Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The tread on the edge of the tahr (how it's pronounced 'round these parts) is definitely gone. Truck steer tires generally have some sort of thin shoulder rib that absorbs scuffing and prevents cupping. This tire exhibits a small amount of cupping - but it's really pretty minor. I could still feel it whilst cruising up and down the nation's highways. It's a shame that the rest of the tread is still so deep, but this isn't all that unusual. Steer tires usually don't wear very well, especially when they carry the weight our trucks do - the crane adds quite a bit up front.
You might say: "But Jeffro - why don't you get your truck aligned?" Good question - we usually don't waste our time unless the truck really goes to burning off the tread. My truck wears off the inside ribs. All our Kenworth W900s wear out the outside ribs. Our Freightliners wore off the inner left and outer right ribs (or was it the other way around?). Showroom fresh or with a few miles - we're just hard on steer tires. We have our tires rotated, flipped and rebalanced frequently to try to get as much wear as possible.
These are the new ones. The thicker tread makes the ride ever so much more smoooooooth. Potholes jar my kidneys less, and expansion joints don't slap my lower back quite as roughly. These are Firestones - I'd really rather have Michelins, but our tire dealer didn't have any in stock. We're getting to be pretty old school with our 11x24.5 tires - most have gone to low profile 24.5 tires or even 22.5s. Not much demand for these any more.
But, with their larger circumference, they ride better, absorb shock better, bear weight better, don't build as much heat as a smaller tire and don't spin as fast at the same speed as a smaller tire/wheel.
But they are heavier, require more fuel to roll around, and raise the truck up into the wind a tad more. Plus, they're more expensive.
But, for now, I'm ridin' and glidin' in comfort. Because I'm all about comfort, not speed.