How Many Tires Does a Semi-Truck Have?
Standard semi-trucks have 18 tires in total. While 2 of 18 tires are steer tires, drive and trailer tires are sharing the remaining 16 tires to 8 for each axle.
Steer tires are the most important tires on semi-trucks. They are optimizing for handling, steering, comfort, and driving performance. Though, most vibration or delay on steering response is caused by these tires. It is worth reminding, these tires can be used in trailer axles.
Drive tires are the connection point of the ground surface and your engine. While they should be durable enough to last long, they also play a crucial role in traction-based issues.
Trailers are free-rolling tires. They must withstand bread and lateral forces. Moreover, most of the weight on your vehicle is carried by these tires(66%). Reinforced sidewalls prevent these tires from cubing damage.
Diameter of Semi-Truck Tires
19,5” and 22.5” rims are the most common sizes in the semi-truck market.Semi-truck tire sizes include but are not limited to 295/75R22.5 (28.4%), 11R22.5 (24.9%), 275/80R22.5 (13.1%), 225/70R19.5 (8.6%), and 11R24.5 (5.8%). Yet, these sizes cover most of the market needs.
Let’s explain what these numbers mean.
290: 290 states the width of the tire in millimeters.
75: 75 is the aspect ratio of your tire. It defines the distance between your rim bead and the uppermost point of your tire. In order to find tire height, you should multiply these numbers by two. For instance, the height of your tire for this size: 295×0.7×2+19”(convert to the millimeter).
R22.5: R22.5 states your rim size. Though worth reminding, it’s the only number in inch unit. So, don’t forget to multiply it with 25.4 if you want to find your tire height in millimeter.
Best Steer Tires for Semi-Truck
Irregular wear is the enemy of semi-truck tires. Well, steer tires tend to be worn irregularly. Yet, shoulder edge irregular wear is their rival. It is crucial cuz it can turn into shoulder step down irregular wear that means you can’t use your tire anymore. Handling and wear life will be our decision points for the drive axle.
Michelin X Line Energy Z
In summary, due to its low rolling resistance, X Line Energy Z is a fuel-efficient tire. Moreover, miniature sipes in its grooves ensure that it wears evenly. Hence, Michelin guarantees at least 20% better tread life than its competitors. You can also recap this tire at least tire times with a Michelin warranty. That means 700,000 miles with 3 rethreads. Lastly, its strong carcasses improve its handling significantly. Wet surfaces aren’t an issue with their huge water evacuation capability.
No doubt, Michelin leads the truck tire market. X Line Evergy Z is a trustworthy pick. You can confidently go with it if the price isn’t your priority.
Bridgestone R284 Ecopia
In summary, R284 Ecopia steps ahead with low rolling resistance. While NanoPro-Tech improves its tread life significantly, Side Groove Defense Tech prevents irregular shoulder wear. Companies report that it lasts 150,000 miles per casing. Its shoulder grooves evacuate the water and other materials easily and cover the traction consistency.
I strongly recommend this tire for low-weight applications.
Pirelli H89 Plus
In summary, due to Pirelli H89‘s unique compound and stone ejection capability, it offers huge tread life. Moreover, its sipe density is higher than the other tires on this list. Therefore, it offers better traction on heavy-loaded applications. Users report 150,000 miles with this tire. Moreover, its asymmetric tread design offers far better handling.
I can’t say it for drive axle but Pirelli make a great job on steer tires. I strongly recommend this tire for loaded applications.
Best Drive Tires for Semi-Trucks
Drive tires produce a force that you need to move forward with your vehicle. For this reason, most drive axle tires have lug-type tread patterns to increase traction. That causes heel and toe type irregular wear from time to time. This type of irregular wear isn’t crucial. Yet, it might decrease your driving comfort.
Michelin X Line Energy D
X Line Evergy D is Michelin’s drive axle tire. It’s the only tire that has a rib-type pattern in this list. No worries, it doesn’t cause traction issues for this beast.
In summary, due to its interlock full-depth sipes, while Michelin X Line Energy D offers tons of traction, it’s also comfortable like a rib type of tire. Its rectangular bead bundle speeds up the mounting process. Its grip ability is massive and that ensures that you don’t have any grip issues on wet and snowy grounds.
Bridgestone M726 ELA
In summary, M726 ELA is the most durable tire on this list. Due to its specific compound and wide void areas, it offers the best grip between drive tires. While a full-steel structure increases its puncture durability, a deeper tread increases its snow traction significantly. You can get 400,000 miles of tread life with ease.
If you face with of road frequently, I strongly recommend this tire.
Goodyear G572 Fuel Max
G572 Fuel Max is Goodyear’s drive axle tire. As you can see from the name, it’s focused on better gas mileage. You can use this tire on an off the road with confident.
In summary, due to the G572 Fuel Max compound selection, it offers a comfortable ride as well as long tread life. Its self-cleaning ability is huge. Herewith, it provides consistent traction in the hardest conditions. 350,000 miles of wear life is what most customers get.
Continental is a good pick if you are looking for the most comfortable drive tire. Otherwise, Bridgestone and Michelin better pick.
Bonus - Goodyear Fuel Max SST
Fuel Maxx SST is the only trailer tire on this list. I will share only one trailer tire in this list cause that one will meet with evry customer expextations.
In summary, Fuel Maxx SST offers the longest tread life among the competitors. While I was conducting its field test, it ripped all the competitors apart due to tread life. In my point of view, other metrics aren’t crucial for trailer tires. Thus, I recommend you to overleap them.
I’ve put only premium brand tires on this list. Well, you can buy cheap brand tires but you can’t rethread them 2 or 3 times. So, in the end, the total price you pay will be higher.
If you have any further questions, please leave them below. Have a safe ride!