Pickup truck tires are rated and tested by many automotive and consumer research companies. To rate the tires you need or are considering, decide how you use your truck (off-road, for instance), the everyday driving conditions you encounter (freeway traffic, inner city driving) and other factors, such as tread wear warranties and price. A good baseline when shopping for and rating tires for your pickup is to ask yourself how you would rate your current tires. Decide the pros and cons of your current tires especially the cost and decide what you need and want in a new tire.
Choose a tire based on how you spend the majority of the time driving. If you spend a lot of time off-roading, compare and rate tires in this category. If you spend most of your time commuting to and from work on the freeway, consider such factors as road noise, tread wear and all-weather characteristics.
Pick a tire model based on the wheels you have. If you ride on custom rims, you’ll probably want a sportier look in your tire. The overall look of your truck also is a consideration. If it’s a work truck, chances are you’ll want a tire that tests well in mud-stick tests but don’t care about high noise levels on the freeway. For example, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road says Pitbull Maddog Mud Tires are “built for heavy-duty trucks with a high load rating, and, like any good hound, they’re not afraid to make some noise. All things considered, we’ll keep them around and will surely put many more miles on them, but, like a special needs critter, they’re not for everyone.” These are not tires for a truck that spends its time driving the kids to soccer practice every day.
Buy a tire that has good steering response, cornering ability and traction on wet pavement if you drive a lot on winding country or mountain roads. You wouldn’t choose the Dunlop Signature CS, which Tire Track rates as having “quiet and comfortable ride quality” but is lacking in “steering response, cornering stability and wet traction.”
Compare the load capacity ratings of tire reviewers. Nothing will impact your tire performance more than the weight of both your truck and payload.
Read reviews. There are hundreds of magazines and online sites that rate pickup truck tires. Know what you want and what you can spend, then read some reviews. The amount of material available is staggering.
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