Your tire philosophy

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Midnightrider909, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Midnightrider909

    Midnightrider909 Road Train Member

    Oct 26, 2016
    Up until recently I haven’t thought about tires all that much because most of my driving career I was a company driver and back then it was their problem and then I bought a new truck and now I’m at 131,000 miles and the last couple thousand miles I’ve noticed a vibration/shimmy at certain speeds and more of a pull to the right. Initially I thought it’s because I was running in Indiana and Arkansas on really bad roads but then I have noticed that the passenger side steer is wearing faster than the driver side, especially on the outside edge. I’ve looked through some other threads and have seen many owners find they need to replace the steers at about this mileage and some get about 200,000 miles or even more. I doubt the OEM Goodyears were the top of the line. I probably should’ve added some Centramatics and rotated them ever other PM but what’s past is past so I’m wondering what to do with the next set. I run my drive tires at 100 psi and the steers at 110. I need to take my Volvo in to get the 150,000 mile service done and I’ll probably get a couple of new steers at that time and get the alignment checked. The way the roads are now I’m leery about spending a fortune on really good Michelin’s when all it takes is one bad pothole to ruin one. What are your thoughts on steer tires?
    1. Should I get really good Michelins or cheap Chinese ones from Loves?
    2. Should I get the alignment checked? If so how often?
    3. Tire rotation? None of the fleets I ever drove for ever rotated tires so I’m wondering if it’s worth the trouble.
    4. How often do you replace the shocks?

    I have a Volvo 780 if that matters. My drive tires are doing OK so far so I’m probably just going to rotate those and add some Centramatics. I figure I can get another 120,000 miles out of those but the steers have about 20,000 max left.
    Johny41 and jamespmack Thank this.
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  3. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Heavy Load Member

    Jun 17, 2018
    I’m based in Texas and drive to New England and back so it’s a good mixture of hot and cold climates. Tire blow outs most often occur by too low air pressure. Exacerbated if a nail or similar is picked up. The low air pressure makes the tire flex more which heats up the steel inside the tire, in turn pumping the air pressure until the steel gives out.

    I run steers 110 psi
    Drives and trailer 110 psi

    Tires are finicky to get right. As for steers, make sure you follow the replacement schedule for shocks. Also look for extra wear or a oil streak from them. Check your leaf springs and bushings in the front. When your truck is jacked up, and steers pointed straight, stand directly on the side facing the lug nuts. Grab the top of the tire and try to push it back and forward. This will tell you how your kingpins are doing. If the tire wobbles at all this needs fixing. I also think centramatics is worth it. Even with them though still get the tire balanced.

    With your truck being so new I would guess the shocks or a bad tire are the culprit. For the rest of your questions, rotating tires is not worth anything on the steers. Lastly, I get an alignment every time I replace steers.
    Midnightrider909 Thanks this.
  4. Opendeckin

    Opendeckin Light Load Member

    May 20, 2018
    I only run premium tires on my steers and drives. In my experience running cheap tires winds up costing more. I tried running goodyear and dunlop steers and continually had flat spot wear so bad within 60-80k miles the tire was garbage. Put a pair of the Michelin steers on and they're over 150k now with tons of tread life left.

    Haven't found a drive tire I love yet. Goodyear marathon drives rock drilled horribly. The BFG DR444's are great, but they only last like 200k miles. Thinking of trying the Bridgestone M710 this next time around. Had those as a company driver and they made it to 300k easily pulling heavy loads up mountains on a regular basis.

    For trailer tires the Roadmaster RM272 that came with my new flatbed is doing surprisingly well for a chinese tire. Thinking I might keep running those.
    jamespmack and Midnightrider909 Thank this.
  5. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    Michelin steer 16 ply are the best for 780, they last the longest.
  6. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Stuck in Limbo
    Round is good square is bad.

    Yokohoma on steers and whatever brand has a good deal on drives. We've had very good luck with sailun's on the drives. Wore evenly gonna get around 200k out of em.

    We run almost all 2 lane country roads and dirt roads no need for fancy low rolling resistance tires.
  7. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    With a set back front axle you’re going to want 16 ply no matter what. And I would have the alignment checked because it only has to be within spec to leave the factory. Also I’ve always put shocks on when I put on new steer tires.
  8. daf105paccar

    daf105paccar Road Train Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    Dismount the tires from the rims,put left one on rightside rim and visa versa.
    That way they rotate in the same direction and are worn more evenly by the end off their life.
    Not uncommon to have to do that.
    Midnightrider909 Thanks this.
  9. daf105paccar

    daf105paccar Road Train Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    Balancing beads are better.
    Midnightrider909 Thanks this.
  10. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Do an alignment at 100k, it is good practice.
  11. 062

    062 Road Train Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    I wouldn’t run a Chinese tire on the steer. I run Chinese steer tires on the trailer, and they’re too soft of a compound. I had three punctures in the first couple months.
    Midnightrider909 Thanks this.
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