While they operate as a single unit, semi-trucks rely on multiple systems to perform well on the road. The chassis and undercarriage, truck tires are designed specifically to be placed in different positions on the tractor or trailer. Here’s a closer look at the four most common kinds and how they differ from one another. 

4 Common Types of Semi-Truck Tires

1. Steer

Attached to the front axle, steer tires are arguably the most important because they directly affect handling and driver control. These models have to stand up to the pull of the road as well as the vehicle, trailer, and other tires. They also carry a considerable amount of weight from the engine. 

As a result of these demands, they’re designed with stiff, sturdy sidewalls that handle pulling and stand up to curbs. The thread follows a rib design with deep grooving to help combat roadway moisture and maintain surface grip. 

2. All

All-position truck tires can technically be used in any spot on the semi. However, since steer options have the greatest requirements, they serve as a model for all-position. 

As such, these multi-use tires are usually produced with thick rubber and deep tread to meet the demands of the front of the truck. However, they can also be swapped for drive or trailer units in a pinch. 

3. Drive

Drive wheels are built for the unique needs of drive axles. Since they need to effectively push the vehicle forward as well as stop it, these tires require optimal road grip. Meeting these traction demands involves deep, thick tread. Instead of a rib design, they usually follow a lug-type pattern.

4. Trailer

The back of a semi-truck trailer ends up taking on the least amount of weight anywhere on the vehicle. The wheels here have minimal impact on traction, movement, and steering. However, they do aid the driver’s control when free-rolling and need to handle the force and friction created when stopping abruptly. As such, they usually feature a rib-style pattern of tread. They also need to handle the impact of curbs and sidewalks when making tight turns. For that reason, strong sidewalls are included in the design.

Set your fleet up for success with top-notch tires from Texas Commercial Tire. This trusted family-owned and operated business provides commercial wheel and tire replacements to drivers and companies across the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth and Central Texas areas. From roadside assistance to on-site bays, this TIA® certified team utilizes state-of-the-art Hunter Aligners® for efficient and dependable work. Reach out for convenient assistance online or by calling (972) 225-6640 in Hutchins and (254) 321-9961 in Temple.