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Old 02-27-2009, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Drive tires on steer axle??

Is it okay to run drive tires on the front of my 08 F450? I have the Continental HSR's on the front now and the HDR's on the rear. The HSR's are worn slap out at 47k miles while the HDR's still look brand new. Plus the HDR's look more aggressive. Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No, don't do it. We're talking "real truck" tires here, not pickup and car tires. Real truck tires come in four flavors:
1. Steer axle only
2. Drive axle only
3. Trailer axle only
4. All position

All position tires, as a rule, cost a lot more than tires made for a specific axle. But they are available. And Michelin doesn't even offer steer axle tires. They expect you to mount an all-position tire on the front axle.

You need size 225/70R19.5.

Yes steer tires wear out a lot faster than drive tires, especially when you have singles on the front and duals on the rear.

In the Continental brand, the HSR is a steer axle only tire, and the HDR is a drive axle only tire. If you want the same tire front and rear then you have to find an "all position" tire.

But a quick look at both Michelin and Toyo all-position tires doesn't show any with an agressive tread. For Michelin, the only ones that qualify for your steer axle are the XRV and XZE, and both of those are close to a highway rib tread.
Michelin Americas Truck Tires

And Toyo doesn't want your business. I couldn't fine any all-position tires in the size you need at:
Toyo Tires - allpositions
However, they do have a similar size, 8R19.5 in their M120Z tread.

TireRack has only two brands in size 225/70R19.5. Both the front and rear Contis, and the all-position Michelin XRV. The Michelin costs a lot more than the Contis.
TireRack - Tire Search Results
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My buddy had a 2wd Kodiak and had 245 Goodyear G20s on all 6 wheels and it rode and handled great. Looked good too. I hate the Conti's on my 450.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F450Mikey View Post
..245 Goodyear G20s on all 6 wheels ...
I can't ffind anything called a "G20" in the Goodyear truck tires catalog. They have 5 different tires that are available in sizes 225/70R19.5 and 245/70R19.5:

G149 RSA
G647 RSS
G622 RSD
G124 LT
G670 RV

So what are you calling a "G20"?

http://www.goodyear.com/truck/pdf/edb_dimensions.pdf
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Smokey! I knew the differences between all of the tire types. I just didn't know if it was an absolute no no to run them out of position so to speak. My thinking was that it "might" be okay to run drives up front and no way that you could run steers on the rear. This is my first truck running commercial tires so I just wanted to ask those that know.

What would happen if you did run drive tires on the steer axle? I'd like to better understand exactly what makes them different.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As far as brand recommendation, I would recommend Goodyear. I always ran Goodyears on my big truck and never had a problem with them, they also seem to have more variety in commercial tires than even Michelin, including wierd sizes.

As soon as the OEM BFG's wear out on my new '09, the Wingfoot will be back on my truck.

As an aside, we got 240K miles out of our original Goodyear drive tires on our International 9700, had them recapped, and got another 225K out of them. What's not to like?
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PSD POWER007 View Post
What would happen if you did run drive tires on the steer axle? I'd like to better understand exactly what makes them different.
Sorry, but not my area of expertise. I'm no chassis engineer, nor an engineer of any sort. I vaguely know the differences, but certainly not to any technical level.

Remember the old adage: "Follow the money".

The purpose of making them different is money. Drive tires have to accelerate the load, but not turn the load, so they can be a bit cheaper than all-position tires. Steer tires have to turn the load but not accelerate the load, so they can be a bit cheaper than all-position tires. Trailer tires neither accelerate nor turn the load, but they get drug around tight corners so they have to have stiffer sidewalls than the other tires. All-position tires have to do it all, so you cannot skip anything in the tire construction, so they cost more. Granted, those are all generalities, but even a chassis engineer probably couldn't put it any clearer.

In the business of commercial trucking, you want to squeese every penny of unnecessary cost out of your business. So you demand tires that will give you the most miles per penny of cost. The tire companies soon learned that the cost-effective way to minimize tire costs for their customers was to have special tires for each job. So they made steer tires, drive tires, and trailer tires. Owners soon learned that using those specialized tires was the most cost effective way to manage their fleet tire costs.

The same principal would also work for pickup tires and car tires, but the owners are not as worried about cost effectiveness. So all car tires and most pickup tires are still all-position tires.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
I can't ffind anything called a "G20" in the Goodyear truck tires catalog. They have 5 different tires that are available in sizes 225/70R19.5 and 245/70R19.5:

G149 RSA
G647 RSS
G622 RSD
G124 LT
G670 RV

So what are you calling a "G20"?

http://www.goodyear.com/truck/pdf/edb_dimensions.pdf
Maybe they were G120s? They are the standard issue Kodiak 4x4 tires.

