Advice on matching wheels and tires


Recommendations for longest wheel life and performance.

 
When it comes to selecting the proper match of wheels and tires to achieve the longest life and performance, which comes first? Do you spec the tire and then the wheel, or vice versa?
The tire is identified first, before the wheel, since the tire specs will largely be dictated by the vehicle application, says Chris Putz, principal engineer, Maxion Wheels (www.maxionwheels.com). Maxion Wheels is a leading wheel manufacturer for passenger cars, light trucks, buses, commercial trucks and trailers.
Before focusing on the tire and wheel, he says a fleet needs to know about the vehicle application. This includes:
– What is the intended use and operation?
– Does the vehicle need a single, dual wheel or wide-base wheel?
– What is the type of vehicle?
– How fast will it be driving?
– What are the fleet operation’s weight limitations and maintenance demands?
From there, Putz says, the focus turns to which tire would be required for the usage, including size, construction and load/inflation ratings. Because safety is the first priority, it is also necessary to comply with OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and other industry requirements for the proper load and fitment of the tire and wheel.
Finally, the wheel specifications can be defined, including the diameter/width, offset, mounting configuration, bolt circle diameter and other interface dimensions, he says.

Additional Considerations

Other things to think about when specifying wheels, adds Putz, include:
– Duty cycle: linehaul, off-road, delivery, stop and start, etc.
– Particularly in severe-duty or off-road applications, steel wheels are the preferred choice as they are more durable to impact and easier to repair.
– Warranty.
– Field service support from the wheel supplier.
– Specify a topcoat versus an e-coat finish for increased durability, improved appearance and enhanced longevity of new wheels.
 
Source: Vehicle Service Posts