As behemoths of the road, semi trucks need to support their enormous cargo loads across hundreds of miles. But that’s not possible if these massive vehicles weren’t equipped with equally massive tires. In fact, semi truck tires often weigh over 120 pounds (not including their rims), easily outweighing the average passenger car tire. That’s no surprise, though, as they’re specialized for harsh road conditions and heavy cargo.
The most obvious factor that influences a tire’s weight is its size. Smaller tires will naturally be lighter, while larger ones will be heavier. In addition, the type of tire also matters. For example, all-terrain or mud tires have chunky tread blocks that add extra weight, while premium tires come with more layers of rubber that increase their overall weight.
To determine a tire’s weight, simply read its sidewall markings for information like its brand, model, size, and weight. You can then compare that to other similar tires to get an idea of its weight. If you’re looking for a more accurate reading, it’s recommended to weigh the tires on their own using a scale.
Regardless of their size, the most important thing is that you choose tires with a high load rating. This will ensure your vehicle can safely carry the load you need it to, and it will help to prevent damage from overloading or under-loading. Pierce Fonville of DBL Wheel in Texas, for instance, says that installing modular three-piece military style aluminum wheels on a semi can cut the weight of the vehicle by as much as 1,300 pounds, increasing payload capacity.