Choosing the Best Tyres For Your Truck
Choosing the Best Tyres for Your Truck
It’s important to have the right on road or off road truck tyres for the conditions you drive in. We agree replacing worn tyres isn’t the cheapest of exercises but the correct tyres can really affect driving performance and, most importantly, your safety. Here are some things to take into consideration to ensure you choose the best tyres for your truck.
What Truck Tyres Do I Need?
You really need to be clued up on the type of vehicle you have and what its capabilities are so you can fit the right tyres. At Toyota we provide a full spec sheet on all of our trucks so you can see exactly what each can do and what conditions they are suited for.
Your tyres should give you both safety and performance for the conditions you drive in, so have a think about these questions for starters:
- Do I regularly drive in wet conditions?
- Do I need to carry heavy loads?
- Do I drive at the maximum speed on sealed or unsealed roads?
Though you can get All Purpose tyres for both on road and off road conditions - you’ll sacrifice either ride quality or performance. It’s better to get a tyre that best matches the conditions you drive in for the majority of the time.
How Many Tyres Should I Buy?
According to the NZ Transport Agency the legal tyre tread depth is 1.5mm to ensure a safe grip on wet roads. They recommend replacing your truck tyres in sets of four so you maintain consistent handling. Replacing just one tyre at a time isn’t safe because the new tyre may have different characteristics than the old tyres and can cause uneven wear and alignment issues.
But if you’re balking at forking out on four new tyres, the NZTA suggests tyres can be replaced in pairs on the same axle and that the tyres with the best grip should always be fitted to the rear.
Keep in mind if you do go to a tyre place for advice on worn tyres, most tyre professionals will recommend you change all four tyres at once for maximum safety and performance.
What Size Tyres Do I Need?
If you’re changing two tyres on the same axle then you’ll need to buy tyres the same size as the other axle. Most tyre retailers will have a range of sizes in stock, but it’s helpful if you give them your exact tyre size to save time. The size should be easily found on the sidewall of an existing tyre, but you can also check the manufacturer's specs for the vehicle.
Truck Tyre Sizes Explained
Using the Toyota Hilux 4WD Double Cab SR5 Cruiser Ute as a guide for tyre sizes, we can see in the specs that this model is fitted with 265/60 R18 size tyres. The 265 relates to the width of tyre in millimetres, 60 is the aspect ratio of the tyre, R is for radial construction, 18 is the width of the tyre rim in inches.
To check if a tyre retailer has the size you need, you can enter the details into the tyre size calculator on their website (Bridgestone has one of these).
Improving Ride & Performance of Truck Tyres
If you’ve decided to bite the bullet and buy four new truck tyres, a complete set of new tyres gives you a chance to upsize. Many truck owners decide to do this as taller, wider tyres can improve ride and performance. Depending on the tasks you use your truck for, gruntier 4x4 tyres will also improve traction and load carrying capacity.
In general, even if you don’t want to upsize your tyres, you should buy the best quality tyres you can afford. Quality tyres will last the distance and give your truck the superior performance and handling it was designed for.
Lastly, how you treat your tyres will largely dictate how much wear you get out of them. To make the most of your new truck tyres here are 5 tips:
1. Always practice safe driving
2. Have your wheels balanced
3. Check your tyre air pressure monthly
4. Have regular tread depth inspections
5. Check your alignment twice a year.