If you only drive on the street then a low profile truck tire will be fine, but if you go offroading then you are going to want more tire in between your rim and the ground…

IH toyota-fj-cruiser-off-road

Tires are one of the most important features of the truck when it comes to improving its ride.

It is vital to make the right choice and then maintain them so they last for a long time. Before you choose the best tire for your truck, it is essential to understand the terms of the truck tire world.

Tires for example are specified in this form – 265/75R/16. The first number is the width of the truck tire, the second number is the aspect ratio or height of the sidewall and the third number is the wheel diameter or rim size.

The height of your sidewall is important and should be chosen based on the conditions where you drive your truck most often. If you only drive on the street then a low profile truck tire will be fine, but if you go off-roading then you are going to want more tire in between your rim and the ground. That way you will not bottom out on the rims when the tires encounter rough terrain off-road.

Wider tires have more contact area with the ground, thus giving your truck a better grip, both on and off road. Your truck’s handling becomes easier because of the bigger tire width. On the other hand, the same wider truck tire will make more noise and may decrease the fuel efficiency of the truck.

Wider tires can also slip more when it rains, not that it rains much in Vancouver.

The size of the rim is a personal preference. The larger sized rims are popular today. Just make sure that the rim and truck tire you choose will fit inside the wheel well of the truck, and don’t forget to upgrade your brakes to help stop this increase in weight. The wheel rim width varies from truck to truck. It can be custom made to suit both on and off road driving conditions. The wheel rim width is rounded off to the nearest half inch of the tire.

Usually, the best choice is to have the rim width at about 90 per cent of the tread width of the tire.

The most important safety aspect of maintenance on your truck is to keep its tires intact and in good shape. A blown tire can cause an accident in an instant. The number one cause of the tire wear and tear is incorrect tire pressure. All the tires on the truck should have consistent air pressure to carry the weight equally. Adequate air pressure is important for a good tire life, handling, and traction.

Look through your owner’s manual, on the sticker inside the driver’s door, or look on the tire itself to find the correct air pressure that you need to maintain them.

Seasonal changes can affect the air pressure of the tires. Cold temperatures are responsible for dropping the air pressure of the tires, and warm temperatures are responsible for increasing the air pressure. A 10 percent swing in the temperatures causes a 1lb. change in the air pressure. Sudden changes in temperature are a good time to check the pressure of the tires.

You can reduce the wear and tear of the truck’s tires by rotating them often. Rotating the tires, keeps the tread wear balanced and can really help when slippery and wet conditions occur. A simple rule about rotating your tires is to do it on every other oil change. Doing this consistent basis, will make the tires last longer and allow a comfortable ride for many, many kilometres.

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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