Why do heavy haul trucks have multiple tires on each axle?

Driving past heavy haul trucks on the highway, you may have noticed their rear axles have four tires, two on either side, while the front axle has the standard two. There are many reasons for this tire configuration, and they mostly amount to the truck’s function moving cargo.

Having more tires on each axle dramatically improves a vehicle’s capacity to haul heavy loads. Because the weight is distributed across a wider surface area, it allows each tire to bear more weight. Having more tires in the back also increases the amount of friction against the ground, which can potentially improve performance in these kinds of vehicles. Additionally, it allows for a bit of security. In the event that one of the tires on a four-tire axle on a heavy haul truck goes out, the truck can still operate with the remaining three.

If there are so many benefits to having multiple tires on an axle, why don’t front axles follow the four-tire pattern of the axles behind them? There are a few reasons for this, primarily relating to the truck’s maneuverability. There’s simply not usually enough space to install a pair of tires in the front while maintaining the truck’s turning radius. This issue is a significant reason not to include additional tires in the front of a truck.

Any heavy haul trucker will have to reconcile the benefits and drawbacks of having multiple tires on the same axle. At LTA Logistics, we handle all of the truck maintenance for our fleet and can move your cargo where it needs to be in a timely manner. Call our heavy haul professionals today at (888) 502-0582 to learn more about how we can serve you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.