Seasonal Tire Changes


Extend tire life with seasonal changes; replace tires in matched sets for vehicle control and safety

While a truck’s original equipment all-terrain tires are usually a great compromise, those who work in the construction/landscaping trades who consistently deal with adverse conditions during the late fall and early winter should consider making a switch to high-traction treads when their vehicles will see moderate to heavy mud areas.

For the rest of the year, those tires should be stored (see “Maintenance Matters”) and A/T tires slipped on in their place. That way, the initial tire investment can be easily doubled.

When tires are replaced, use matched sets of four.

Mismatching tires — placing mud tires on the drive wheels and all-terrain tires on the non-drive wheels, for instance — can cause dangerously poor handling because of the differences in traction and adhesion.

For example, mud tires on the rear and “stock” tires on the front will cause your pickup to plow straight ahead instead of turning when you are driving over snow or through mud.

The reason this happens is the tires on the back have far better traction than those on front. So they will push while the front tires slide.

Likewise, if the rear tires are older and have less traction than the fronts, the rear of the truck will tend to slide out, causing “oversteer.” This usually happens without warning and can result in just as disastrous consequences as having the front tires sliding.

Bottom line: Swap tires out in sets and make the seasonal change a Spring and Fall routine.