Truck tires


The wheels of trucks are much more stressed than those of passenger cars. This happens not only because of the mass increased tenfold, but also due to operating conditions.

Trucks and buses cover considerable distances every day, and the average annual mileage is in the six figures. Accordingly, the tires of heavy vehicles must be durable, taking into account all the nuances of operation.

Types of truck tires


Truck manufacturers and hauliers look at four main factors when choosing the right tire for their vehicle.

Tread. Tires with a road pattern and are designed to drive exclusively on asphalt. Their antipode is off-road tires with a harsh tread with deep wide grooves.

There are also universal tires. They are used on roads, both with asphalt and on rough terrain.

Road conditions. The types of pavement that trucks are used on vary greatly.

  • Buses and commercial vehicles are common in cities, they move only on smooth asphalt, and in winter the roads are cleaned and sprinkled with reagents. Public transport travels with frequent and regular stops and accelerations.
  • Intercity road trains also rarely leave the asphalt surface. They almost always move at the maximum allowable speed, while rarely stopping. However, during the winter, trails are not cleaned in the same way that city streets are.
  • Construction equipment is used on extremely aggressive surfaces, driving on which on conventional wheels will inevitably cause frequent punctures.
  • Career trucks, military vehicles for transporting personnel more often go to rough terrain than to public roads. They require off-road tires with a high tread.

Truck weight. Tires are selected according to the load capacity of the vehicle.

Exceeding the maximum load will cause rapid tire wear and non-factory specified use can be dangerous.

Axis, on which the truck wheel will be mounted. Steering axles, drive axles or trailer axles require different performance characteristics to be taken into account.

Tread type


Winter tires are not installed on most trucks and buses, so the type of tread pattern is more dependent on road conditions.

road tires designed for asphalt. They perform better on flat roads, providing better fuel economy, stability, and acceleration and braking performance. In addition, road tires are the most comfortable and quietest.

However, on a country road or off-road, all these properties are lost, the tire wears out faster, and the patency is significantly inferior to off-road models.

Therefore, road tires are suitable only for trucks that do not move off the asphalt: main tractors, buses, commercial vehicles.

off road tires have developed lugs. Their width is proportional to the grooves of the tread. If they are of insufficient size, they will quickly become clogged with mud, begin to slip and become as useless as road cars.

Developed lugs push through the surface of the earth and allow the wheel to push off effectively, providing confident movement in mud, snow, deep sand. Mud does not clog the tread and flies off thanks to the directional pattern.

Driving on off-road tires is also possible on asphalt, but in this case, fuel consumption increases significantly, the car can absorb 15-40% more fuel.

In addition, the speed of movement should not exceed 60-70 km / h, faster is unsafe.

When driving on a flat surface, such wheels make a lot of noise and are not comfortable. But since they are installed on special and military equipment, these parameters are not so important.

Universal tires – middle option. They are used on cars moving both on asphalt and on country roads and light off-road. Their main advantage is confident grip on most types of surfaces.

The tread consists of two different parts: a road pattern in the middle, and lugs on the edge. During operation, fuel consumption increases by 10-15%. Universal tires are used on dump trucks, concrete mixers and other construction equipment.

Truck tire types


The production of universal trucks has ceased; in order to increase efficiency and save money, vehicles are produced narrowly focused.

For intercity and international carriers, special tires have been developed that meet all the specific features of use. The main ones are constant load, high speed and rare braking.

Forgiving conditions allow you to focus on reducing fuel consumption, rather than on versatility and flotation. Attention is paid to reducing rolling resistance and stability at high speeds. This type of wheels is as close as possible to slicks (smooth car tires), the grooves are shallow and narrow. This improves wear resistance and service life.

On shorter regional journeys conditions are somewhat more complicated. Road trains pass both on high-quality tracks and on broken asphalt, which are rarely cleaned in winter. In addition, cars drive into cities where you have to stand in traffic jams and maneuver sharply.

The tread of such rubber contains more longitudinal grooves for better water drainage and transverse grooves for a confident start on snowy surfaces.

It also improves handling and reduces the braking distance on a bad road.

Transportation in the city in terms of operating conditions, they are close to regional ones, but have their own nuances. Frequent stops and accelerations cause the rubber to heat up and wear out. On the other hand, city streets are regularly cleaned during winter.

