Trucks come in many forms and sizes and may vary in terms of usage. Take the semi-trailer truck or semi truck, for example. It has a tractor and may have one or more vans (trailers) to carry goods. Such a vehicle is meant for transporting heavy materials and as such need bigger tires that would carry heavier loads than say, a race car or a limousine.

Which Tires are Best For Ride and Handling?

Now what types of tires are needed for this kind of vehicle? It’s all about position or where the tires are placed. These include steer or all position tires, drive tires, and trailer tires. Steer or All Position tires are those located in the fore of the semi truck. However, these tires may also be used in the drive position, or even the trailer position — thus the name all position tires. These tires influence the RIDE and HANDLING of the vehicle so they must be in superb condition at all times. It is most important, therefore, to choose tires that give ease and comfort — less impact to the driver and passengers —as well as ones that can easily be handled while maneuvering a bend(s) at high speeds.

Tires for Grip

Here are some top brand tires that you may choose from: Michelin, Goodyear, Yokohama, BFGoodrich, and Cooper Roadmaster. Of course, one must consider prices when ordering one’s tires. However, for safety, one must choose quality over cost. There is no contest in that. Of the three types, Drive tires carry the most workload. These hold onto (grip) the road surface, or what one may call as traction. Excellent drive tires can veer one away from disaster especially when one is traversing icy or slippery roads. It would be most advantageous to choose those that can afford the vehicle a good grip on the road surface. Season and weather conditions should be considered when choosing Drive tires.

Tires for Traction

Here are some brand tires for different weather conditions: Hankook Ventus V12 Summer Tires, Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tires, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer Tires, Cooper Discoverer A/T3 All-Terrain Tires, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus All-Weather Tires, and Michelin MXV4 All-Season Tires. The keyword for choosing tires like these would be TRACTION, whatever the weather condition. The third type of tires are placed on the trailer or van. These are called Trailer tires. As goods (freight) are loaded on the trailer or van, the tires used must be able to withstand lateral and braking forces while carrying such a load. The Lateral Force Variation (LFV) of such tires must be dynamic enough to encompass different forces acting upon the truck and the road. ASTM International in ASTM F1806 — Standard Practice for Tire Testing provides certain processes to gauge the Lateral Force Variation (LFV) of tires. So, if one must buy tires, be sure that these tires pass their standard.


So, the next time you need to buy tires for your semi truck, just remember where you will be using them — the steer, drive, or trailer. Remember, each has a different function. So, when purchasing them, consider the forces that they may come in contact with so you can choose those for optimum usage. Whatever the tire, it must function well in smooth as well as harsh conditions, for they will help ensure the safety of your travel. Semi trucks are like oxens that carry heavy burdens in short or long distances. They need tires that can cushion, balance, and roll with the forces of the road they tread upon. Like feet that carry our weight, they must always be in tiptop condition so one can get the best mileage. Check out our other articles on our blog.