What are the Different Types of Tyres for Trucks?

There are three different types of tyres for trucks based on their axle position: steer tyres, drive tyres and trailer tyres. The tyres are designed for optimal performance in their specific axle position. Therefore, you should only ever fit each type of tyre to its corresponding axle position.

Choosing the right tyres also comes down to weather conditions, tyre size and performance criteria. For commercial fleets, the most important elements to consider are reducing downtime, fuel efficiency, and mileage. You can learn more about these aspects of truck tyre choice in our buying guide for truck tyres.

Types of Truck Tyres for Different Axle Positions

The design of truck tyres varies depending on the axle they are being used on. That’s because each axle position has different requirements to ensure optimal performance on the road.

Steer Axle Tyres

A truck’s steer tyres are specifically designed for the front axle on your truck. In this position, the steer tyres take all the stresses and strains of turning your vehicle. For this reason, they need to have optimal handling performance for precise and smooth steering.

Steer axle tyres also need to have excellent aquaplaning resistance properties. They will be your first tyres to hit wet roads, so need to be able to disperse water effectively.

Lastly, steer tyres will also have the biggest impact on comfort in the cabin. To maximise comfort, your steer axle tyres should minimise external noise and vibrations. This will ensure your drivers have a quiet and comfortable ride.

Trailer Axle Tyres

A truck’s trailer tyres are designed to cope with the challenge of static and dynamic loads, while also maximising mileage and fuel efficiency. They also need to protect against scrubbing, which can result in rapid and uneven tyre wear. And if this happens, it would mean you’d need to replace the tyres sooner than expected.

Drive Axle Tyres

First and foremost, your truck’s drive tyres are responsible for turning engine power into forward motion. They achieve this through an optimal tread pattern designed to maximise traction.
Additionally, drive axle tyres come under a lot of braking pressure and so need to have strong grip to minimise braking distances.
It’s also important that your drive axle tyres have the strength to cope with a high load rating. Drive tyres typically carry the highest axle load of the whole road-going setup.

All Position Tyres

You will sometimes find tyres advertised as all position tyres. These tyres are designed to have good performance across the board and maximise mileage. However, all position tyres are more commonly associated with urban transport vehicles such as the URBANMAX MCA, rather than long haul trucks. For national and international fleets, you should fit your trucks with the correct steer, drive and trailer tyres for optimal performance.

Can You Mix Steer, Drive or Trailer Tyres Across Axles?

You shouldn’t mix the different types of tyres across the different axles. Each tyre is specifically designed for the demands of each position on the truck and therefore mixing tyres will lead to underperformance.

Use our Truck Tyre Search Tool to filter your tyre search by position: steer, drive, or trailer.

Looking After Your Truck Tyres

Tyre maintenance is vitally important to reduce downtime and maximise the lifespan of your tyres. But this can be a very time-consuming task when you’ve got a large fleet to service. So instead of looking after your tyres manually, you can use Goodyear’s Drive-Over-Reader. The Drive-Over-Reader provides an automated solution that checks your tyres in seconds, helping to keep your fleet on the road.

You can also fit your truck tyres with TPMS monitors. Goodyear’s TPMS is fitted to the rim of each wheel and will alert you to any changes in tyre pressure. With Goodyear’s TPMS monitors you can keep your fleet running reliably and efficiently.