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Post Info TOPIC: Replacing Truck Tires


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Replacing Truck Tires


We have a 2016 Ram 3500 DRW with 22,000 miles, and the front tires show considerable wear on the outside.  We are researching replacement tires and would like to know what tires others are successfully using -and where to purchase.  We tow an 18,000 pound Heartland Landmark 5th wheel.  We are looking for a very good quality tire.  Your thoughts and recommendations are appreciated.

Frank



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Barb and Frank

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2016 Ram 3500/Cummins Diesel/4WD



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Just my opinion, but I would stick with the big 3 Goodyear, Bridgestone, or Michelin. If you can find a deal on Continental I would also look at them, but the issue is the wide spread availability isn’t as great compared to the big three.

You will get a number of opinions from the different camps, those that are die hard brand users. Having been in the tire business in excess of 35+ yrs, plus having worked for all three big manufacturers and as an independent dealer my preference is only driven by the fact as a retiree of Goodyear I get a decent discount on Goodyear brand tires. There isn’t too much difference between tires like it was years ago (going way, way back when they were built more by hand).

The biggest difference now is in tread design and compounding. Michelin usually hangs thier hat on long mileage, but the trade off is wet and cool traction. (I’m not a big Michelin fan so keep that in mind, lots of reasons and too long to write out). Bridgestone makes a very competent tire, as does Goodyear.

The key is tire maintenance. If you tow 50% and drive the other unloaded it will be difficult to maximize mileage. If you utilize the truck mainly for towing I would search out an alignment shop that can (and would be willing) to perform an alignment with the trailer hooked up to the truck. This would get the alignment as close to specs which would provide you with the best tire mileage. Also depending on your wheels if you can rotate the tires that will also help maximize your tire life.

Keep in mind my assumption is you know all your weights (each wheel position is best) by axle, loaded and unloaded. And that your air pressure is set correctly to the weight the axle is carrying.

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2015 Ram 3500 6.7L DRW



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Frank ... 22,000 miles seems a little low and wear on the outside indicates too much toe in. I'm not a RAM guy, but several who are have mentioned that the toe in as factory set is a little aggressive and that a bit less will improve your tire wear without disturbing your normal straight ahead tracking (too little toe in will result in "wander"). Cummins has the same truck as you and he will likely chime in soon and is knowledgeable on this topic.

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

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I have LOTS of experience in this arena. My 2011 RAM Dually had general POS tires that has a front tire separation at 25K so I went with MS2's. At 40K they looked great at time of trade. I only rotate the fronts with keeping the wheel in the same position and tires side to side with rotation the same.

The trick to good tire wear is ALWAYS run 80psi on the fronts and 35 unloaded rear and 65 loaded rear. The other thing is the OE toe spec is 1/4" that is to keep the truck tracking straight. My alignment guy I have used since the late 70's said that is why the outer edges are stepping. He adjusted the front to 1/32-1/64" toe and my stepping woes went away.

I installed MS2's on current 15 RAM Dually at 200 miles. They were worn out at 40K and they gave me back a pro rated $106 per tire to spend anyway I wanted. I figured I would give them a try since I have had AWESOME tire wear using Michelins for over 500K. So at 12K the Defenders look awesome.

I would HIGHLY recommend the Defenders they have a quiet ride and great wet traction along with great wear.



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There's an 80 - 90% recommendation rate for the Michelin Defender series on the other two RV forums I spend time on. My brother-in-law (I call him a "New Mexico veterinarian/farmer/RVer/truck guy) won't put anything else on his truck, either. He says they are the only ones he can get miles out of. He has never complained about traction, etc., and says they are very quiet on the highway (though most of his RVing is off-road in NM and CO). We are due for new rubber based on age (tires - not mine) and will be getting Defenders when we get to Las Cruces next week.

Rob

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Just so people have a comparison. I paid $1,278 out the door for the MS2's in 2015 at Discount tires. The Defenders not sure since I had a $106 per tire credit.

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Got about 6500 miles on our 2018 RAM 3500, still running the Korean Nexen tires that came on it, so far so good.

Will replace with Michelin when needed, replaced the Michelin's that came on my previous GMC 3500 truck with Firestone Transforce, big mistake !!

The Firestone's wore well but rode horrible, never smooth.



