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A Brief Explanation of Commercial Truck Tire Positions and Service Applications

It is important to choose the right tire for a specific purpose to maximize its lifetime and increase the efficiency of your truck tire. Not sure how to choose? First, you must understand the positions of tires and their service applications to make the right decision.


  • Steer/All-Position Axle Truck Tires

The Steer axle of a truck is generally designed to be in the front position. They are most efficient for steering, handling, and driving stability, which makes them easy to move in various conditions. They also provide low noise generation and low rolling resistance. 

  • Drive Axle Truck Tires

These tires are located on the truck’s rear, which helps to maximize traction both on different surfaces and in varied weather. The tread pattern is more aggressive to increase controllability and grip, as well as boost fuel efficiency by reducing the rolling resistance which reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

  • Trailer Axle Truck Tires

The structure of Trailer axle truck tires is capable of withstanding heavy loads by maintaining the tire shape under the load and driving pressure. Moreover, the internal structure of the tire can be either bias or radial. Bias tires have more flexibility, which reduces the tire temperature while running, while radial tires have better efficiency and can carry heavier loads but do not prevent heat built-up.

Service Applications

  • Long Haul Trucks

These trucks are typically used for line and highway hauls that see over 100,000 miles a year. They are designed to carry heavy loads for longer periods. The internal structure retains optimal tire form under the loads and ensures longer tread life. The operating radius is more than 300 miles.

  • Regional  Trucks

Regional trucks are used for medium hauls with shortened duration between 30,000 and 80,000 miles a year, and are designed to carry heavy loads. However, the friction generated between the tire and the road can create scrubbing along the tread. The operating radius is generally 300 miles or less.

  • Urban Trucks

Urban trucks are used for frequent start-stop work in city traffic, which is high abrasion performance and adds pressure on the tires.  This results in irregular tread wear formations that shorten the lifetime of tires. The annual vehicle mileage is not more than 30,000 miles.

  • On/Off-Road Trucks

Normally, both on- and off-road are used for medium and short hauls of 10,000 – 70,000 miles per year. Due to their ability to overcome various terrain traction, the operating radius is shortened to 100 miles or less. The tires are durable and can withstand cuts and bruising.

  • Coach Trucks

In general, coach trucks are used for long, medium, and short hauls to carry passengers and luggage in a local area or across the country. The tire wear depends on their route, which can vary from high scrub during local hauls to irregular wear conditions during cross country travel. The annual vehicle mileage is between 80,000 – 100,00.

Still not sure about choosing the right tires? Ask our specialists at OTRUSA.COM! We provide diverse tire options that suit your specific tasks, and have over 20 years of experience in the tire industry. We are happy to answer your questions and help you to make the right decision, so please feel free to give us a call at +1-855-687-8721.

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