When you’re operating a tow truck or running a towing business, it’s very important that you run the correct set of tires to safely get the job done. There’s a lot of obvious and less obvious reasons for this, as you would probably imagine. But it’s safe to say, when you’re towing a heavy vehicle on public roads, you should do everything in your control to create the safest possible environment for the community, your customer, the vehicle, and don’t forget about yourself.
Why Should You Use 10 Ply Tires for Towing?
If you’re not running 10 ply tires on your tow truck(s), you definitely should be. This is something that should be done to ensure the proper load rating and provide an overall safe experience when towing, most importantly when towing heavy duty loads.
Ultimately, running the correct specification tires comes down to one thing; and that’s your safety and everyone’s safety around you/your team.
How Do I Tell If a Tow Truck Tire Is Bad or Unsafe?
If you haven’t checked on the health of your tires, you should definitely make it a habit to do so. This is a very important component to owning a towing company and operating a tow truck, especially when you’re transporting other people’s vehicles on public roads where it can also be a safety hazard to others.
When inspecting your tow trucks tires, you should look out for the following problems:
– Sidewall bulge
– Low tread and/or wire
– Dry-rot and/or cracking in the rubber
– Splitting tread and/or wire
All of these potential problems listed, can cause the tires to either lose traction or blow out. Loss of traction or a blow out can cause a very serious accident, even moreso when towing a customer’s vehicle on public roads.
If your tires have any of the listed warning signs, then your tow truck is overdue for a new set of tires and you should look into buying some. We did some of the research for you, so that you don’t have to.
What to Look for When You’re Purchasing Tires for Towing.
If you need to replace or buy new tires for a tow truck, you will need to know the exact specs forthe tires. This will tell you whether or not the tire will be useful for a towing and/or heavy duty application. Usually when you make the decision, you’re going to want to take into consideration one of two things; ply count and load range.
Nowadays, a tire manufacturer is going to describe the strength of their tires based on something called “load range” rather than how many plies the tire actually has. So we decided to compile a list of load range ratings and notate each one of them useful, or not useful based on a towing application.
– Load Range B (4 ply tire) – max load pressure: 35 psi (240kPa) – not useful for towing
– Load Range C (6 ply tire) – max load pressure: 50 psi (350kPa) – useful for very small trailers
– Load Range D (8 ply tire) – max load pressure: 65 psi (450kPa) – useful only for smaller trailers
– Load Range E (10 ply tire) – max load pressure: 80 psi (550kPa) – great for smaller and larger trailers
– Load Range F (12 ply tire) – max load pressure: 95 psi (650kPa) – heavy-duty tires for very large trailers and trucks
Here’s the Top 3 Best Tires for a Tow Truck or Towing Business:
1. Cooper Discoverer HTP
Upsides – Very effective traction in wet conditions, quiet/smooth ride, all around stability
Downsides – Poor traction in snow and ice applications
2. General Grabber HTS60
Upsides – Heavy duty General Grabber is great for towing, affordable, extra grippy on dry roads
Downsides – Heavy duty versions of this tire are not as good on wet roads
3. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Upsides – Very good handling/driving in dry and wet conditions, can be used for heavy duty towing, quiet and smooth, great traction on wet roads
Downsides – Not good for winter snow/ice
Hopefully this article has helped inform you about what kind of tires you should use for your towing company, and what you should look out for in your tires.
Overall, you should be sure to periodically inspect your tires and understand what stage of health they’re in. This is very important to avoid further compilations and potentially hazardous accidents when towing other vehicles.
If you find that your tires are in need of a replacement, we hope that this buyer’s guide can help you make the proper decision in your purchase, as we’ve done most of the research to find what tires are good for the various conditions. Depending on what your environment is like, you should take that into consideration when purchasing new tires for your tow truck fleet.