The most difficult conditions for wheels are construction transport. Tires for dump trucks, concrete mixers, cranes should behave confidently both on asphalt and on eroded soil. Construction debris tears apart soft tires, so puncture resistance is important for special equipment.

Cars are equipped with rubber with a developed tread with a large number of transverse and longitudinal grooves. Herringbone pattern is quite common, it promotes self-cleaning during movement. Construction equipment is best suited for a universal protector.

Load and speed indices


The ERTRO standards table regulates some of the most important tire performance indicators.

The speed and load indexes are indicated on the side of the wheel. They define the limit values ​​for a given model.

For example, the inscription 155/152 L. The first digit indicates the permissible maximum load on axles with one wheel per side, the second – for double. The letter indicates the speed limit. In this case, these values ​​are respectively equal: 3875 kg, 3550 kg, 120 km/h. If there is no letter in the marking, then the permissible speed limit is 110 km / h.

Truck tire load index table

Index Load,

Index Load,
one hundred 8.00 144 28.00
101 8.25 145 29.00
102 8.50 146 30.00
103 8.75 147 30.75
104 9.00 148 31.50
105 9.25 149 32.50
106 9.50 150 33.50
107 9.75 151 34.50
108 10.00 152 35.50
109 10.30 153 36.50
110 10.60 154 37.50
111 10.90 155 38.75
112 11.20 156 40.00
113 11.50 157 41.25
114 11.80 158 42.50
115 12.15 159 43.75
116 12.50 160 45.00
117 12.85 161 46.25
118 13.20 162 47.50
119 13.60 163 48.75
120 14.00 164 50.00
121 14.50 165 51.50
122 15.00 166 53.00
123 15.50 167 54.50
124 16.00 168 56.00
125 16.50 169 58.00
126 17.00 170 60.00
127 17.50 171 61.50
128 18.00 172 63.00
129 18.50 173 65.00
130 19.00 174 67.00
131 19.50 175 69.00
132 20.00 176 71.00
133 20.60 177 73.00
134 21.20 178 75.00
135 21.80 179 77.50
136 22.40 180 80.00
137 23.00 181 82.50
138 23.60 182 85.00
139 24.30 183 87.50
140 25.00 184 90.00
141 25.75 185 92.50
142 26.50 186 95.00
143 27.25 187 97.50

Speed ​​index table

Index Speed, km/h Index Speed, km/h
E 70 K 110
F 80 L 120
G 90 M 130
J one hundred N 140



The sidewall of truck tires carries full information about performance and design. The inscriptions vary depending on the model.

12.00R21. The letter R indicates that the tire is radial. 12 – profile width in inches. 21 is the disc diameter suitable for the tire. The numbers 00 denote full-profile cargo models.

14-20. A dash between the numbers indicates that the tire is diagonal;

  • 14 – width;
  • 20 – landing diameter.

Width dimensions can also be shown in millimeters (for example: 325R19, 355-21).

The position on the axis is defined by the letters:

  • F – for steered wheels,
  • D – leading,
  • T – for semi-trailers and trailers,
  • Z – steering and others.

The purpose for special operating conditions is marked with the letters A, E, N, Y. The first type is suitable for highways, the second for urban and regional transportation.

Tires with the letter N are used for snow and ice.

The letter Y denotes rubber suitable for construction equipment.

Manufacturers also use other important designations.

  • Tubeless models are labeled Tubeless, tires that must be used with a tube are Tube Type.
  • When installing products marked Outside and Inside, the former must be mounted on the outside, and the latter on the inside. This rule applies to dual wheels.
  • Left / Right are attached on the left and right sides, respectively.
  • This means that the tire is directional. The arrow indicates in which direction it should rotate.
  • Max Pressure regulates the maximum allowable pressure.
  • All-season – are indicated by the inscription All Season.
  • For mud, snows are labeled M&S (Mud and Snow).
  • Models designed specifically for driving in rainy weather are marked with an “umbrella” or the inscriptions Water, Aqua, Rain.
  • Tires labeled Energy reduce fuel consumption.

Location on the axis


Modern tires, which are designed for buses and commercial vehicles and heavy trucks, are divided into three classes depending on the location on the axle:

  • for the leader
  • managed,
  • trailer.

