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Truck and Bus Tire Basics

Tire Usage Reminders:

When choosing a tire, please follow all original equipment recommendations (or official governing body) related to size, load, speed, fitments, etc.; and all applicable local laws.

  • Conditions of Use: Take into account all possible tire usage conditions when selecting a tire so it will perform to expectations.
  • Vehicle Modifications: If a vehicle has been modified from the manufacturer's original specifications, please verify tire usage complies with original equipment requirements related to size, load, speed, fitments, etc.
  • Any used or second-hand tire or one that has been involved in an accident must be carefully checked by a professional before mounting in order to guarantee the user’s safety and compliance with local safety regulations. (see correct tire installation and inflation procedures).
  • Misuse or improper tire selection can also contribute to early wear of some mechanical parts.

How to choose a tire?

In order to drive safely and maximize profitability, it’s important to properly equip your vehicles. Remember these four steps to help you choose the right tire!

STEP 1: Determine the Right Tire Size

  • The size must be approved by the manufacturer and must (at minimum) match the maximum load capacity of the axle.
  • The maximum axle load is given by the vehicle manufacturer based on certain criteria. Equipping this axle with tires able to support a heavier load does not allow it to exceed the load approved by the manufacturer.
  • Each tire size corresponds to one or more suitable wheels, particularly in terms of rim width: consult the "Truck Tire Databook” and/or the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Mounting a tire on an unapproved rim can lead to: deterioration of the wheel and/or tire, a non-optimized footprint, abnormal wearing of the carcass, which can adversely affect the safety, behavior, grip and life of the tire.

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STEP 2: Define the correct tire usage

  1. The MICHELIN truck tire line is composed of six ranges, meeting the different usage needs of drivers.
  2. In order to choose the right tire, each range's use and benefits must be taken into account.

STEP 3: Identify the right benefit

MICHELIN tires offer benefits according to the specific needs of drivers.

STEP 4: Choose the right tread

There are rules that must be followed when choosing the tire tread pattern.

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  • Install only "F" or "Z" treads on steering axles.

These tread patterns are designed and manufactured to meet the specific driving demands of motor vehicle steering axles: load capacity, sway with dynamic load transfer, slippage, axle geometry angles, high mileage, etc. We do not recommend installing MICHELIN Retreads on the first steering axle of motor vehicles; including "Z" tread patterns.

  • Install only "D" or "Z" treads on drive axles.

"D" tread patterns are designed to meet the specific demands of driving axles: transmission of driving and braking torques, twin mounting, maximum axle load of the road assembly, etc.
"Z" tread patterns can be installed on drive axles, but performance will be compromised to meet axle demands of long haul fitments--therefore, long haul axle performance is optimized with "D" tread patterns. In some cases, "Z" tread patterns can be used on drive axles: for example, urban uses.

  • Install only "D" or "Z" treads trailer axles.

These tread patterns are designed to meet the specific demands of load-bearing axles: static and dynamic loads, slippage, high mileage on central axles, etc.
"T" tread patterns have load and speed ratings adapted to towed vehicles (trailer or semi-trailer). When installing tires with a "Z" tread pattern, check that the load and speed ratings are in range with the requirements of the axle.

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Other tips that you may find useful

Tire Structure and Functions
The Right Pressure
Application Tips

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