Having the right tires for your pickup truck not just improves the performance of your pickup truck put it also offers more safety. Having the wrong tires on your pickup truck can ruin your entire day; not to mention, increase your risk of having accidents.
Your pickup tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle so it is important to understand how to select them. Although choosing the right tires can be quite intimidating with so many brands and types in the market, if you keep some basic information in mind, you can make a wise decision when selecting your pickup truck tires.
Factors that Determine Whether a Tire is the Right One for Your Pickup Truck
There are several factors that can help you determine whether a tire is the best choice for a commercial pickup truck. Let us take a look at some of the most important ones.
The size of the tire largely determines the driving characteristics of your pickup truck. OEM tires are optimized for vehicles but when you change the tires, later on, your truck will definitely perform differently from the way its manufacturer intended.
Large tires offer you better ground clearance and allow the vehicle to roll over obstacles in the path easier. However, they are also heavier so this means that your steering, suspension, and braking components will wear off faster. It may also result in lower gas mileage, long braking distance, and slower acceleration. The vehicle’s center of gravity will also be elevated, which may create instability issues. Plus, if you want to add bigger tires to your truck, it will require a suspension lift or fender modification.
If you fit smaller tires into your truck, the opposite happens. The overall weight of the vehicle becomes lighter, you get better mileage and the brakes, suspension, and steering will not have to work so hard. But your center of gravity will be lower, which can make it difficult to easily roll off obstacles, leading to a bumpy ride.
However, there are plenty of tires available in the market that are good replacements for OEM tires. You can consult the manufacturer’s manual for that. In addition, the choice to choose your tire size also means that you can fine-tune your vehicle’s performance to the type of terrain it travels on the most. However, if you are picking tires that are larger or smaller than your OEM tires, you will need to adjust the speedometer as well to make sure it displays the correct speed.
Selecting the right tire has a lot to do with the tread pattern. The tread is the area of raised rubber that comes in direct contact with the ground. This pattern consists of spaces in between. A truck’s tire typically consists of massive tread blocks that are staggered by massive gaps in the pattern. These gaps allow the tires better traction on loose surfaces; however, the contact may make these tires loud on the pavement. They also will not last very long.
On the other hand, the tread with that of a sports car tire has a more uniform look with large contact patches with little grooving that offers it excellent traction on dry pavement.
Your pickup truck would need tires that offer a balance between these two tires. Your objective should be to find the one that matches your driving style and how much time your pickup truck spends on pavement, dirt, mud, or snow.
All tires are marked with load ratings that indicate how much weight they can carry. Pickup trucks generally have a load rating of B, C, D, E, or F which indicates how much pressure they can withstand. The more load weight you subject your pickup truck to, the higher should your load rating be. In many cases, you should not be concerned with this since the tire you want will come with one rating for that size.
If your tires have a very high load rating, your ride may be bumpy since the tires are so hard. However, if the load rating is too light, your tires may not be able to withstand heavy loads. Pickup trucks that generally do heavy lifting or towing need to be mindful of this fact.
Types of Tires to Choose
When you go to the market, you will see there are a variety of different truck tires available for different driving conditions. The major types are given below.
A large majority of pickup trucks come with all-season tires, which offer good on-road performance. These tires are a reliable and safe choice since truck manufacturers engineer their pickup trucks to be used with this specific type of tire.
All-season tires are very durable and can handle different types of mild to moderate weather conditions well while maintaining a smooth ride. These tires are lightweight and hence are more fuel-efficient and can help with heavy-duty work like towing or hauling furniture.
All-terrain tires are a great choice if you want to get good performance on the road as well as off the road.
These tires are designed to enable trucks to drive in harsh weather, both on and off-road. Pickup trucks often use them as winter tires since they can withstand extremely cold conditions and can also navigate through wet and slippery roads. In addition, they can also tolerate poor road conditions, like potholes and gravel.
However, since they have a very resistant nature, they do not perform as well in other aspects of driving. For example, they make a lot of road noise, can reduce handling performance, and may use up more fuel.
If your pickup truck sees the most action off-road, then mud-terrain tires may be your best bet.
You can use these tires to drive on level payment on a daily basis; however, they are specifically designed to drive in off-road environments. This means they shine when it comes to driving in deserts and mountains since their tread blocks are very efficient in gripping rocky, sandy, and muddy surfaces.
However, these tires have a reduced tread life than the other two types of tires, caused by increased wear and tear.
When you are looking for the right tires for your truck, it is best to consider several variables. The best thing is that there are a lot of amazing brands to choose from. Advancement in tire manufacturing means your truck tires are now made of stronger compounds and have more advanced tread patterns that can lead to a longer lifespan.
When buying your truck tires, do not forget to choose the type of tires that are optimal for your pickup truck’s specific driving environment.