Selecting the proper match of wheels and tires

Chris Putz, Maxion Wheels’ Principal Engineer, says it’s best not to get ahead of yourself when specifying wheels, because the wheel type will largely be dictated by the vehicle application.

“Before we get to the wheel, we would need to know the vehicle and we need to know the tire,” he said. “I need understand what the intended use and operations for that wheel are – meaning is it a single or dual wheel, what’s the type of vehicle, how fast will they be driving and what is the maximum load they would be carrying.”

“From there,” Putz says, “the customer would get into the tire – which tire would be required for the usage, include size and construction. Safety is the first priority, and that means complying with FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) requirement for the proper load and fit of the tire width and wheel.”

Related: Properly marrying tires and wheels

Other tips to purchase specific wheels:

  • Understand the fleet operation’s weight limitations and maintenance demands.
  • Improve wheel runout – for greater ride comfort. 
  • Maintenance directors should use/refer to the low-point marking – saves time in the shop, match the mounting for a better ride. Enhances ride quality and tire life.
  • Specify a top-coat vs. an e-coat on your wheels. In light of salt spray and humidity, a top-coated wheel will deliver four times the life, as in the case of Maxion’s triple-protection coating.
  • Particularly in severe-duty or off-road applications, steel wheels are the preferred choice. They are more durable to impact and easier to repair.
  • Opportunity to re-finish a steel wheel – a wheel may be sandblasted to take on another coat of protection and longer life. This service is normally conducted by a fleet’s area tire-wheel supplier dealership.