Please let us know which S&S location you plan to visit.

Please let us know which S&S location you plan to visit.

Low Profile Tires: Pros and Cons

S&S Tire/Best-One Tire is known for its comprehensive line of high-quality commercial-use tires. Whether selecting directional, symmetrical, or asymmetrical tire tread patterns for different weather or road conditions or choosing between high or low-profile tires, S&S Tire has the experience and can-do attitude to help with any request.

Most long-haul truckers are familiar with high-profile tires. These tires are easily recognized by their thicker appearance and larger/taller sidewalls. However, low-profile tires have some inherent advantages that lend themselves well to certain conditions.

So, what are low-profile tires? More importantly, what are some of the advantages of low-profile tires? What are some of their drawbacks? Read on.

Low Profile Tires

Low-profile tires – often referred to as low-pro tires – do not appear as “thick” as high-profile tires and, therefore, have shorter sidewalls. Low-profile tires have a wider aspect ratio than high-profile tires. This means that the space between the tires’ treads and the wheel’s rim is shorter on low-profile tires compared to high-profile tires.

Since trailer wheel dimensions are typically between 22.5 and 24.5, customers can choose between 22.5 low-pro drive tires or 24.5 low-pro drive tires to accommodate most conditions.

Pros of Low Profile Tires

One of the immediate advantages of low-profile tires is that their more rigid sidewalls and wider surface contact with the road help to improve handling and traction. This results in a tire that provides drivers with a more responsive feel and better performance.

Another benefit when searching online for “tires low profile” is that lower profile tires allow for improved braking performance. However, this requires a wider or larger rim to accommodate the wider aspect ratio of the low-profile tire. In turn, that wider rim may need different braking assemblies so that your truck can handle the improved braking power.

While both advantages are impressive, the most significant advantage to long-haul truckers is that low-profile tires reduce fuel consumption. This is because low-profile tires have lower rolling resistance as the tire turns or rotates on the road. This means it requires less energy – or less fuel – to rotate the tire. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lower-resistance tires can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3 percent.

  • Improved handling
  • Better grip or traction
  • Improved braking
  • Lower fuel consumption

Cons of Low Profile Tires

Low-profile tires improve road responsiveness, but you feel it more when the tire goes over an obstruction or pothole. This is because the distance between your tires and the road’s surface is shorter. As such, using low-profile tires often results in a bumpier or rougher ride.

If you hit a pothole, there is a higher incidence of damage to the low-profile tire and rim. A shorter tire sidewall provides less protection, resulting in bent or damaged rims and torn or ruptured tires. If your tire is punctured, it will deflate much faster as the low-profile tire has less air than a higher-profile tire.

While low-profile tires will improve grip, they often have issues with uneven or unpaved road surfaces like gravel, dirt, or slick and ice-covered roads. This means special care must be taken when coming across these road surfaces. Slowing down and being vigilant is often the best approach.

Finally, ensuring your truck’s suspension and balancing are optimized for low-profile tires is always a good idea. Again, low-profile tires have shorter sidewalls, and repeatedly encountering potholes or road obstructions over time can put undo wear on different parts of your suspension. At the very least, adopting a regular maintenance schedule is necessary.

  • Bumpier or rougher ride.
  • Potential for damaged rims.
  • Faster deflation if punctured.
  • Difficult handling on uneven road surfaces.

Customer-Focused Solutions from S&S Tire

The committed and dedicated team at S&S Tire understands the importance of having a readily available tire partner to help you choose the best solution for your situation. That comes from having an expansive selection of new and refurbished commercial tires and a staff of highly trained and seasoned tire experts.

If you need insight into how to go about selecting a low-profile tire and how our maintenance programs can help you maximize your returns, contact us now.