9 things to consider while choosing truck tires
Trucks are among the largest vehicles plying on roads, weighing around 80,000 pounds and transporting heavy loads and potentially hazardous cargo. They often travel long distances and navigate through bad weather conditions along their route, putting the driver and cargo at risk of injury and damage. One way to prevent mishaps is to use good quality truck tires. Here are a few crucial factors to consider while buying tires for trucks.
Type of terrain
Tires for commercial trucks are usually designed considering the terrain on which they will be used. For instance, while some tires are manufactured for smooth highways, others are built for rough urban routes. If you use tires designed for the highways on rocky urban terrain, their tread might scrape off sooner, demanding a change. So, always consider your most frequented routes when buying tires to avoid unnecessary expenses.
This is one of the most simple yet important factors to consider when buying truck tires. A tire’s weight or load rating, typically found on the sidewall, indicates the maximum weight it can bear when inflated to its highest pressure. Always pay special attention to this rating and ensure it is compatible with your truck and the load.
Like other products in the market, tires come with a warranty. It can save you from paying extra to fix manufacturing defects or other problems within the set timeframe. Most major manufacturers provide a warranty period of seven years and three retreads. This period can differ based on the company you choose. So, always inquire about the truck tires’ warranty before selecting a product to avoid additional expenses.
Another critical factor to consider when buying truck tires is their manufacture date. This date is usually found on the tire in the form of four digits. The first two indicate the week it was manufactured, and the other two represent the year. Remember that truck tires older than five years are more susceptible to defects and tears. On the other hand, those built within the last five years are less likely to have problems and guarantee increased safety while on the road. Do not buy tires with a missing manufacture date or with a date that is not clearly printed.
Tread size or depth
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the minimum tread size for tires on the front wheels is 4/32 of an inch. The other tires of the truck can have a tread depth of 2/32 inches. If the depth is less than this, it can result in penalties. So, conduct a tread depth inspection before finalizing the purchase. Tires with the right tread size provide sufficient grip on the road, lowering the chances of accidents.
Many truckers buy used tires as they provide substantial cost savings. When buying used tires, thoroughly inspect the previous owner’s maintenance records. A clean record will ensure the tires are in good condition and can be used to haul heavy loads on the road. Besides checking the maintenance records thoroughly, look for visible signs of defects like nail marks and deep scratches. These issues indicate the tires will not last long and must be avoided at all costs.
Types of tires
There are different types of truck tires in the market, such as max traction, all-terrain, highway, winter, and mud tires. Choose a suitable type depending on your type of truck, the terrain you drive on, and the weather conditions on your route. Consider all-terrain truck tires if you travel through different terrains and often encounter challenging conditions. They will help you transition from one terrain to another with ease.
When investing in commercial truck tires, assess their durability. Tires with soft rubber compounds provide a smooth driving experience but are more prone to wear and tear and do not prove fuel efficient. Buying such tires will require you to spend a lot of money to make the best use of them in the long run. Similarly, tires with harder compounds may have problems with traction while driving in extreme conditions. So, conduct thorough research according to your needs and wants to make an informed decision.
DOT and UTQG rating
In addition to the above, check whether the tires have the DOT (Department of Transportation) code. All you have to do is look for “DOT” printed on the sidewall. Some tires also have a UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) code, which provides information about their traction and temperature grades.
These are some of the most important factors that should influence your decision when choosing truck tires. To make the best purchase, consider all your options and needs before heading to the store. Also, think about whether you should stick to your previous tire model or opt for a new company depending on your experience. You might want to look at options that increase fuel economy and provide low rolling resistance. While the best products can be expensive, they use quality materials and meet all the safety standards to keep you and your cargo safe during the journey.
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