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100,000-Mile Semi Tires For Dualies

19.5-Inch Vision Wheel Conversion

Text By , Photography by Brian Kinney,

Our Silverado 3500 used to eat tires. It didn’t matter what tire pressure we ran, which brand of tire we used, or how often we rotated them. Tires just died a quick death on this truck. It seemed like we had to change them more often than the Duramax’s fuel filter.

Now, we won’t pretend our 400hp truck has ever been easy on tires. We won’t tell you that we’ve never overloaded them, never spun them, or that we’ve always obeyed the speed limits with them. We’d come to the point with our 16-inch-wheeled truck that we’d either have to stop towing our travel trailer, or we were going to have to find a new solution for our tires. As it turned out, it wasn’t just the tires’ (or our) fault. A lot of the blame lies with our 16-inch wheels.

The 19.5-inch Wheel Solution
While researching 16- and 17-inch tires with the highest possible weight capacity we could find, we began talking with Roger Minor of Vision Wheels. We explained to him what we’d been through with the other three sets of tires we’d had, and why we were looking for a tire with more weight capacity. That’s when Minor explained to us that the solution to our problem wasn’t just finding a better tirewhat we needed was a heavier-duty wheel and tire combination. That’s where the motivation for the 19.5-inch wheels came from.

By switching our truck to a larger-diameter wheel, we could then use a lower-profile tire. The lower-profile tire wasn’t intended to improve the truck’s handling (it did), rather it would allow us to improve the tires’ life by reducing the amount of internal stress we subjected them to. The larger 19.5-inch wheels are able to reduce the stress on the rubber tire because shorter tire sidewalls don’t experience as much leverage as taller sidewalls. Less leverage means less tire distortion, and less tire distortion means a tire that spins truer and has less tread-face squirm. It turns out that much of our 16-inch tires’ wear was caused by the lateral scrubbing loads the tires experience just going down the road in a straight line.

How Do They Ride?
Traditionally, the complaint about large-diameter wheels has been that they are heavy and they make the truck ride rougher. If you’re just in the market for the look of 19.5-inch wheels, those complaints are valid. Our dualie not only feels much more solid (all of the numbness and dead-on-center feel is gone), but we’ve also noticed that we can actually feel the road now. There was even an unexpected improvement in the truck’s grip on rain-soaked roads.

What we’ve decided is that when the point comes when you should upgrade your truck to 19.5-inch wheels, you’re not going to complain about how the ride quality has changed. You’re going to ask yourself why you didn’t make the swap sooner.

Vision 19.5-Inch Tire Specs:

  • Tire Type: Radial
  • Tire Size: LT225/70R19.5
  • Overall Diameter: 32.2 inches
  • Tread Construction: 4-ply steel
  • Sidewall Construction: 1-ply steel
  • Tire Ply Rating: 12-ply rating
  • Tread Depth: 16/32 inch
  • Overall Width: 9.5 inches
  • Approved Rim Width: 6.75 inches
  • Maximum Load (tire): 3,640 pounds
  • Maximum psi: 95 psi
  • Load Range: F

Vision Wheel Specs:

  • Wheel Construction: Cast-aluminum, with a machined and polished finish
  • Wheel Size: 19.5x6.75 inches
  • Bolt Pattern: 8-on-6 inch
  • Load Capacity: 4,300 pounds

SOURCES
Vision Wheel
800-633-3936
http://www.visionwheel.com/
Auto Body and More
3335 Standish Ave
Santa Rosa
CA  95407
707-584-2886
www.autobodyandmore.com
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1 comments
Hopy
Hopy

The Bridgestone M895 is a steel constructed tire with 15/32 tread depth in a 10 ply or load range  E which is the same thing. That Bridgestone will provide you with the same results at a lower cost because it is built for that kind of application. The deeper tread depth will also give you a longer tread life with more rubber to wear off. The Hankook shown in this article is also a damn good tire I sell them both and sold the Bidgestone to customer who where having a similar problem. 

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