Best Mud Tires for Trucks
Commercial trucks must travel safely through various road conditions. When the weather gets sloshy, mud can pose a risk to a truck driver’s safety behind the wheel. Mud also increases the chances of getting your big rig stuck, making you late for a drop-off or a pick-up for your customers. Finding the best mud tires for a truck is challenging. Unlike passenger vehicles and light trucks, the process for choosing the top-rated tires for trucks is not as straightforward.
There is not a lot of information available online to guide trucking companies and independent owner-operators on top brands. Instead, they must rely on trial and error when deciding which ones will work best with their rigs and under what circumstances. Some trucking companies go as far as to try out different brands on their rigs, then compare which perform better.
Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies require top-quality products. They use different standards than passenger vehicle owners for determining the best truck tires for snow and mud and other road conditions. Resilience and stamina are prized most with commercial truck wheels. Whereas passenger vehicles do best with rubber that performs well for grip and traction, heavy truck owners focus more on longevity, strength, and rolling resistance. Secondary to those qualities are braking, grip, stability, and traction.
With the average cost of tires for a semi-truck around $500 each and with 18 tires to outfit, it can run trucking companies and independent owner-operators around $9,000 per truck. While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest brand out there, it rarely ends up being a good decision. Replacing cheap tires too soon costs more money in the long run.
Finding top-rated tires for trucks need not be difficult when you follow these tips. We compiled a list of the best performers for heavy-duty trucks and light trucks for both muddy and snowy conditions.
Top-Rated Tires for Trucks
Just like with passenger vehicles, there are brands that produce top-rated tires for trucks. Commercial truck drivers and owners prefer them because they fulfill their primary requirements for longevity, strength, and rolling resistance. Here are some of our picks.
When looking for a mix of excellent performance in wet and muddy conditions and outstanding tread life, Michelin’s commercial product fits the bill. A bonus is their low-rolling resistance, boosting fuel efficiency. With the national average price of diesel fuel hovering around $3.27 a gallon, filling the tank less often is a cost-savings for truckers, especially independent owner-operators.
There are three options with Michelin. All are from their X Line series.
- X Line Energy Z provides excellent steering control and is extremely durable. Michelin guarantees this product delivers 20 percent more mileage than its leading competitors.
- X Line Energy D leads the way in fuel economy, tread life, and traction. It is recommended for linehaul commercial vehicles.
- X Line Energy T is designed for linehaul applications and promises excellent mileage and casing durability.
A top competitor for Michelin, Bridgestone offers durability, performance, price, and quality in its commercial tire offerings. For the best low-rolling resistance, the R284 Ecopia delivers. Extra perks include fuel efficiency and long wear life.
If you are looking for commercial wheels that deliver the best overall performance, the R197 is your best bet. Even when regularly driven over uneven surfaces, the tread life of the R197 is outstanding.
One of the biggest benefits of Goodyear’s commercial line is the ability to retread them up to three times before a total replacement is required. Goodyear makes several commercial models, but the G572 Fuel Max offers the best low-rolling-resistance technology. This product’s premium enhanced casing guarantees outstanding tread life. The grooving offers excellent traction in the mud or snow.
Best Mud Tire for Heavy-Duty Truck
Heavy-duty diesel trucks never disappoint in the pulling power department. With their higher torque numbers and lower revolutions per minute (rpm), diesel engines are much more efficient at hauling heavy loads. You need more than a powerful engine in your commercial truck to accommodate a substantial payload. Commercial tires that can withstand the abuse are a must.
Choosing tires that can stand up to hefty freight without warping under the pressure can be difficult to find. Making the wrong purchase can be a costly mistake. Here are some of the best mud tires for heavy-duty trucks so you can pull the big loads without the fear of a tire blowout.
- Michelin Defender LTX M/S handles the tough loads with the promise of long-lasting tread life. As an all-season tire, it performs just as well in muddy, wet conditions as it does on dry surfaces.
