Choosing the right truck tires and wheels for your heavy duty fleet is important for several reasons: you want to ensure that you’re getting the most cost-effective option, you need to know that the tires are going to be well-made and stand the test of the road, and your tires also need to last for many thousands of miles without needing replacement. How can you find the correct tires & rims for your trucks with the different choices available? Check out our buying guide to learn more.
Steel wheels are a good, solid choice for long life and are made to reap multiple benefits for heavy duty trucking. The durability and consistent composition of steel means that you’re not going to have the weak points that you could potentially have with aluminum or an alloy construction, making these wheels less prone to wobbling and other inconsistencies. Steel wheels are also more resistant to corrosion from brake dust, sand or dirt as well as tar and other road materials. Steel wheels have several advantages:
- More durable than alloy wheels, making them less likely to chip
- More consistent composition and more symmetrical
- Less porous, and more resistant to road damage
Cast alloy wheels are lighter, brighter to shine and are very eye-catching, as well as sometimes being less expensive than steel wheels. However, they are not as durable and can be scratched, damaged and pitted by road detritus much more easily than steel wheels. The advantages of alloy wheels include:
More flexible, allowing manufacturers some leeway in terms of look and design
Rust-free shine that lasts due to the cast aluminum makeup of the wheels
Heavy duty truck tires wear and drive a little differently than more traditional tires, with elements such as deeper tread depths, three-ply polyester casings and less space between the blocks of thread (thread void). The gross vehicle weight rating of your truck can help you determine which tires and wheels are right for you, as well as knowing the max allowable weight.
Keeping your tires and wheels properly inflated is of critical importance, especially if you’re carrying a load or travelling at interstate speeds. Under-inflated tires can cause your tires to heat up and drop your fuel economy significantly. Having tires that match is also important to your fuel economy and the overall wear and distance that you get out of your tires. Believe it or not, even a slight mismatch can cause problems with your differential—something that is not a cheap part to fix!
Keeping your tires and wheels rotated when they need it and knowing the danger signs to look for such as wobbling or bouncing will help keep you from having a blowout—something that is incredibly dangerous if you’re carrying a load or driving a heavy duty truck.