Any lifted truck or SUV owner that frequently visits off-road locations will tell you that owning a lifted vehicle is about more than having the largest rig on the road or having the biggest tires. There is a need for lifted trucks and SUVs when it comes to off-roading and exploring unpaved paths waiting to be discovered. The practical reason for owning a lifted vehicle comes from the fact that off-roading requires a higher ground clearance in order to traverse uneven ground. But it is not enough to have a lifted vehicle in order to travel uncharted roads. The tires you choose are just as important in assuring that your rig is capable of safely driving over rough terrain. Read on to learn about the best tires for lifted trucks, as well as tires you should be avoiding.
Understanding Tire Sizes
While unlifted trucks can fit tires up to 33”, lifted trucks are able to wear tires that are much larger. Typically, the higher the lift, the larger the tire. For off-roading especially, having wider tires is extremely beneficial in lessening the wear on tread as well as help with balancing. Taller tires will help in increasing ground clearance. Having overall larger tires will help your vehicle have a smoother ride as well. If comfort is a big deal for you, consider installing All-Terrain tires, which give that extra traction without sacrificing the smooth ride you are looking for.
How Often Should Tires Be Balanced?
The average automobile needs balancing every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. However, heavy-duty trucks and SUVs may need more frequent balancing depending on the amount of offroading they experience. Keeping your tires balanced is important not just for the comfort of the driver and passengers, but for the car’s safety, as unbalanced tires can cause excessive tire and suspension wear. If you tend to take your vehicle through rocky landscapes frequently, you will want to keep an eye out for signs of unbalance. Here are the signs to look for that indicate that your vehicle needs to be rebalanced:
- Uneven or rapid tread wear
- Poor fuel economy
- Excessive steering wheel vibration
- Vibration in the floorboard or seats
- Vibrations that worsen at faster speeds
Luckily, these signs are easy to recognize, and rebalancing should not take long to do. Many places offer rebalancing services at varying prices depending on where you turn to. If your rig has TreadWright tires, you can visit the TreadWright Houston storefront location and have them balanced for free.
Leveling Kit vs. Lift Kit
Lifted truck owners should keep in mind that the way they level their truck can affect fuel economy and the way the truck is balanced. Most trucks are lifted more in the back than in the front in order to balance weight load when hauling items. However, if you don’t use your truck bed for hauling often, you may want to consider leveling your vehicle more evenly in order to reduce stress on the front tires. If you are unsure of whether you should lift or level your vehicle, check out how the two compare:
- Better for off-roading performance
- Harder to install than leveling
- More expensive than leveling
- May cause parts to wear out faster
- Won’t change payload capacity
- Simple/ Easy to use
Avoiding Imported Brands
According to NBC News, buyers should “beware” of tires manufactured in and imported from China. The article, With Chinese Tires, It’s Buyer Beware, states that “because these tires target the price-sensitive low end of the market, customers might be more swayed by the price tag than by the potential for longer braking distances.”
Unfortunately, Chinese tire manufacturers are known for meeting the bare minimum safety requirements regulated by the US government. Made with cheap materials and cheap labor, the result is a tire that doesn’t last as long with a weaker tread that does not grip the road like a high-quality tire can. For additional help in identifying the top brands you should avoid, visit this article from CarsDirect that lists companies that sell the lowest-quality imported tires.
When it comes to off-roading especially, a dependable tread is more important than anything. The best way to ensure that you are getting top performance and safety from your tires is by buying American-made. There is no need to sacrifice affordability for quality, especially when it comes to TreadWright tires.
Is Buying Tires Online Worth It?
There is something to be said about the convenience of popping into a physical store location and going home with a new set of tires. In fact, TreadWright has a Houston storefront that does exactly that. However, for many who do not live in or near Houston, the ability to order your tires online and have them shipped to your door can be just as convenient. Better yet, shipping is completely free when you order from TreadWright online. When American-based businesses offer both online ordering and storefront sales, there is no need or reason to buy imported. Safety, quality, and affordability are our top priorities and will continue to be as we work to educate the public on the importance of researching tire brands before purchasing. When the proper research is done, off-roading enthusiasts come to the conclusion that TreadWright carries the best tires for lifted trucks.