You have just purchased the perfect truck with all the bells and whistles, but do you know how to choose truck tires for towing? You will need to determine the speed you will be traveling, the load you will be hauling, and what kind of towing you will be doing. These factors tie into selecting the perfect heavy-duty tires for a smoother and more efficient towing experience.
Step 1: Determine Your Travel Speed
If you are traveling on the interstate, you will need truck tires with higher speed ratings than if you were just traveling on county roads, but at the same time, you will need the proper load rating. Letters of the alphabet indicate load ratings, with the higher the letter equals, the higher the load rating.
Typically, load rating E is the type of tire used for towing. It offers excellent versatility for all your towing needs. You can travel comfortably in town, out of state, on the highway, and over off-road conditions. E tires can handle up to 80 psi and are 10-ply tires, which means they have solid dependability when it comes to towing capacity.
Step 2: Determine the Load You Will Be Carrying
What your load is and how heavy it is will probably be an essential factor in choosing truck tires for towing. You will not make it very far if you do not select the appropriate tires for the load.
You will need tires with a load carrying capacity that is high enough to support both the truck and the weight of what you are towing. Once you know the weight of your truck, add it to your typical load weight or assume it based on your truck's max towing capacity in the chart. Then, as you are shopping for the best truck tires for towing, you will know the exact load carrying capacity you need your new tires to exceed.
To calculate load carrying capacity, you will find the capacity of one tire and multiply it by four. Any tire retailer will have a chart or information available to help you calculate this number. They may even have it readily available for you with no calculations needed.
Remember that heat will decrease the tires’ load carrying capacity. So, the faster you drive, the more heat is generated, and the more the load carrying capacity will decrease. Weight is also a factor as it creates heat.
Step 3: Determine What Kind of Towing You Will Be Doing
LT or light truck tires are the best option for your truck. They are most commonly used for more rugged driving terrain and hauling greater loads. Unlike passenger (P) tires, LT tires have thicker sidewalls and tread depth and handle better when towing. They are versatile and can switch between regular street driving and off-road conditions. The only downside is the rough handling when driving without a load.
The season you will be towing in will also affect how to choose truck tires for towing. This consideration is something to take into account if you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, with ice and snow in the winter.
Tires that perform well on snow and ice do not perform well in the summer heat. The same goes for tires that perform well in the summer – they simply do not have the traction needed to handle icy roads. A third scenario is if you will be towing year-round. In this case, you will need solid all-season tires capable of operating in all four seasons.
What Should You Avoid When Purchasing Truck Tires for Towing?
You should avoid these two mistakes when purchasing the best truck tires for towing 5th wheel. They can slow you down and reduce your towing capacity.
Buying Larger Tires
Larger tires might look great and be a trend, but they can seriously hurt your truck’s ability to perform. They can even alter the way the engine performs. Most importantly, when it comes to towing, you most likely will not get the results you are used to, resulting in a significantly reduced towing capacity.
Increasing tire size increases the engine torque required to rotate the tires. Because of this, the truck has less power, and cannot tow as much weight.
Opting for Budget Tires During a Routine Tire Change
When you go for your next tire change, if you are not clear with the service tech, you could end up with some budget tires, which are great for your wallet but not so much for your towing abilities. If the shop does not keep the same caliber of tire on your truck, you could end up with tires unsuited for towing. So, be mindful of what happens when you bring your truck in for a routine tire service appointment.
You need to expect a decent investment to get the return you want from your tires. Buying cheaply will not benefit you in the long run as these low-cost tires are not built to withstand carrying loads over long distances. You will ultimately experience deformation and safety issues.
Now you know how to choose truck tires for towing and why it is vital before considering towing a load. Without the right tires, you could end up on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance. You must ensure the correct speed rating, load carrying capacity, tire type, and seasonal tire for your towing needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Towing, What Tire Rating Is Best?
When you choose a tire for towing, it needs at least a 10-ply rating. Anything less than this will degrade more quickly, resulting in poor stability. In addition, the tire should be a load range E with a load carrying capacity of 3,000 pounds.
Do Tires Affect Towing?
Tires are crucial when it comes to towing. If you have the wrong tires, you risk having them deform under the combined weight of your vehicle and the load. You could end up breaking down on the side of the road, or worse, in a severe accident.
Is More Sidewall Better for Towing?
The best tires for towing a travel trailer have more sidewall stability. Their sidewalls are more rigid than other tires, which gives them better protection against damage and blowouts. So, it is not about having more sidewall but having a stiffer sidewall to receive the best support for towing.
Are 12-Ply Tires Good for Towing?
12-ply tires can bear more weight than 10-ply tires and, as such, correspond with the maximum load range of F. These tires are considered to be the all-around best tires for towing; however, they can increase your rate of fuel consumption.