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When it’s time to buy new truck tires, it’s best to consider many factors. You’ll need to know the automaker’s recommendations for load capacity and size. Your choice also depends on your vehicle’s drivetrain as well as the climate and terrain.

Some people mistakenly assume truck tires should be aggressive and rugged-looking. Let’s look at the available options and dispel this myth.

Street/all-season tires

If most of your driving is on city streets and highways, a quality set of all-season truck tires is more than capable of handling your requirements. These tires withstand most climate conditions and are heavy-duty enough to offer limited off-road capabilities. The overall handling and noise reduction are notable improvements.

Off-road tires

When the uncertainties of off-road terrain are on the agenda, there’s no better way to tackle gravel, sand, mud, and rocks than the deep tread of aptly named off-road tires. You need the added traction to maneuver the imbalanced and rough surfaces.

Although you’ll find off-road tires provide the ultimate performance when up against jagged surfaces that would puncture the average street tire, they aren’t a good choice for everyday use. Off-road tires create more noise and a rougher ride on paved surfaces.

Mud tires

If the majority of your truck driving is done on uneven surfaces like mud, sand, snow, or rocks, you’ll want to invest in mud tires that offer deep and wide tread gaps. Such a wide space allows the tires to release the debris, leaving it on the road rather than embedded in the tire. It’s an important caveat when you consider that added mud reduces the tires’ traction.

If rock crawling isn’t mandatory, but uneven surfaces are a prominent part of your driving experience, mud tires are the right choice. Their extra-tough sidewalls fare better than street tires against punctures; however, the ride on paved surfaces is stiff and loud. Adding extra bulk to your truck’s tires also requires extra energy to drive your vehicle. That extra energy adds up to paying more at the fuel pump.

All-terrain tires

Splitting your time between rugged and paved surfaces calls for a tire that can handle the variety with equal measure. Enter all-terrain tires. They capably manage uneven surfaces and provide better traction on wet surfaces than regular street truck tires.

Another big advantage of driving with all-terrain over off-road or mud tires is that they offer a much smoother and quieter ride on street surfaces.

Winter tires

Winter truck tires are constructed of softer rubber to improve driving performance in the snow and ice. The softer surface doesn’t stiffen and freeze in colder temperatures. As a result, traction is better on snowy surfaces. Some winter tires include studs to grip icy surfaces.

Winter tires, especially snow tires with studs, aren’t meant for general fair-weather driving. They’re installed to specifically accommodate long-term winter conditions.

If you don’t switch them during the warmer months, you will likely experience problems with handling and traction because of the softer material. They also wear unevenly on normal road conditions and are expensive to replace.

One consideration if you live in a heavy winter climate is to keep an extra set of rims to accommodate two sets of tires. It makes swapping out much easier. Get the most out of your truck riding experience by driving with the right set of tires. It will save you money and headaches.