Wide Base Tires - Pros & Cons

10/14/2021

Are you thinking of switching to wide base truck tires for your fleet? While this type of tire comes with major performance benefits, it also requires significant adjustments to your routine. Consider the following points to determine whether dual wheels or wide base tires are the best choice for your trucks and trailers.

Advantages of wide truck tires

A wide base tire can carry as much weight as two dual tires. Thanks to its lower rim weight, it can also allow for better fuel economy and improved stability for your truck. If maintained safely and regularly, your tires could cut down on accident rates, which could in turn keep your auto insurance premiums lower in the long run.

Other benefits of incorporating these tires into your fleet include:

Less time spent on vehicle maintenance. Since you'll have fewer tires in your fleet, you'll be spending fewer hours on air pressure checks, rotations and vehicle inspection. You also won't have to worry about maintaining or matching the inside dual tire pressure or heights of your tires. Air valves on wide base tires are easier to access than on dual tires, which means maintaining the right inflation pressure and extending their overall life is a simpler task.

Higher cargo capacity. Choosing wide base tires can slash your truck's weight by as much as 70 pounds per tire. As a result, your trucks can safely carry more cargo without compromising their stability.

A smoother, more stable ride. Less traction on your tires, plus a lower center of gravity, will allow your trucks to drive more smoothly with less chance of rolling over than with dual tires.

Additional fuel savings. Because you can add more freight to your trucks, you can maximize weight-sensitive fleets' routes and fuel efficiency, putting more cash back in your pocket.

Disadvantages of wide truck tires

Depending on your unique operational needs and priorities, wide base tires may not always make sense. Before making a decision consider the following:

Increased purchase costs. Wide base tires will not only cost you more upfront, but they're also more difficult to retread than dual tires. Because wear and tear is amplified across a single tread face compared to their dual cousins, you'll most likely have to replace the entire wheel instead.

Less forgiving to repair. Because a wide based tire is performing the work of two tires, it is much heavier and requires several people to move it. If your drivers get stuck on the road with a flat tire, they are at much higher risk of injury, whether from attempting to lift and fix it themselves or from being stranded wherever the emergency breakdown occurs. A tire blowout that leads to accident or injury could also affect your auto insurance by increasing your rates in the long run. On top of this, calling for roadside assistance can substantially add to the cost of repairs.

Missing preventative maintenance can cost you more in the long run. This could lower the overall life of your tire and increase the frequency of their replacement, which could effectively cancel out any fuel-savings benefits altogether. Regular inflation checks and truck, drive-axle and trailer-axle alignment are crucial if you want to prolong the life of your wide base tires, harness their weight and fuel-saving benefits and enjoy increased driver control. Having a solid plan in case of emergency breakdown is equally essential.

Have any questions about how your tires might affect your auto insurance? Reach out to your independent Westfield agent to make the right choice for your business.