-- Edited by Rob_Fla on Tuesday 13th of February 2018 08:04:15 PM

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Rob_Fla wrote:

Got about 6500 miles on our 2018 RAM 3500, still running the Korean Nexen tires that came on it, so far so good.

Will replace with Michelin when needed, replaced the Michelin's that came on my previous GMC 3500 truck with Firestone Transforce, big mistake !!

The Firestone's wore well but rode horrible, never smooth.



-- Edited by Rob_Fla on Tuesday 13th of February 2018 08:04:15 PM


 Go look at your front tires I will bet then outer edges are stepped.



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Thanks to everyone for the tire information.  Typically, where do you purchase and where do you have tires installed?  Can a local Goodyear shop handle a job like this on a 3500?



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I found great service and the best pricing at Discount Tire for the Michelin Defender.

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Thanks Cummins



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My towing truck currently runs Open Country AT2. These toyo tires are solid and wearing well. They are quiet and smooth on the highway. Some of my friends have Cooper and BFG, and haven't heard any complaints from them.



-- Edited by dovenson on Thursday 1st of March 2018 08:15:18 PM

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Speaking of tires…anybody know what the difference between Continental HSR and HSL Eco Plus is…other than the cross grooves on the latter look a little narrower in the pictures on the continental site? I need new front tires for my 5500HD and both of these are listed as steer axle…HSR is listed as Heavy Steer Regional on their site and HSL Eco Plus as listed as fuel efficient long haul steer.

I can get the HSRs from the RAM dealer but they'll cost more than Tire Kingdom and they will have to order them as. they don't keep them in parts…the HSL Eco Plus are in stock at the local truck tire Tire Kingdom branch.

From review of the info on both at the Continental site the HSLs look fine…they're listed as road use steer tires and the HSRs are listed as road or off road steer usage…and we generally stay on the road with the rig

Thanks.



-- Edited by Neil and Connie on Friday 2nd of March 2018 08:58:44 AM

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The difference between a “long haul” and “regional” are generally in the tread compounding AND the sidewall. As long haul typically is heading straight down the highway for the most part the compounding is designed for longer mileage and ride. The regional is compounded to fight scrubbing from frequent turns, along with the sidewalls beefed up to help protect them from rubbing on curbs. Usually the wet weather traction is a little better with the long haul as the tread compound and siping is designed as such.

Every manufacturer is a little different, but this usually a good rule of thumb in the difference.

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Rickl wrote:

The difference between a “long haul” and “regional” are generally in the tread compounding AND the sidewall. As long haul typically is heading straight down the highway for the most part the compounding is designed for longer mileage and ride. The regional is compounded to fight scrubbing from frequent turns, along with the sidewalls beefed up to help protect them from rubbing on curbs. Usually the wet weather traction is a little better with the long haul as the tread compound and siping is designed as such.

Every manufacturer is a little different, but this usually a good rule of thumb in the difference.


 Guess I need to stay with the regional then…as we're on and off the highway with getting to campgrounds and such. I figured there was a difference…just didn't know what it was.



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Keep in mind frequent turning applies to tractor trailers pulling max loads doing pickup and deliveries everyday. Not as much as pickup and delivery applications (much like city buses) but they are still doing quite a bit. Think of a food or beverage hauler from the warehouse to a distribution location where a delivery truck (P&D) would finish the process.

My opinion (and where I would go) is a long haul (HSL) tire. While you do some turning it’s not near as much as a regional carrier would do. Again, just my opinion.

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I like my Coopers,been running on my Ram 3500 for awhile now...



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borys nowalk


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Just got two new BFG LT245/75 R17 Rugged Trail T/A tires. They were OEM on my F350 and became “feathered” at 41,000. Rear duallys still good, so I rebought what I had since I feel I got pretty good service considering the truck tows 1/2 the time. $200 each at Discount Tire.



-- Edited by RonC on Tuesday 19th of March 2019 11:06:10 AM

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2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

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RonC, have you aligned your truck yet? Do you run 80psi on the fronts?

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I have not aligned the front end. The feathering was not an outer edge thing it was across the tread ... maybe more like cupping. I run 75 psi in the front tires.  As you know, when towing the front end dynamics are changed (angles, travel radius, etc.).  I take my TPMS sensors off when we winter in Texas, and the tires were balanced with them on.  That said, I think the fronts were slightly out of balance for the last 4 month.  Still, 41,000 miles on the fronts of a towing vehicle is pretty good, IMO.  Discount Tire people said they usually see tow vehicles getting far less on their front tires, just the nature of the beast.  I don’t know what Ford toe in specs are, but they weren’t exhibiting toe in wear patterns (outer edge worn).



