Tires & Wheels Update

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Tires & Wheels Update

Originally Posted by Byrdseye View Post
Jay, I just wanted to thank you for all the information and inspiration you have provided for all of us!
Thank you so much for saying that. I’m really glad that our information is proving to be helpful to others, and that we’re able to return some of the inspiration we’ve derived from the ExPo community!
Originally Posted by ByrdseyeView Post
I just purchased a rig and hope to start on my own project very soon. (Now is a great time to find a deal!) It’s a ’07 Freightliner M2 Crew Cab Business class with the Mercedes 330 hp and factory 4×4 with a Meritor front drive axle and transfer case. (24k miles!)


That’s a great chassis, and should run a million miles for you, they are built to run forever.

We looked at the M2’s early on when we were still considering something like a Renegade or Pony Express type set-up.

I think the main reason we chose not to go down that road was the CAT engine, and the weight of the Freightliners. They are very, very nice BIG trucks though, and I’m sure you probably got a great deal on it.

Originally Posted by ByrdseyeView Post
Anyway, the previous owner had fitted the truck with the Accuride aluminum super singles using Bridgestone M844 tires in 425/65R22.5. The tires are 45″ tall and about 17″ wide with a 11,400 lb rating per tire.

 Those are huge! Let me know how they go…

Some of you have been following along our wheel / tires saga for a while. Thanks to all of you who have made great suggestions, especially Charlie Aarons and his detailed calculations / shopping recommendations — and Bob for introducing me (through Expo) to Bill O’hara at Hutchinson Wheels.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m frankly frustrated with thinking about it anymore and so decided to just make a decision…

I realized a few factors:

1 – It seems that my Continental MPT81’s may not be sufficient to hold my load as super singles. (they are rated at 3550kg/7826lbs per tire = 31,000lbs for four which is within 10% of my likely weight of 28,000lbs)

2 – I don’t believe I can run the Conti’s as duallies without substantial spacers in between to allow space to air them down without rubbing.

3 – The same size Michelin XZL is rated at 11,000+lbs per tire, but are incredibly hard to find.

4 – All 20″ bolt together wheels I’ve found are not rated for the kind of weight we’re talking about. Stronger single piece wheels are available, but then the only advantage I’m getting over my current 22.5″ alcoa’s is the theoretical additional availability of 20″ tyres outside the USA.

5 – I’m going to spend at least the first several months of our trip testing the truck (and our kids) in North America and so I don’t need a very Garang (malay word for fierce) tire setup for now.

6 – I’m spending a lot of money these days on the truck, and see this as another big expense that I’m not 100% sure of…

So, I’ve decided:

1 – swap my two current useless front tires for another pair of the Michelin XDE M/S tires that are on the rear of the truck. (rated for 36,000+lbs) — The same btw, as used by Darren on his RUF Mitsu trucks.

2 – Bought two used Alcoa’s for $150, mounting the old front tires on those for now as spares.

3 – Sell my (brand new, never used) 5 Continental MPT81’s for as close to what I paid for them as I can. (offers welcome)

4 – Run the truck like that and see how it does. Potentially scrap the whole plan in a year and still go with XZL’s on 20″ s then, but the only thing I’m out then is the $150 I spent on the used Alcoa’s and the 2 tires for the front for the next year.

That’s it! I hope it all works, and I hope I won’t have to think about these tires again… at least until I blow one!


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