For each type of operating conditions are different and have specific features.

front axle


When designing tires for the front axle, it is taken into account that all control of the movement of the car depends on it. It is taken into account that when slowing down and stopping, the main weight of the truck creates a load on the front wheels. Thus, the braking characteristics and handling of vehicles depend on them.

The rubber on the steerable wheels has clearly defined numerous longitudinal grooves that help drain water. On summer models, transverse grooves are almost absent.

During a sudden stop, the load is so significant that the tire may burst.

Winter and off-road wheels have a pronounced transverse tread pattern. In the first case, this is necessary for a reliable start on snow and ice surfaces, in the second case, for a hook on soft and loose surfaces.

Rear axle


The drive axle is required to drive the vehicle. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the wheels with the most reliable grip on the roadway, regardless of the quality of its surface. Without a pronounced transverse pattern, this can only be done on dry pavement, if there is dirt or ice under the wheels, then the task will be very difficult.

The tread has pronounced, wide grooves, and the more difficult the operating conditions of the car, the deeper they are.

Rubber for main tractors with grooves only along the edge of the wheel, while for dump trucks and other construction equipment they are as wide and deep as possible.

Trailers and semi-trailers


Such tires have the most uncomplicated structure. They have the easiest job. You don’t have to drive or drive a road train. Their main task is to minimize the resistance to movement in order to save fuel.

Tires for trailers are similar in pattern to steerable ones, but the longitudinal grooves are not so hypertrophied, and there may not be any transverse grooves at all. To prevent accidents on the road, the installation of steering tires on a trailer is prohibited.


Universal product models for trucks are used on both drive and steering axles. Such a scheme is practiced in order to save money: new tires are installed on the front axle, as they wear out, they are transferred to the rear.

Truck tire device


Tread. The main function is effective grip on the road surface. A tread with two layers is preferable: the main and surface. The first has the best thermal conductivity for fast tire cooling. Surface durable and tenacious.

steel belt. Steel cord protected by a rubber backing. It retains its shape and structure, reduces rolling resistance, improves driving stability and service life.

Steel casing. Determines smoothness of the course and comfort of the movement.

Inner layer – Prevent air diffusion and maintain humidity levels.

sidewall protects against side impacts. It is made from rubber derivatives.

Strengthening the ring rod distributes the pressure between the rod and the steel cord.

ring rod forms a tight fit of the tire on the rim of the disc.



The frame of the diagonal models is rubberized cord pads, their edges are wrapped around the ring rods.

The cord threads of several layers (as a rule, there are four of them) intersect with each other. This design is considered obsolete, but diagonal tires continue to be made for trucks. They are cheaper to manufacture and better resist cuts and punctures.

Benefits of diagonal truck tires:

  • Compared to radial counterparts, they have a simpler design. This means that their cost is lower, and maintainability is higher.
  • High level of comfort when driving on bumpy roads and mitigating loads.
  • The rubber sidewalls are more durable.

Disadvantages of diagonal truck tires:

  • The tread is subject to deformation under increased loads and vibrations. Because of this, the grooves are compressed, and the properties of the product deteriorate.
  • Diagonal, inferior to radial in most technical characteristics. Fuel consumption is greater, handling and braking are worse.



In radial tires, the cord threads are directed from one side to another and do not cross, as in diagonal ones.

The breaker performs a significant part of the carcass work. It is made of metal cord (2-3 layers), a thin cable, consisting of wires made of steel, with a diameter of 0.15-0.30 mm.

Radial tires are of two types:

  1. metal cord in the breaker and synthetic fibers in the carcass,
  2. textile fibers in the breaker and synthetics in the carcass.

The steel cord is characterized by high strength, thermal conductivity, low elongation compared to textiles and resistance to cracking in the tread.

Advantages of radial truck tires:

  • Reliable traction due to a larger contact patch and the use of a steel cord breaker.
  • Tread deformation is reduced due to the use of a rigid breaker.
  • Higher maximum speed and load capacity. Heating is reduced by 20-30%.
  • The bearing capacity is greater by 10-15%, elasticity by 15-30%.
  • Increased safety due to better traction (both dry and wet), stability and controllability.
  • Less risk of damage to the tread area.

Disadvantages of radial truck tires:

  • The complexity of the design increases the price.
  • The radially arranged cords reduce the strength of the side wall. Off-road, in deep ruts and at low tire pressure, rubber is vulnerable to damage.

Chambered and tubeless


Radial models can be chambered and tubeless. The first ones appeared much earlier and therefore are less technologically advanced. Air is pumped into a chamber located inside the tire. Because of this, they are vulnerable to punctures.

If the camera is damaged, the wheel descends almost instantly, and this can be done not only by a sharp object on the road, but also by a worn cord. In order for the tube to be even, without wrinkles, its size must be smaller than the internal space of the tire.

To pump air, the chamber is connected to a valve. This is a special valve, its size and shape depends on the type of tire and the hole in the rim.

Externally, tubeless models differ little from the models described above. The inner coating is made of a 2-3 mm thick rubber layer that does not allow air to pass through. The surface of the board is made of elastic rubber providing tightness.

If the wheel is punctured by a medium-sized, thin object, then the inner layer envelops the puncture, which prevents air from escaping quickly.

That is why tubeless tires are considered much safer. Their repair can be done without removing the tire from the disk, the hole is sealed with a special sealing material.

The benefits of tubeless models don’t end there. They have a lower mass, which has a positive effect on all dynamic characteristics and fuel consumption. In addition, they heat up less when moving, due to the lack of chamber friction and better cooling. Cooler temperatures help reduce wear.

The disadvantages of using tubeless products include the complexity of repairing large damage and the need for a smooth and clean rim to maintain tightness.

Installing a tube in a tubeless tire will significantly degrade its performance.

When inflated, air bubbles form between the tube and the inside of the tire. In these areas the wheel will overheat.

Dismantling and installation


When removing a tire from a rim, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Before dismantling, it is necessary to check whether the fit on the rim is correct.
  • The air is completely bled by unscrewing the spool. At this time, it is dangerous to be near the wheel.
  • It is forbidden to influence the tire and disc with foreign objects.

Installation safety precautions:

  • Before assembling and inflating the wheel, you need to check the tire inside for foreign objects, cuts, cord damage.
  • New tires are recommended to use new flippers and tubes.
  • The chamber must be dry and clean.
  • It is not recommended to treat the wheel with silicone and gasoline-containing compounds; it is best to use a specialized lubricant.
  • When inflating, use a protective cage and a pressure gauge with a long hose.
  • Check valve for air holding capacity.
  • It is important to control the fit of the wheel elements.

When mounting a cargo tire, it is prohibited:

  • use a bent or damaged camera;
  • inflate the wheel with a pressure of more than 2 bar without protection;
  • install the retaining ring during inflation;
  • act on the tire or disk with foreign objects;
  • inflate a flat tire without checking for tire and tube damage.

How to store?

In order for the wheels to retain their suitability and performance for longer, not to deform, they are stored in special conditions.

If the wheels are assembled, they should be stored horizontally. However, it must be remembered that the height of the stack must be less than 1.5 m. Individual tires are stored in an upright position.

The premises must be suitable and meet the following conditions:

  • Lack of sunlight (its direct rays).
  • There should be no devices that emit ozone in the room.
  • Lack of heaters and sources of heating near the place of storage.
  • Petroleum products and chemicals in close proximity adversely affect the condition of rubber.
  • The room must be dry.

Excessive moisture adversely affects the design of a tire with an all-metal frame and can lead to destruction.

Before starting installation, it is necessary to check the rubber from the inside and outside for the presence of moisture and condensate and, if found, dry the wheel.

tire pressure


The main cause of tire damage is incorrect tire pressure.

It is recommended to check the pressure with a manometer twice a week. The test is carried out on cold tires, before driving. With wheel loads, the pressure changes by 20%, which is acceptable for truck tires due to their design.

Excessive and insufficient pressure lead to undesirable consequences, increasing wear.

Too much pressure reduces comfort levels, reduces tear and cut resistance, and increases the risk of damage under heavy loads. The tread curves outward, its central part wears out faster.

The wheel does not dampen impacts from the roadway and the entire load falls on the suspension and bodywork.

Insufficient pressure in the tire leads to its uneven wear – the shoulder zones wear out more intensively, there is a tendency for sawtooth wear to form. Handling and stability on the road deteriorate, the steering becomes unresponsive. On bad roads, the tire deforms excessively, so the bead flakes off and the impact hits the rim.

Truck tire manufacturers



The official representative and manufacturer of Bontyre brand tires is the Volga Tire Company. It produces models for trucks, buses and cars (for alloy wheels with a diameter of 15-24 inches).

The wheels are designed for rough roads. The use of steel cord increases strength and allowable maximum loads. This is a guarantee of uniform wear and increased mileage before replacement.

In addition, this design reduces rolling resistance and reduces fuel costs.

All Bontyre truck tires are retreadable. The cost of the work is half the price of a new wheel. The mileage after retreading is equal to the distance that can be driven with new tires.

Service includes tire pressure monitoring and tread depth reduction. The manufacturer also makes recommendations about the life of the tires before retreading, which increases their life.



The Japanese concern Bridgestone provides a wide range of truck tires that are designed for light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks.

The specialization affects both road transport and construction equipment operating in the difficult conditions of quarries and rough terrain. Bridgestone truck tires often score highly in reputable tests.



The company’s engineers have done everything possible to ensure competitiveness. Tire mileage reaches 200 thousand kilometers. They stand up to harsh climates and imperfectly paved roads.

At each stage of production, all products are subjected to impartial and strict quality control. An impressive manufacturing facility and innovative products have helped Doublestar win recognition.



Fulda – tires made in Germany. The company was founded in the city of the same name in 1900. Products provide all segments of cargo transportation under any road and weather conditions.

Fulda is a worthy combination of quality and moderate cost. The company is constantly studying user feedback, introducing new solutions, and ensures a thorough production check. This allowed her to confidently gain a foothold in one of the most demanding markets.



The company was founded in Poland in 1994. The brand belongs to Michelin and manufactures products at its factories in Hungary, Romania and Poland. Michelin regulates all production standards and controls the quality of tires. The eminent manufacturer shares advanced developments and technologies.

Kormoran is constantly striving to improve the supply chain of components and raw materials, optimize the product range and improve quality. Rubber is made from wear-resistant and frost-resistant mixtures, which allows you to achieve good grip on any type of surface.

Tires withstand unpleasant surprises on the road, which has been proven by tests.



The plant was founded in Slovenia in 1925. By becoming the property of Continental, the company has improved the quality of its products.

Matador implements innovative developments and follows the latest market innovations. Truck tires of the Slovenian company have established themselves as a high-quality economy class product.



In 2005, Michelin introduced tires that were made using the latest technology. They made it possible to improve all the consumer qualities of the wheels during the entire period of operation.

Every year the list of products grows. All products are united by the common name Durable Technologies (in translation – durability technologies).

Among the developments of the company are noted:

  • Infinicoil is an additional all-metal cord that encircles the frame around the circumference. Its length reaches 400 meters. It increases the strength and load capacity of the tire.
  • EnergyFlex is a technology that improves flexibility and reduces heat when the wheel deforms while driving. Achieved by twisting the frame cables. Tire reliability increases and fuel efficiency increases.
  • Energy reduces heat generation when rolling a loaded tire. Provides safety and reduces fuel consumption.
  • Carbion is one of the technologies for the production of rubber compounds that increase tread wear resistance and reduce rolling resistance.



Sava is a Slovenian company producing tires for commercial vehicles. Belongs to the Goodyear concern.

The company applies new production technologies. One of them is a multi-radius tread developed by Goodyear. It increases the contact patch of rubber with the road, improving braking properties, handling and stability.

Due to the multi-radius tread, Sava tires for trucks have a significant margin of safety under high loads.

The design of the wheels is reinforced with reinforced sidewalls and cord. This reduces the risk of tire destruction from corrosion, as well as mechanical damage. Reduced and susceptibility to bad roads.

Sava tires are one of the most preferred options in the mid-price range. A wide choice in various directions of cargo transportation and not overpriced prices are the main advantages.

An important condition for comfortable and safe movement is the correct choice and operation of truck tires.

This improves a number of technical characteristics: handling and stability, braking properties, dynamics and fuel consumption.

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