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 16th of March 2019 10:10:05 AM



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 16th of March 2019 10:11:41 AM

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

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My last set of Michelins made it 40k and I was NOT happy. They actually paid me $650 to use on any other tire but I went with their improved tire and so far at 25k they look great.

My front tires have under 200# added when my 5,750# pin is added. Balance could be part of the issue but also have you replaced the shocks?

I think the BFG's should give better mileage if everything is at it's optimum.

Here is my 40k Michelins on my 11 DRW RAM just before trading on current DRW..

<a rel=i.imgur.com/XeUAfZNl.jpg">

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Barb and Frank wrote:

We have a 2016 Ram 3500 DRW with 22,000 miles, and the front tires show considerable wear on the outside.  We are researching replacement tires and would like to know what tires others are successfully using -and where to purchase.  We tow an 18,000 pound Heartland Landmark 5th wheel.  We are looking for a very good quality tire.  Your thoughts and recommendations are appreciated.

Frank


 Ram's do this - I.e. wear on the outside of the front tires.  My tire dealer and Ram dealer confirmed this as will other sources.  Regardless of the brand of tire its a good idea to flip the front tires on the rims every 15,000 - 18,000 miles.  Doing this I got over 50,000 out of my front tires.  I would have gotten considerably more had I flipped them on the rims earlier. Waited too long.

This is not an alignment issue and changing the alignment won't fix it.  Been tried in commercial service.  Flipping works.  BTW, same deal whether on a 3500 / 4500 / 5500, etc.

To be clear, by flipping I mean the tire stays on the same side of the truck but is flipped around on the wheel so the inside is on the outside, etc.  This works.  Doesn't matter the brand of tire.  I happen to be running OEM Continentals and they've been just fine on the 5500. 

BTW, even with 22,000 on them I'd still flip them.  You likely have another 20,000 worth.  When you replace them, do the flipping regularly and you should enjoy much longer tire life - no different then rotation.

 



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Cummins12V98 wrote:

My last set of Michelins made it 40k and I was NOT happy. They actually paid me $650 to use on any other tire but I went with their improved tire and so far at 25k they look great.

My front tires have under 200# added when my 5,750# pin is added. Balance could be part of the issue but also have you replaced the shocks?

I think the BFG's should give better mileage if everything is at it's optimum.

Here is my 40k Michelins on my 11 DRW RAM just before trading on current DRW..

i.imgur.com/XeUAfZNl.jpg">


 Good picture.  Those looked very similar to mine, except every other one of those blocks in the center of the tire was slightly more worn than the one adjacent to it.  Made the tires a bit loud and I could feel a slight roughness to the ride.  Running your fingers along the tread, I could feel the difference.  The change probably wasn’t immediately necessary, but travel season starts next month, so I made the change.  Could be shocks, but the truck only has 41,000 miles on it.



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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

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Sorry but it "IS" an alignment issue as RAM has the TOE set at 1/4" 3500 DRW's. My alignment guy of 30 years said the stepping on the outside edge is from too much toe so he adjusted my 11 DRW and current DRW to 1/64 and have no outside tire wear to speak of. I do have the tires moved from side to side every 15k or so keeping the rotation the same. Never touch the rears. The above pic shows the results of people alignment. He said RAM has that much toe to keep the truck tracking straight. I have had zero steering issues since proper alignment.

RAM paid a Dealer to check my alignment as my fronts were wearing.  They said it was in spec.  THEN I went to my guy and all has been well sense.  Of course if they stick to SPEC the front will wear.

Bill try getting your truck aligned to what I have shown, you will get way more life out of your tires.



"Could be shocks, but the truck only has 41,000 miles on it."

Believe me the shocks are normally poor quality right from the factory, slap on a set of Bilstein 4600's you will be impressed.



-- Edited by Cummins12V98 on Sunday 17th of March 2019 03:12:02 PM



-- Edited by Cummins12V98 on Sunday 17th of March 2019 03:13:15 PM

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While I’d never disagree that alignment angles are critical what’s more important is the setup of the vehicle during the alignment process. First, how is the subject vehicle being utilized? Is it mainly being used as a tow vehicle (meaning you would have a secondary vehicle), is it used mainly as a running around vehicle, towing long distances with short side trips as a running around vehicle, or towing short distances and used as mainly a primary vehicle.

