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Standard drive lugs or all position steers?


Gary Hage

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This topic may have already been discussed here while I was away playing elsewhere, but I'm gonna throw it on the table anyway:

 

I'm curious as to how many of the HDT folks are running all position steer tires on their drive axles in lieu of the standard drive lugs?

 

The reason I'm asking is that back in our trucking days it was no secret that the all position tires not only gave a smoother and quieter ride, but also a notale increased fuel mileage performance. In fact, when we drove for a fleet owner before becoming owner operators ourselves, the owner would "run out" their many used steer tires during the spring and summer months (during the non-snow driving season) by mounting them on extra drive rims they had.

 

One of the main reasons for the increase in the fuel mileage was "less rolling resistance", plus the tires being slightly lighter in weight than the drive lugs. The APS tires were also a little less expensive. The only other downside to these tires besides not having the "bite" that a drive lug would have in snow or mud was they typically did not get as many miles on the tread life as lugs, After all there is no question the lugs carry more rubber. But, that was in heavy highway use, not the lighter weights we in the RV industry pull. I will also note here that we did not see enough difference in how the APS tires handled in the rain when mounted as drive tires to even consider not using them or feel safe. The top shelf APS tires we ran in our business cut the water as well or better than any drive lug we used on our rig.

 

So, if one typically is not going to be traveling with their fiver in the snow or head out into the desert boondocking, what would be the other reasons suggested that we should continue to run drive lugs on our Volvo (which it currently has) verses switching to APS? Granted, we are currently on a grass site and they can be a bit slippery when wet, but we have not seen anyone with regular treads on their dullies get stuck here yet. Yet, I'm sure the day could come! :)

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I will be following this discussion as we are planning on replacing the old (7 and 9 years) tires on our Volvo soon. I was leaning toward going with all position tires all around and Gary made some observations that I had not considered. Thanks for posting!

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I have been a longtime follower of the Kevin Rutherford show on Sirius/XM Radio as it is geared towards the trucking industry and owner operators. His focus has always been on how to make the small business owner more profitable and the truck/trailer more efficient to run cost wise. He has been a great source of information in matching the individual truck/trailer (based on weight, use, etc) with the correct heavy duty tires with the least amount of "rolling resistance".

 

Kevin also travels with his radio show in an HDT and custon toy hauler fiver which has his mobile studio in the rear. He has been recommending the use of APS tires on the drive axles for years, and did so on his fleet of trucks leased to FedEx pulling doubles. I believe he is a knowledgable and validated source on this subject.

 

The only reason we weren't running the APS tires on our KW was because we ran out to the aircraft boneyards in the desert alot loading jet engines, so we needed the bite that the lugs offer in the sand.

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Gary;

 

That's all I run! Dedicated steers and all position on the rear. Those are definitely contributing to my good fuel milage, and the better ride obviously helps a "Freightshaker". I have been in some iffy positions but have never been stuck, and I take my truck off road. I do not play in the snow though. Myself for our use, that's all I will ever run!

 

Curt

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Info I am around in the trucking industry suggests all position tires can deliver around 5% better fuel economy at highway speeds vs more aggressive tires. This is changing as tire manufacturers develop all types of tires that meet the EPA certification for low rolling resistance.

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All position tires on the drive will be fine for all the reasons mentioned.

 

Not to hijack the thread but be selective about Kevin Rutherford's advice. Validate it with OEM sources. The tire stuff he advises is fine but he shills for numerous other products that are pure snake oil.

 

He has been involved in 2 Detroit diesel engine "projects" modified to his specs in recent months that have suffered premature catastrophic failures, including the engine in his own HDT which threw a rod. His reputation over the years he has been on XM has been steadily declining.

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I have always made my decisions based on collective information from more than a single source. Rather than basing my decisions on the opinion or advice of one, I totally agree with checking things out futher as above mentioned. Seeds have been planted in my mind throughout the years I've listened to the radio on such subjects. Some that have been useful and profitable within my own business plan, others that based upon future investigation I chose not to use. That is one reason I put this thread on the table because I believe what better source than those whom pull their fivers with an HDT on a regular basis. Plenty of good advice has come from this forum throuhout the years imop! :)

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We are in the NW and traction is always on my mind due to having a singled Volvo. I chose lugged drive tires and had them siped. So far snow, ice, water, mud and wet grass have not impacted our ability to move safely when we wanted to. Given we travel about maybe 10K miles per year, not over 100K like pro truckers, the money saved in fuel was less important than traction.

