Truck tires do wear out eventually. However, that should not be for a long time after you buy them, assuming you drive normally. But what kind of life should you reasonably expect from your truck tires and what can you do to extend that life?
For most trucks, both pickups and commercial, the tires are usually made of three or four steel belts under a single ply that’s a steel body under the tire itself. The intent is that these tires will manage many thousands of miles on their original treads and then be retreaded (the retread truck tires you can purchase).
There are those who advocate an age limit on truck tires. The date of manufacture is in the sidewall of the truck tires. It’s part of the Department of Transportation number that’s there.
Those who favor the age limit do so regardless of the wear or tread left in the tire. However, many are against this, arguing that with commercial tires in particular, regular inspections will detect any faults that occur and ensure that the tires are legal on tread.
Truck tires should be replaced if there are any bulges in the sidewalls as these could be potentially dangerous. In most states, the minimum legal tread of truck tires is 3/32 of an inch. To judge the depth, put a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head down. If the tread is at or above the head, you need to replace the tires. Most new tires will have wear bars that will indicate when the tires need to be replaced.
The way you drive will affect how long the tires last. It’s important to keep the tires at the recommended air pressure for the vehicle and the loads. This will extend the life of the truck tires. Accelerating and braking gradually, rather than suddenly, will also help the tires last longer, as well as increase gas mileage.
Rotating the tires regularly so that all the tires wear evenly will help the tires to last longer. Check the tires regularly for wear. If there’s excessive wear on the inside or outside of the tread, the truck might need to be aligned.
The better the tire, the longer it will last. Good quality can make a difference of between 10,000 and 20,000 miles over the life of a truck tire. Look at the labels; manufacturers will give an estimate of how long the tires should last. Be aware that this is nothing more than an estimate or rough guide. Too many factors come into play for it to be more than that.
As a general rule, truck tires should last between 25,000 miles and 50,000 miles. With regular maintenance and attention, however, that figure could increase by up to 50 percent. That could give you a life on the tire of up to 75,000 miles before the truck tires have to be replaced.