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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Tread squirm is for real!

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Dutch Oven Man

Tennessee

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Posted: 03/12/18 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last summer, I had my first tire failure while pulling our fifth wheel on a very rough interstate, I broke one of the belts on my "E" load tires on my 1-ton. Fortunately, we made it to a tire store where I had two new tires put on. As I pulled back onto the interstate, I almost lost control of the truck, like I was driving on ice. It was the craziest experience I ever had pulling, and I have pulled a lot of miles in 25 years.

To give you some background, I have run BFG KO's for the last 15 years with no problems. They no longer make the particular tire I had on the truck, so I bought the BFG KO II's, which looked similar to my other tires, but apparently has softer rubber/side walls. After my ice skating incident, I checked and re-checked the tire pressure thinking something was wrong, and re-tightened the lug nuts. After about 1,500 miles on the truck, it didn't get any better so I yanked them off and changed brands.

I didn't have a chance to break the new tires in before our first trip, and took off on a 300 mile trip on a brand new set of tires. Again, the truck was real squirrely, but by the end of the trip, it appeared to be getting better. We drove it around for a month unloaded, letting the tires get good and broke in, and took another trip this past weekend. I can finally say the truck is back to handling like it's supposed to.

Moral of the story, don't pull a 13,000 trailer on a brand new set of tires. I nearly bought the farm five miles from the tire store on the KO's, and it took a good 2,000 miles for the second set of tires to settle in, but all is good now.

wrgrs50s

Scurry, Tx

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Posted: 03/12/18 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I experienced that same effect with a new set of Michelin LTX/MS tires. After a few months of driving it seemed the squirming went away, but It was nerve wracking. It was a first for me, and all my friends thought I was nuts when I was describing the way my truck was handling.


Walter and Janie Rogers
2012 Sundance 277RL
TV 2006 Silverado 2500 6.0

moresmoke

On the beach of lake Agassiz

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Posted: 03/12/18 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not as uncommon as you might think. Back when I used to work on semis, we would put a set of 8 steer tires on the drives of a truck and run them for about 10,000 miles, then pull them off. Now we had 4 sets of steers that were broken in and we wouldn't get complaints from the drivers!

I know this doesn't help much with a pickup, but it is a real issue.

Ductape

On the Road

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Posted: 03/13/18 06:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's pretty well known by motorcyclists to be careful on new tires. Mold release compounds are the culprit I've heard in that case.


49 States, 6 Provinces, 2 Territories...

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 03/13/18 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wrgrs50s wrote:

I experienced that same effect with a new set of Michelin LTX/MS tires. After a few months of driving it seemed the squirming went away, but It was nerve wracking. It was a first for me, and all my friends thought I was nuts when I was describing the way my truck was handling.

Same here with the same tires. It was the first time I really noticed the squirm with new tires.

IdaD

Idaho

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Posted: 03/13/18 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New tires always feel a little squirmy to me, especially more aggressive AT or MT type tires. They always seem to settle down pretty quick, although I don't know how much of that is the tire versus my own comfort level with how they feel on the truck. Probably a little of both.


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spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 03/13/18 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Same here. Replaced my stock tires last fall and had a horrible feeling while towing. My truck is used mostly for towing, very occasionally around town, so it didn't get used much for anything but towing when I first swapped tires. I felt like they were low on air they felt so soft and got pushed around so much.

Fast forward to this February, took a trip down to Florida and back, about 3000 miles total and the truck felt infinitely better. Took a little while to get the tires "broken in" if you will, but much better now.


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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 03/13/18 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a similar issue last summer. I heard others had new tire squirm and I know personally all LT tire brands are not the same. Had that experience years ago with LT's on Michelin LTX M & S.

My saga. In this case I am on my 3rd set of Continental ContiTrac TR's LT275/70R18's LR E.

The first set where the originals on my F350 in my sig. I bought the truck used with 25,000 miles on it. This is 2007 time frame. I had no problems whatsoever with truck stability with my current camper.

At around 53,000 miles, DW picked up nail in the front tire a week before a 1,000 mile camping trip. Oh man... They are almost gone, so I replaced all 5 tires with new Continental ContiTrac TR's LT275/70R18's LR E. and we set out on the trip with only about 500 miles on the tires. No issues at all. Nothing. This was 2009/2010 time frame.

Then last summer, 2017 time frame I need 5 new tires again due to wear and we have a 1,500 mile camping trip comeing up. Not wanting to change brands or styles I again bought Continental ContiTrac TR's LT275/70R18's LR E. 1 ton truck, 10,000# camper, long wheel base, I know what works and no brand changes if I can help it.

Oh boy, this is very different. We went to a local camping 50 miles from home and their was for sure an instability in the truck. I checked the WD hitch, pressure and it all came up good. I had to deal with it the whole 1,500 mile camping trip. Well, after around 1,500 to 2,000 miles on them, the truck is now back to stable again. It is like they need 3 to 4,000 miles on them to become known stable again.

Something changed in the rubber makeup as in 2009 I had zero issues, now I have a problem.

For us towing campers, we really need a sidewall stiffness index or something as buying new tires can be free for all on brand, style and thread. And now the squirm factor on new tires makes this all that much worse. It's like you have to find someone with about the same truck, camper size and weight and see what they have that works.

Thanks

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


bluie5

Wisconsin

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Posted: 03/13/18 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had the same thing when my truck was new. After several hundred miles everything settled down.


2016 Ford F-350 Super Duty CC PSD SRW 4x4
2018 Jayco Eagle HT 29.5BHOK

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 03/13/18 06:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bluie5 wrote:

Had the same thing when my truck was new. After several hundred miles everything settled down.


What tire brand, tread type and tire size do you have on your 2016 F350? This would be good to know.

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