re running a fleet for weight-sensitive applications hauling heavy commodities to and from your yard or depending on improved fuel economy in the long-haul market, you may see a quicker payback than others. 

“Wide-based tires are typically sold into on and off-road applications that need to carry heavier loads. A dump truck or cement mixer at a demolition site, for example. Those are the sorts of applications getting the most out of wide-base tires,” said Bridney Jordan, product marketing manager, U.S. Truck Tire, Continental. “If you think about a fleet trying to be efficient while carrying loads back and forth, they want to put in as much as they can without having to make multiple trips.”

“From a weight saving standpoint, you save roughly 200 pounds conservatively per axle and this can reduce the overall number of hauls they make thanks to the weight savings,” Michelin’s Jones noted.

The weight and time savings translates directly to financial earnings. Every pound removed from the wheelend is an extra pound in payload capacity. 

Dual tires have been the tried and true solution for years, providing increased load capacity and stability, but when it comes to maintenance needs, having double the tires means double the upkeep. Wide-base tires, you get the benefits of improved performance along with the  convenience of only 10 tires to maintain.

If you think about the number of wheel positions that you’re typically looking at on a tractor-trailer combination, you’re looking at 18. With the conversion to wide-base singles, you take that number down to 10,” Jones said. Then he explained that this gives the drivers the opportunity to closely focus on the health of the tires and get on the road faster.

Of course, the counterpoint is that an issue with one of the duals might let your truck limp home, whereas an issue with a wide-base tire means you’re on the side of the road. To tackle this issue, tire manufacturers have been working on improving wide-base tire durability.  Michelin’s Jones noted that advancements to Michelin’s wide-base tire products have been centered around reducing regular wear and tear and improving performance while operating in aggressive environments. 

“We want to create a product that can handle those high scrub applications. The other thing is making sure that we have complimentary retreads by leveraging our knowledge of how a tire wears, how the casing is constructed and providing optimal retreads for the product as well.” 

Just like regular tires, preventative tire maintenance and proper tire pressure should be on the top of your inspection list if you want to see the desired results – it’s hard to appreciate the savings of increased payload capacity if the freight is being carried on underinflated tires… so how does proper maintenance differ compared to standard tires? 

While overall maintenance for wide-base tires runs parallel to what we see with standard size tires, Clauer emphasized the simplicity of wide-base tire maintenance. 

“Tire pressure and maintenance have always been vital, but wide base tires have the added benefit of not having to struggle to check inside duals, making it easier for drivers to inspect and check air pressures in all 10 tires,” Clauer said.  

Another benefit that Clauer pointed out: The task of matching treads and outside diameters would be a thing of the past through the switch from dual to wide-base tires.

Wide-base tire advancements

Click below for a wider look at the tire advancements and technologies manufacturers are putting into wide-base truck tires.

You May Also Like

Double Coin announces new original equipment, national account manager

In his most recent role, Tim Kelly was a national fleet manager for Bridgestone and has held multiple roles in the field.

Tim Kelly Double Coin

Double Coin and CMA has appointed Tim Kelly to the role of original equipment and national fleet manager. He will be responsible for Double Coin brand truck tire sales into the OEM and fleet channels in North America. Kelly is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a graduate of Ohio State University. He began his tire career in 1988 with Bridgestone Firestone in consumer tires and migrated to the commercial truck tire business at Bridgestone in 2000. Kelly has held multiple roles in the field, retiring in 2022 as a national fleet manager.

Volvo Trucks expands EV charger access with new vendor partner

The company’s Vendor Direct Shipping program now includes five models of EV chargers.

Spicer replacement end yokes now available for Allison transmissions

The automatic transmission end yokes are specifically designed for use on Allison transmission applications.

Grote Industries, Stoneridge announce wired rear-view trailer camera

The companies say the 4SEE technology can help drivers better avoid potential dangers and obstacles through increased viability.

Trayecto expands natural gas fleet with Hexagon Agility’s RNG fuel systems

With this Hexagon Agility order, Trayecto now has more than 300 CNG tractors operating in its fleet of 4,000 trucks.

Other Posts

What predictive maintenance can bring to truck tire management

How to start using tire data and where you could take it to reduce truck tire maintenance costs.

Cummins launches Accelera brand for its New Power business unit

The new brand will provide battery electric and fuel cell electric solutions across a range of commercial and industrial applications.

Keep on trucking: Maintaining your fleet for optimal performance

Even the most reliable trucks need a little TLC to avoid unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

Tips for creating a transportation sustainability strategy

Setting sustainability goals can seem like a lot of work, but even small steps toward decarbonization can add up.