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All position tires on the drive will be fine for all the reasons mentioned.

 

Not to hijack the thread but be selective about Kevin Rutherford's advice. Validate it with OEM sources. The tire stuff he advises is fine but he shills for numerous other products that are pure snake oil.

 

He has been involved in 2 Detroit diesel engine "projects" modified to his specs in recent months that have suffered premature catastrophic failures, including the engine in his own HDT which threw a rod. His reputation over the years he has been on XM has been steadily declining.

im 100% with you on the Kevin Rutherford advice. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. hes getting a kickback on everything he recommends and alot of it is pure snake oil.

also beware of his OWN products that he claims are his design.. (aka the scanguage and others)... its just got a custom firmware on it and nothing real special....

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Gary

 

I run APS all around. FYI I only buy two tires at a time. I move the front to one side of the drive and new ones on the front. You did not here this from me, but I have two drive tires with the date of 0101 they have 95,000 miles on them. They will go soon.

As for traction I have three rail tire chains and liquid chains. For the different ways to use the chains I will not go into unless requested to.

 

safe travels

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I just replaced some highly worn lug tires with all position tires while in crossville at the ECR rally. It dramatically increased the ride of the truck. It increased my mpgs 2-3 mpg if my calculations are correct. The lugs I took off were in bad shape. The wife didn't care for the bill on the tires but she did comment on how much better the trick rode. One other thought on haven't having all position tires is that you always have 2 spare tires with you. If you needed to replace a front tire, you could pull the inside dual off and move it forward.

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OK, so I'm thinking the AP tire is maybe harder rubber, or because of no lugs there is less "squirm" giving better mileage. But putting new tires on a truck should give it better mileage just because it is a bigger around tire giving more "mileage" per revolution of the axle. What am I missing here guys?

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Rocky, as counterintuitive as it seems, regardless of the tread design, tires yield their absolute worst fuel mileage when new. The additional depth of the tread allows more flex/squirm, which translates into rolling resistance, so as the tire wears and the ribs, lugs, or whatever elements comprise the design of the tread get shorter and more rigid, the better the fuel mileage.

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Phil makes a proven point.........

 

If you dig into the Cummins website they have very detailed information regarding tire miles vs mpg etc........they really stress the whole BIG picture when you want to get the most out our trucks (and tows)........

 

It seems a bit odd at first that a engine company would preach about tires a lot but they have a world full of Cummins engines connected to........tires.........

 

It's so easy to blame the engine for your diesel bills but tires are often more to blame (and those folks that don't keep the pressures correct).......

 

As I recall Cummins said that the first 30k to 40k of new tires life are the worst mpg potential of a HDT tires life......so.......it seems to make sense to "Lobby the wife" for enough $$$$ so that we can put 40k on any new tires so that we get Quickly into the better "mpg-sweet-spot"...........

 

This is a good plan........who wants to be first.........(sorry all my tires are already at the "sweet-spot")........

 

Cheerz

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I live a couple of miles off the highway via dirt and gravel roads. In addition have to go through and open field to get the 5er on the concrete pad. Now I try not to do any of this after it has been raining, etc. but sometimes I just have to. Now I will not put the 5er on the pad but park in a gravel area I have. Still though have left it tandem. and will lock the inter-axle lock and traction control and with the lugged drivers it works so far. I was in Wyoming and the rv park I was at did not have room for the HDT in the RV space so had me park in another location. It was on grass and kinda soft and rained more for a couple of days. I had to back out to the road probably only 25 or 30 feet but locked everything up and started back with the rears spinning and did not slow little momentum I had tell I got to the road. Sure did tear up his grass!!!! I told him it would happen and he wanted me park there anyway.

 

I am still thinking when time though AP tire will work still as they are not strictly tread design to be steers. SOOOOO need to evaluate you personal situation and what you will need after review of all the above great information. As for fuel Mileage I am in the camp with the low miles we put in yearly MPG increase to me is to low to even consider it my opinion but this also varies by individual. :)

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I hear folks saying "for the amount of miles we drive"? We still work full time, but still manage to put 10k on a year. With that in mind a 1 to 2 mpg increase does make a difference in my world, especially when fuel is $3.50 plus and above. Doing the math between 8 to 10 mpg on a 3k run leaves you 600 miles short, for me that's 60 gallons.

 

My 2 cents

 

Curt

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