by Reid Martens
If you’re planning on buying new tires for your pickup truck you need to read this article. We’re going to look at how commercial tires can be used on standard pickups, why you might want to use them and how to decide whether or not it’s the right choice.
The Big 3 automakers – Dodge, Ford and Chev – are all making some pretty powerful medium- and heavy-duty pickup trucks these days. But unfortunately, they generally stick tires on them that won’t really match the performance of the truck.
Commercial tires, on the other hand, are made to a different standard. They’re used on emergency vehicles, school buses, long haul trucks and other vehicles where durability and long life is critical. These tires can have several advantages for your pickup truck as well.
- Longer tread life
- Smoother ride
- Better gas mileage
- Better overall performance
The catch is, commercial tires tend to come in different sizes than the average pickup truck so they can’t simply be mounted on the factory rims.
Fortunately, there are companies making conversion kits that will let you run different wheels on your truck. These kits convert from the standard 8 lug wheel mounts that the car manufacturers use to the hub center or metric mounts that are typically used on commercial vehicles.
Once you have the conversion done, you’re free to choose suitable commercial tires for your truck. Because they’re built to last much longer, you will generally get anywhere from 4 to 8 times the life out of them.
In some cases, they can even be re-capped and still maintain the original warranty. Dunlop, for example, has a 500,000 mile or 4 year guarantee on their casings, so if you put enough miles on your tires you might get two or three recaps during that time.
Before replacing your truck tires with a set similar to the ones that came stock from the factory, check the prices for comparable commercial tires. You’ll spend more up front but you might find the longer life and better performance you’ll get will actually save you money in the long run.