Deep or Shallow Tread Rubber? 10 Factors to Consider

When deciding between deep or shallow tread truck tires, I recommend that fleet managers and owner operators consider 10 key factors.

Tire manufacturers have invested tremendous R&D into developing low rolling resistance (LRR) medium/heavy truck tires, and these tires are being well accepted by the industry, especially when the cost of fuel was closing in on $4 per gallon.

There is no question that under the right conditions, LRR tires have an effect on using less fuel, but that should not be the only consideration. 

Deep Rubber

For the most part, tires with deep rubber will run longer. Deep rubber has a negative effect on fuel economy, but the positive side is longer life, less debris penetration, less visits for flat tires and casing protection. Many of the top CSA issues are less than 2/32nds rubber—deeper rubber could help.

I was impressed the first time I came across the Double Coin RT606+, a RT606.jpg5-rib regional steer/all-position tire, in a dealer’s warehouse. It was just a beautiful looking tire with 22/32” tread depth. And the price was much more aggressive than what the Tier 1 brands were charging.

The RT606+ (pictured to the right) is designed for the rugged environments of P&D, urban and regional applications. Built to resist cuts and abrasions, its 5-rib design promotes precise handling, lateral stability and superior traction. Add to that list a very retreadable casing and good pricing and you have an absolute winner - a great example of the benefits provided by deep rubber tires.

(Editor's note:  The Double Coin retread warranty is among the best in the industry -- seven (7) years on the casing and three (3) retreads for all Double Coin truck and bus radial (TBR) tire products.

Shallow Rubber

FD405-FINAL.jpgLRR tires do have their place! They certainly will bring some fuel savings when tested on a complete unit. The savings will also show on a tractor, but are much harder to measure.

The Double Coin FD405, a SmartWay®-verified drive-position tire (pictured to the left), is a good example of what today's LRR tires have to offer. In addition to delivering fuel savings for long haul operations, it has a deep tread at 26/32" and also features stone drilling protectors to help extend removal mileage.


10 Factors

Let's be clear, I am, and have been for a career a deep RUBBER guy, My proven theory is that round, black and plenty of rubber, with the right cost per 32nd, is hard to beat! Double Coin tires fit in to all of these categories as a professional choice for tires.

There's no question, however, that deep and shallow tread tires both have their pluses and minuses. You can affect a sizable impact on your tire operating costs by carefully determining which tire options are best for your equipment, applications and maintenance practices. These are my top 10 factors for making decisions on tires:

  • Customer service and on-time deliveries
  • Driver’s hours of service
  • Reduced road calls and downtime
  • Potential road debris penetration
  • Cost per 32nds
  • Removal at PM time
  • Tread design on new and recaps
  • Local service and support
  • Brand support
  • LRR and fuel

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them! 

Darry_Stuart.jpgDarry Stuart is a guest blogger for Double Coin Tires. He founded DWS Fleet Management Services in 1999 and has helped many fleets, both large and small, improve their bottom line. He advises his clients on tires (here's what he thinks about Double Coin), but devotes most of his efforts to personnel and organizational issues.  

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    About Double Coin

    Double Coin tires deliver exceptional value for a wide variety of commercial applications, including trucking, construction, mining, ports and agriculture. Our goal is to provide valuable information for those working in these industries.

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