- Cooper Discoverer HT3 comes with a lower price point than the Defender LTX M/S but offers similar performance. Excellent traction, highway stability, and strong braking capabilities are hallmarks of this mud tire for heavy-duty trucks.
- Toyo M137 offers affordability for cost-conscious truckers who value long-lasting tread life for their trailers. The M137 is designed to accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 miles per month and offers excellent fuel efficiency.
- Continental HDL2 is one of the best drive tires for its fuel economy, longevity, and excellent road traction for muddy conditions. Even without deep tread, these tires can last between 280,000 and 340,000 miles, making them an excellent choice for cost-conscious truckers who value performance.
Truck Tires for Snow and Mud
Commercial truck tires for snow and mud are a necessity, whether you are a long-haul driver or just make short-distance trips on a regular daily route. Whether you need mud and snow tires for light trucks or have a heavy-duty diesel rig that pulls the tough loads, choosing tires that can handle both conditions is cost-efficient.
We already discussed some of the best choices for heavy commercial trucks and trailers. Here are some of the best performing mud and snow tires for light trucks:
- BFGoodrich Commercial T/A Traction tires are designed for different vehicles and wheel sizes. They provide excellent traction in less-than-ideal road conditions like mud and snow. They are rated for severe snow.
- Conti HDR+ tires offer incredible traction in muddy and snowy conditions. Their aggressive tread design offers excellent lateral stability and improved handling in both mud and snow.
- Firestone Transforce AT and AT2 are ideal mud and snow tires for light trucks. They work well on wet and dry surfaces and resist chips and irregular wear and tear.
Top Features for Best Mud Tires for a Truck
As we previously mentioned, cost-effectiveness, durability, fuel consumption, and stability are top qualifiers for the best mud tires for a truck. Additionally, there are other top features to consider when choosing tires for your commercial truck. Sometimes these properties are overlooked, but they are just as crucial to a top-performing mud tire.
Maintenance, Warranty and Retreading
Extended warranties can safeguard your investment in commercial truck tires. With the price of replacement tires trending upward, having a warranty that covers maintenance and retreading is important.
The best tires in the world mean nothing if the company that sold them to you has less-than-stellar customer support. Choosing manufacturers that offer solid customer service means you never have to worry about repair defects or other problems with your tire purchase.
Purchasing a truck tire that ensures excellent fuel consumption but handles poorly in the mud and snow is a problem for some truckers. Focusing too hard on one aspect while skimping on the overall performance of tires can end up costing you in the long run. Take the time to look for brands that offer all the important qualities, plus come with better traction, higher levels of grip, and offer better stability at high speeds.
Taking Care of Top-Rated Tires for Trucks
Once you make the investment, you will want to properly maintain tires to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Whether you are an independent owner-operator or the head of a large commercial fleet, here are the steps you should take before your trucks hit the road to ensure driver safety.
- Check tire pressure. This may seem like a no-brainer, but failing to maintain properly pressurized tires leads to greater wear and tear and decreases stability.
- Look for defects. Cracks, chips, and gouges, or uneven tread wear can lead to big trouble at high speeds. Inspect your tires for these defects before every trip.
- Repair, replace, and retread. When you notice defects or worn tread, you must repair, replace, or retread your tires in accordance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Compliance and CSA regulations. Drivers and truck owners who fail to do this can face penalty points if truck inspections reveal separation between the sidewall and tread or an audible leak. You also can be penalized for underinflated tires or improperly rated ones. Rotating your tires regularly can help prevent uneven treadwear.
- Wash tires. When you are hosing down your rig after a run, do not forget to spray down the tires. Be sure to get into the grooves to help remove the dirt and debris you picked up on the roadways. Keeping your tires clean can help extend their lifespan.
When it is time to replace your truck tires for snow and mud, make sure you take advantage of recycling programs. Giving tires that can no longer be retreaded to a recycling facility reduces the impact on the environment and allows them to find new life as artificial grass, floor mats, and soil additives.