Here is a link to a Monroe Kodiak with them...

http://www.monroetruck.com/GM/images..._1600x1200.jpg
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PSD POWER007 View Post
What would happen if you did run drive tires on the steer axle? I'd like to better understand exactly what makes them different.
I couldn't find a good answer on the web, so I "ask the expert" at Goodyear. Here's their answer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodyear expert
Thirty years ago, all tire manufactures just made truck tires. We all found that we could maximize performance by making tires for specific wheel positions. Typically, steer tires are rib-type tread patterns with relatively shallow tread depths. Drive tires have a more agressive, lug type tread pattern and deeper tread depths for extra traction in wet, winter or off highway condtions. Trailer tires have rib tread patterns and the shallowest new tire tread depth because their slow rate of wear tends to lead to irregular wear if the tread depth is too deep. All position tires are just what the name implies, these can be used with good results in steer, drive or trailer positions. To simplify tire management, it is great to use all position tires and in some cases, they may work perfectly. But, as mentioned earlier, to maximize tire performance, you may find it best to use axle specific tires.
Click on this link to see it on the Goodyear website:
FleetOwner - Tires Tires

If you were looking for engineering and construction design details, Goodyear didn't answer the question any better than my previous answer in an earlier post. I still conclude that the best answer is "follow the money."
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Smokey!
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd stick with the OEM Continental HSR and HDRs. Of all the 225/70R19.5 tires on the market, in either drive, steer, or all position treads, and in load ranges F (12 ply) and G (14 ply), the OEM Continental HSR and HDR tires are the ONLY tires that are speed rated to "N".

That is significant. It is the principle reason why Dodge also selected the HDR and HSR as OEM equipment on their 4500 and 5500 (formerly called Sterling) chassis cabs.

Most 225/70R19.5 regional service truck tires that are viable replacements are only speed rated to "L". Even the most popular tires in this segment, including, but not limited to:

Goodyear - G622 Drive Axle Traction / G647 Steer Axle Highway
Toyo - M608z Drive Axle Traction / M143 Steer Axle Highway
Michelin - XDS2 Drive Axle Traction / XZE Steer Axle Highway

All of these tires are speed limited to "L", where the maximum speed is 75 mph.

I've seen plenty of 2008 - 2010 Ford F450 pickup owners who barrel down the freeways at speeds exceeding 85 mph routinely. Good thing Ford (and Dodge) was thinking about these folks when they spec'ed the HSR and HDR Continental tires, that are rated to "N", with a max speed of 87 mph.

The previous OEM tire on 1999 up F450 and F550 chassis cabs was the General Continental LMT 400, LMT 450, and LMT 460. This series of tire distinguished itself in the 225/70R19.5 segment as being the only tire of this size on the market that was speed rated to "M", or 81 mph. All others were still rated only to "L", or 75 mph.

The standard tire was the LMT400, and the next tire upgrade was the LMT 460. The LMT 450 was a max traction derivitive better suited for off road use than highway use.

Most people assume the OEM truck tire fitment is due to price... ie, the OEM tire is the assumed to be the "cheapest" tire built in the required size.

No. There are cheaper tires out there.

The OEM issued tire is the only tire of it's size rated for the anticipated high speeds that some chassis cab customers either require (ambulance and fire apparatus) or desire.

Something to consider.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Guys I would like to add something here....

F450 pickups that came WITHOUT the off road package were equipped with Conti HSR's on the drive axle and the steer axle.

F450 and F550 Chassis Cabs could be ordered with a "Max Traction" Tire Package which equipped the trucks with Conti HDR's on the steer axle and the drive axle. Ford just listed a disclaimer on the option that read something like "will cause increased NVH and irregular tire wear"

I see no reason why you can't put Conti HDR's on your steer axle, I would. I don't see much point to having a four wheel drive truck if you don't have good traction tires to help the four wheel drive system do it's job.

Hope this helps you out.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Don't put drives on your steers. I tried it and it caused horrible tire wear. I can't wait to get them off my truck....
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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On the other side of an argument for (against) Conti tire positions----my HSRs wore fairly bad in the first 30000 miles. I then (not knowing D from S) put the front S tires on the inside duals, and the inside duals on the front axle. And had the alignment checked--all within specs. I am now at 56000 and the Ds are showing nowhere near (with 56k on them) the wear the S original ones did at 30k. I am planning on putting the outer duals (always on rear, so far) and the Ds from the front on the outer dual position at 60k. From looking at these tires overall, should get near 100k before tread grooves are gone, unless I begin having flat problems.
I am thinking to put Ds all around next time, no matter what the industry stance is...
Have had one flat, and it was one on the S tires after moving it to the rear.

'Course, none of the tires have been over the 82 speed that the truck shuts down at.

Had I stayed with the Ford rotation, the S tires would probably be goners by now.

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Old 03-14-2011, 10:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am with Wingnut. I talked to a guy that had terrible front tire wear with the HSRs. He moved them to outside rear and rears to front. I only have 24k on my truck and have been watching the fronts closely. I am going to move the HSRs to the inner rear at 30k.
Wingnut, how does it steer and how does the wheel feel going down the highway?
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