Weather Center

Types of Tires for Every Driving Condition

By Rachael Pilcher 4.16.20

From bustling main streets and 85-mile-per-hour highways to the breathtaking Twisted Sisters and vast desert plains, Texas roads can vary. A lot. That makes choosing the right tires crucial.

The vast grandeur of Texas is subject to mercurial weather and a multitude of microclimates. Between ice storms and tar-melting triple-digit heatwaves, we face some of the harshest driving conditions in the world. Knowing which type of tires to use will help protect you and your fellow motorists.

For Daily Driving: All-Season Tires

These tires are built to keep you on the road in all weather. Passenger vehicles typically require tires with a load range of B (4-ply) or above. Vehicles with greater load capabilities — such as trucks, tow trucks, and SUVs — require a higher load range, typically between C (6-ply) and F (12-ply).

For Long-Haul Journeys: Highway Tires

In Texas, you often have to drive hours to get anywhere, so long-distance driving is an important factor in tire selection. Lengthy trips can wear your tires down quickly and reduce your fuel economy. If you’re regularly clocking major miles, investing in a quality set of highway tires could give you a safer drive, more competitive gas mileage, and a longer lifespan.

Look for the “M+S” symbol when choosing your highway tires to ensure they have all-season capability to keep you safe in both wet and dry conditions.

For Off-Roading: All-Terrain Tires

If your journeys take you on and off roads, an all-terrain tire is your best choice.

For Mud, Clay, Sand, and Gravel: Specialty Tires

The lug patterns and aggressive grooves of specialty tires will ensure that your tires won’t get clogged in these tough terrains and that your vehicle will maintain traction.

For Ice Storms: Winter Tires

Our deadly and unpredictable ice storms can make roads extremely hazardous. Winter tires are designed to increase your steering response and traction in snow and ice. They should be bought as a complete set and may feature studs or deep treads and groove patterns designed to bite into ice and snow to help keep you on the road.

Keep in mind that winter tires are made of a softer compound and should be removed when temperatures rise again.

For Extreme Heat: The Right Temperature Grade

In most places, durable all-season tires can withstand heat. But Texas heat is a different story. Our triple-digit-temperature streaks combined with road friction can wear down tires and cause them to split and crack, risking incredibly dangerous high-speed blowouts. Check your tires’ temperature grade to make sure they’ve been tested to withstand the heat you’ll be driving in.

Extreme heat also causes changes in tire pressure, so when you check for heat wear, make sure to check that your tires are inflated to the correct pressure.

Max Your Mileage

Get the most out of your tires and maintain safety with these best practices:

  • Inspect your tires regularly and pay attention to the wear pattern.
  • Get a mileage warranty and uniform tire quality grading.
  • Choose the right tread depth and width.
  • Check your tire’s ratings for temperature, tread wear, load capability, and speed.
  • Always consult with an expert to choose the right tire.

Every driver’s needs are as vast and varied as Texas itself. If you’re unsure about which tire you need or the condition of your tires, consult with your local expert before hitting the magnificent Texas roads.

© 2020 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance