Trucking companies and owner-operators don’t have the luxury of choosing a single tire the way car owners do. In other words, car owners choose a specific make and model of a tire that is installed uniformly on all four wheels. Truckers have to consider different options based on drive position, traction position, and trailer position. They have to make their choices based on the kind of handling and traction they want as compared to how much they can afford to spend.
Mytee Products carries a range of tires in the All Position and Drive Position categories. Below is a brief description of all four tire categories offered by manufacturers of truck and trailer tires:
1.Steer Position – The steer position includes the two front tires of the tractor. This position takes its name from the fact that steering is the domain of the front axle. Tires made specifically for this position typically utilize a ribbed tread design to move water away from the tire as it rolls down the road. They provide the best handling under all weather conditions.
2.Drive Position – The drive position includes the four wheels at the rear of the tractor. This is where engine and transmission power are transferred to move the tractor forward. Traction is paramount in all conditions, but especially important in rain, snow, and ice. These tires tend to be wider, and they are manufactured with either lug or siped treads for maximum traction.
3.Trailer Position – The trailer position includes all of the free rolling wheels on the typical trailer. These tires do not necessarily need great traction performance, but they do need to withstand the heavy stresses of weight and braking. A good trailer position tire has a reinforced sidewall that can handle maximum lateral forces while withstanding the shock of coming in contact with curbs.
4.All Position – All position tires are manufactured to provide excellent handling, traction, and durability regardless of the position at which they are mounted. The all position tire is to the trucking industry what the all-weather radial is to passenger vehicles. It is a multipurpose tire that works very well under most driving conditions.
Is it possible to use all position tires across an entire tractor and trailer combination? In theory, yes. Practically speaking, however, reality is a bit different. Most American truckers prefer to stick with steer position tires on the front of their tractors in order to maximize handling. They may use all position tires on the rest of the rig depending on what is available and what they want to spend.
Larger trucking companies are more likely to use all position tires for financial reasons. As with anything else, a company can get a discounted price if they are willing to buy in bulk. Using all position tires at every position other than the steer position enables trucking companies to purchase large volumes of tires at more affordable prices.
Choosing Tires for Your Rig
Choosing the right truck and trailer tires for your rig does not have to be complicated. Choose your tires in the same way you would purchase tires for a pickup truck or passenger car. We believe it is better to spend a little more on a quality brand name, by the way. The most trusted names like Double Coin and Roadmaster offer very good quality at an affordable price.
Consider the wear and tear you are likely to put on them, the types of weather conditions they will probably be exposed to, and your overall budget when purchasing your truck and trailer tires.