There are so many different scenarios, weights, etc. that nailing down the “correct” angles is difficult because what would work for one, may not work for another.

For me, we run two vehicles so my Ram is 90-95% towing. When it comes time for tires/alignment I will be having the truck aligned with the trailer hooked up. Also I’ll be having the trailer alignement checked at the same time. A misaligned trailer in a 5th configuration can also affect tire wear on the tow vehicle.

As you can see there is NO straight forward answers. It’s a matter of experimentation until you find the specs that work best for your setup. At the end of the day I wouldn’t lose sleep over it, just be aware of the issue and tweak as you go is my opinion.

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My truck has the Factory Rear Air Ride. It has an alignment mode.



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Cummins12V98 wrote:

Sorry but it "IS" an alignment issue as RAM has the TOE set at 1/4" 3500 DRW's. My alignment guy of 30 years said the stepping on the outside edge is from too much toe so he adjusted my 11 DRW and current DRW to 1/64 and have no outside tire wear to speak of. I do have the tires moved from side to side every 15k or so keeping the rotation the same. Never touch the rears. The above pic shows the results of people alignment. He said RAM has that much toe to keep the truck tracking straight. I have had zero steering issues since proper alignment.

RAM paid a Dealer to check my alignment as my fronts were wearing.  They said it was in spec.  THEN I went to my guy and all has been well sense.  Of course if they stick to SPEC the front will wear.

Bill try getting your truck aligned to what I have shown, you will get way more life out of your tires.


 We can all do as we choose.  But the spec is there for a reason and it has to do with tracking.  When its set out of spec it impacts, in a worse case scenario, controllability.   I know you disagree, but that's OK. All can do as they choose.  My solution works, is no different than rotating tires, and keeps the truck within the spec the manufacture intended.  Had I flipped (rotated) the tires earlier I'd have gotten well over 60,000 miles out of them and I consider that to be nominal mileage on a tire.  I just slipped up and didn't realize what was happening.



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" But the spec is there for a reason and it has to do with tracking."

OK, please tell me the reason, now tell me why the book says otherwise???

First pic shows the alignment in the BOOK and second pic shows what RAM sets the truck to. I trust my Independent Alignment guy of 30 plus years.

Third pic shows the tires at 40k, only rotated side to side once leaving rotation the same.


<a rel=i.imgur.com/2h7YJnjl.jpg">
<a rel=i.imgur.com/o5zCMtRl.jpg">
<a rel=i.imgur.com/gPdr9bgl.jpg">

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I’ll wade into this, I see the spec’s but my question is what manual are they published in. Having actually lived in the industry for years I have seen (and I’ll date myself here) Motor, Chilton, and Michell manuals have different specs for the same vehicle. Only trusted one - Mitchell manuals as they were directly from each manufacture. 

Spec’s are always given with a tolerance to help take into affect normal wear. So over the years we learned some vehicles worked better tightening up the tolerance while others worked better on the higher side. Again a lot depends on that particular vehicle. When I was a service manger I always asked questions especially is the vehicle at its normal state. I also looked at the person driving. A large person can affect the alignment quickly. 

The other thing I seen in the 2nd picture is equipment. Not sure the age of it, and not saying older equipment isn’t any good, but as it ages I wonder when the last time it was calibrated. Been there, done that, even on newer equipment thinking all’s well until you do a number of alignments only to find out something is out of whack. Either the installation tech installed the equipment incorrectly or the tech doing the service dropped the head and didn’t say anything OR he mounted the head incorrectly on the wheel assembly. 

Spec’s are there to get you into the neighborhood, experience gets you to the correct address. 



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This guy has the best reputation in the area, he is very picky about his equipment. This equipment is old yes but he has newer equipment also. He is the shop owner and he is the ONLY one allowed to do anything alignment related.

Bottom line I proved by my pictures what I am doing at his recommendation works. I am on the TDR, where many others with DRW's have had the same issues and now don't with the different toe specs I have listed.

No idea what book it was from.

Either way I know what works and others can benefit or not it's all about info and whether to use it or not.

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Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires are good towing tires.



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