Best Truck Tires: Increase Handling and Traction in All Types of Terrain
Enjoy a smooth ride whether you are on- or off-roading with our top picks for the best truck tires
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PUBLISHED ON July 22, 2019
Do you need new truck tires? If yes, then you probably drive on rough roads or make numerous trips, and that’s why your tires are worn out. That’s normal for every truck driver, but it's wise to avoid wasting time with tire replacements when you could be out on the road grabbing new opportunities. Our buying guide has some of the best truck tires that will offer years of great service life.
- Best OverallBFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KOSummarySummaryAn aggressive, all-terrain tire designed to improve traction and control on rough roads and aired-down conditions.ProsProsGood-looking tires that improve the truck’s aesthetics. High-grade tire construction. Self-cleaning tread pattern. Puncture and bruise resistant. Ideal for rocky, muddy, and desert surfaces.ConsConsExpensive. Noisy on the road. Only good on light snow. Develops poor traction on wet roads when the tire starts to wear out.
- Best ValueGoodyear Wrangler RadialSummarySummaryOne of the cheapest all-terrain truck tires designed for off-road terrain.ProsProsSuitable for medium and light trucks. Useful for any weather. An OE replacement tire. Increases fuel efficiency. Great traction on loose terrain. Heavy-duty construction.ConsConsPoor sidewall construction. Poor traction on snow and wet surfaces. May develop small leaks.
- Honorable MentionHankook Dynapro AT-MSummarySummaryA premium all-terrain tire that’s great for on/off-road conditions. It also performs well on light snow and muddy terrain.ProsProsHighly resistant to damage. One of the longest-lasting all-terrain truck tires. Improves handling when cornering. Wide footprint. Puncture resistant. Good for more than 100,000 miles.ConsConsNot suitable for aired-down driving. Poor traction in deep snow. Grabs onto road debris.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy the Best Truck Tires?
- Improve off-road performance. Most truck tires are designed with the driver that likes to venture into rugged terrain. The tires improve stability and handling on uneven pavements and prevent the truck from getting stuck in sand or muddy surfaces.
- Increase mileage. Factory truck tires may wear out faster than you want them to, especially if you use your truck for towing or carrying cargo. Truck tires are designed to resist wear and damage even when put through the toughest road conditions. Most truck tires maintain a tread life of at least 60,000 miles.
- Enhance your truck’s look. Truck tires come with a unique and aggressive tread design and a larger surface area than most passenger car tires. The new tires make your truck look like a beautiful beast on the road.
- Prevent tire damage. Truck tires are constructed to reduce stone retention and prevent cuts, chips, and bruises from damaging them. If you have good truck tires, you will seldom have to stop when off-roading to change a flat.
Types of Truck Tires
Mud Terrain Tires
Mud tires or off-road performance focus tires are designed to spend about 80 percent of their time off-road and 20 percent on road. These tires can take on the toughest off-road conditions with ease and at the same time maintain traction and stability of the vehicle.
Almost all OE tires come as all-season or on-road performance tires. They are designed for moderate performance to increase tire mileage. The tires often maintain their consistency throughout their lifetime and offer a smooth and comfortable ride, as well as improved fuel economy.
All-terrain tires are also referred to as balanced on- or off-road performance tires. These tires are made with tough construction that fosters high performance whether on a highway or rocky terrain. However, truck drivers using these tires should prepare for a lot of road noise and decreased fuel economy due to the tire’s weight and rugged construction.
Goodyear is one of the best tire and rubber manufacturing companies with retail stores and operating facilities all over the world. Goodyear is a veteran in the automotive industry as the company was started 120 years ago. It currently produces tires for passenger cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs, and trucks. Many people appreciate that its tires require little maintenance on top of being of outstanding performance. One of its highest-rated all-terrain tires is the Goodyear Wrangler Radial.
BFGoodrich is American-based subsidiary company of Michelin. It was originally part of the Goodrich Corporation and was the first American tire company to make radial tires. It’s also known for making the tires for the first car ever to cross the United States in 1903. Currently, the company makes tires for on and off-road automobiles, including racing cars. One of its best-rated, all-terrain truck tires is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO.
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hankook is recognized as the seventh-largest tire company globally due to its quality products that keep automotive enthusiasts satisfied. The company specializes in a wide line of auto and truck parts and is also heavily involved in sponsoring motorsport events. It also has distribution centers spread out all over the world. Check out the Hankook Dynapro AT-M if you are looking for the best truck tire for the money.
Truck Tire Pricing
- Under $100: Most tires within this range are primarily on-road highway tires designed for light-duty use on even surfaces. Most tires here are suitable for light trucks, small pickups, and SUVs. However, the price doesn’t cover the tires as a set, only per piece.
- $100 to $200: This mid-range price level mostly features all-terrain tires that are good for highways and off-roading adventures. The higher you go on the price scale the better the quality of the tires in terms of construction, resistance to damage, and mileage.
- Over $200: Most products within this price range are designed for heavy-duty trucks that spend most driving sessions off-roading. Common tire design features include deep treads for maximum traction, strong sidewall construction that enable the tire to handle stress, and a thick construction that’s resistant to cuts and bruises.
You need a tire that’s the right fit for your truck. Smaller or bigger size than your original tire may end up damaging the rims or reduce the stability of your vehicle. The best way to find the right tire size for your truck is to read the serial number on the sidewall of your old tires. If the number isn't visible, consult with a car dealer or the manufacturer to get the right size.
The tread design will depend on the type of tire you need. For off-road driving, go for a chunky-looking tread pattern for maximum grip and damage resistance in all-weather conditions. For highway or on-road driving, go for a tread with shallow grooves, symmetrical treads, and closely spaced gaps to promote comfort when driving.
