Friday, August 27, 2010

Eighteen Wheels to Ten

There is an old trend emerging again in trucking. Super single tires are replacements for dual tires on heavy trucks. They are supposed to lighten up the truck and/or trailer as well as being more stable on the highway and bring the fuel mileage up. I have talked with about twenty different drivers who have hauled several different types of trailers and the popular opinion has been that they don't really add that much to the fuel mileage. They also are less stable in wet weather with a tendency to lose traction all together on a very wet road.
The other downside is that if you have one tire and it picks up a nail and goes flat then you are stuck waiting for the roadside repair truck to come and get you back on the road. I would hate to be stuck on highway 50 in Nevada over a hundred miles from anywhere with possibly no cell phone service and have a flat tire that I couldn't fix or even limp up the road with just because some nitwit dropped a board with a nail in it out of his or her pick up for me to run over. A road call for a situation like this could range in the thousands. Yikes! Hardly worth all of the savings they are supposed to be offset with.
Super singles are being used on gasoline tankers and I am seeing them being used more on flatbeds and some dry vans. These types of tires are more dependable than their former models from thirty years ago and from what I have seen, many large carriers are using them more and more. I don't see too many owner operators with one or two trucks using them and I can't see how they would ever benefit from their use unless you were running the same corridor everyday and had constant access to the truck for inspections.


Michael Klu said...

I am looking at a New 2016 Freightliner Cascadia with Supper Singles on it. Maybe that is why it is being discounted? Should this Keep me from buying it?

Ed said...

Thanks for reading the blog. I hope some of the information here is helpful. This post is 7 years old. It was during a period when Super Single tires were starting to be used again. Now they are very popular and work very well. I strictly use Michelin Super Singles with tire pressure monitors. Super Singles are excellent tires, but I highly recommend a tire pressure monitoring system because the one thing that they don't handle very well is improper tire pressure.

Michael Klu said...

Thanks for the update!