How Tires Affect Truck Performance & Ride Quality

How Tires Affect Truck Performance
Does wheel size affect truck performance? Do tires affect ride quality? These are common questions that are asked when wondering about the factors that affect truck performance. Just like on any vehicle, your truck’s tires and wheels make a big difference in performance and ride quality. For that reason, it’s important to take a look at manufacturer’s specifications for tire and wheel size and make sure that you use the right ones. So how do they affect performance and ride quality?

Ways That Tires Can Affect Truck Performance

Wheel Size


Many car enthusiasts like to soup up their cars by putting larger tires on them. For many, this isn’t the greatest idea; however, there is some benefit to larger wheels.

Truck wheels are much larger than car wheels, and it’s for a specific reason: larger wheels equal a more stable ride. Large wheels are easier to control, and large wheels have better stopping power. Both of these are necessary on a large truck.


Tread width is another important element because of traction. Wider tires provide better traction on the road. However, there is such a thing as too much. Simply getting wider wheels and slapping them on your truck is not a good idea, as it can make your truck harder to handle on difficult roads.

Make sure to default to the recommendations for your truck’s model.

Tire Rigidity

There are soft tires, and there are hard tires. A softer tire has a better steering response however they’re not nearly as durable as harder tires.

Harder tires are generally better when driving faster or through rough terrain.

Don’t simply go for the softest or hardest truck tires available: make sure you look for a tire that fits your trucking needs.

Tread Depth

Tread depth affects handling, traction, and longevity of the tire. A deeper tread seems like it would mean better longevity, but when used improperly, could be dangerous for truckers.

Different tires are used for different types of trucking. Long haul trucking and city trucking use different patterns, with long haul truckers looking for shoulder rib pattern treads. This is to prevent irregular tread wear.

Ice road truckers should look for deeper tread depth in order to promote greater traction on these slippery roads.

Tire Pressure

Incorrect tire pressure is extremely unsafe for truckers. A tire that is underinflated works much harder than one that is properly inflated. An overinflated tire causes uneven tread and less traction than necessary. Both can be dangerous!

Always make sure that the tires are set to the correct pressure. Check your tire pressure regularly, and make sure to cross reference with your manufacturer’s specifications.

Conclusion: Make Sure To Buy The Right Tire!

It’s not enough to maximize on one aspect because you think it’ll make your fleet last longer or get to its destination faster. It’s important to get the right tire for the job.

In general, if you’re having trouble which tries to use, default to the manufacturer’s specifications.


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