- Stone Ejectors: It’s a huge plus if the tuck tire comes with stone ejectors that prevent stones from penetrating the wheel. Stones may damage tire construction, reduce traction, or lead to injuries during a tire change.
- Rubber Compound: Most truck tires are either made with silica or carbon compounds. These compounds help increase the tires on wet traction, increase resistance to damage, and promote longevity. Other compounds may be included by the manufacturer to increase the tire's performance.
- Self-Cleaning: For off-road adventures, go for tires with a self-cleaning feature to keep your tires dirt and debris free for maximum off-road traction. When mud gets on these tires, it works its way out as the tire rotates. It's also easy to hose down the rest of the dirt.
Best Truck Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
BFGoodrich tires are one of the best-looking all-terrain truck tires that feature an aggressive and self-cleaning tread pattern. The tires sport a large footprint paired with a 12.4-inch wide construction that’s resistant to bruises and punctures. Such a tough construction makes the tire suitable for rocky and muddy areas. Its shoulder grooves are also 40-percent wider than most all-terrain tires to increase traction and control when your tires are deflated (aired-down).
The tires have a 20-percent tougher sidewall construction than most tires due to CoreGard technology. Moreover, the treads are designed to wrap around the shoulder of the tire, and they also include upper sidewall protection. The BFGoodrich tires are great for on-road driving but don’t sacrifice performance off-road or on muddy terrain. The tire is recommended for light trucks, jeeps, pickup trucks, and SUVs.
The main drawback of the product is that you will have to put aside a huge sum of money to get an entire set. Also, wet traction is the first thing that starts to disappear when the tire starts to wear out. The tires may get slippery or take longer to make a turn on wet surfaces. The wheels have poor performance on deep snow, and their aggressive tread design makes a lot of noise on the road.
Best Value: Goodyear Wrangler Radial
The Goodyear Wrangler Radials are some of the best truck tires for the money that are used as direct OE replacements. There’s a good aspect ratio where the tire width is directly proportional to the tire height for the best handling. They maintain all-weather versatility and traction on wet and slippery surfaces. Large tread blocks on the tires improve traction on loose terrain and prevent your vehicle from getting stuck on muddy surfaces. Tug-lug spacing reduces rolling resistance and consequently improves the vehicle’s fuel economy.
The tire has an optimized tread and a tough sidewall to increase its resistance to damage and to maintain traction on all terrains. It also features metal studs that increase traction on ice and light snow. The tires meet the performance needs of two-wheel drives, four-wheel drives, medium-duty vans, pickups, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. The manufacturer also includes a one-year limited warranty.
A major drawback of the product is its poor sidewall construction, which is prone to damage, and more often than not the tire starts to rot from the sidewalls. The tire is not designed for pulling trailers and heavy loads, and it exhibits poor performance on deep snow. Moreover, you may notice small leaks with the tires, and you may end up with one tire with a lower air pressure than the rest.
Honorable Mention: Hankook Dynapro AT-M
The Hankook Dynapro is a high-performance on- and off-road tire that features a light truck compound that's molded into a large, independent block, and symmetrical design. Such a design enlarges the tire's footprint to maintain maximum contact with the ground and also enhances grip and acceleration. The center and shoulder grooves include stone ejectors that protect the tire from damage caused by external impact or stone drilling.
The tires feature a wraparound tread that gives it a strong, rugged, and puncture-resistant design that guards against cuts and bruises. The treads feature two-step sipes that increase the tire’s resistance to wear and improves traction on light snow and wet terrain. Tiered side grooves and central scallop groves increase the tire’s biting edges and improve the tire’s handling capability when negotiating turns, especially during the winter and when off-roading.
A downside to the product is that it has poor traction in snow despite being an all-terrain tire. Additionally, the tire may get damaged in aired-down situations, and its treads tend to latch onto all forms of road debris, including nails and rocks. That may make a tire change a difficult and painful experience. However, the tire is recommended for vans, SUVs, and light trucks, but it’s also the original equipment for Ford F-150-pickups (2015 model).
- You should always ensure that your tires are well inflated to prolong their life. Driving with deflated tires may damage the shape of the tire. Overinflating them, on the other hand, will lead to faster wear of the tires, especially on the central part.
- Conduct monthly inspections by checking the tire pressure, noting signs of uneven wear, removing stones and other debris from the treads, and examining the sidewall for any problems. The inspections will help you prevent more problems from occurring or even accidents.
- Clean your tires to prevent rubber deterioration often caused by ice, snow, road salt, dirt, and other debris. You could simply hose down all-terrain and winter tires since they have wider treads that barely trap dirt. Use warm, soapy water to wash inside the tire and outside if the treads are closely packed.
Q: What do the codes on tires mean?
A: Tire coding is a system of classifying tires according to their size, type, and performance. The letter P is used to denote codes that follow the P-Metric system, and you should automatically assume that the tire is coded with a euro-metric system if there's no letter P. You may also find an R marking if it's a radial tire.
Q: When should I replace my truck tires?
A: Replace the tires whenever you start to notice signs of wear that include a shallow or uneven tread, a lot of vibration, and a rougher ride than usual. If most of the tire's wear is on the central part it may be due to overinflation, and you should correct tire pressure accordingly.
Q: How do I measure my truck’s tire pressure?
A: You could use a manual gauge to check the pressure. Also, most tires feature a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which is an automatic system that sends alerts to your dashboard if the tire pressure is low. Your owner’s manual will guide you on how to monitor your tire pressure.
Our top pick is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO. It’s one of the best all-terrain tires that improve the look of your truck and maintains great performance even in the harshest off-road conditions.
Our budget pick is the Goodyear Wrangler Radial. Consider this option if you need light-truck tires that are priced under $100.