If you’ve ever seen a dually truck going down the interstate, you probably saw it pulling a huge fifth wheel. These dual rear wheels distribute the weight more evenly and have improved stability than single rear wheels. But did you know there’s an alternative? It’s called a super single tire.
These super singles replace both dual rear wheels. Sound too good to be true? Let’s look at just what a super single tire is, its advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not it’s the right tire for you. Let’s dive in.
What Is a Super Single Tire?
Although the technical term is “wide-base tire,” a super single replaces a dually set. Often they turn 18-wheelers into 10-wheelers.
However, overlanders and overlanding vehicle companies have also started replacing their dual sets with super singles. Often these military-grade tires carry the same load (or more) as dual tires.
Dual rear tires are typically 6 inches wide, 10-ply, and 32 inches in diameter. In contrast, many super single are 12 inches wide, 22-ply, and 41 inches in diameter. The width of one super single tire is the same as two dual tires. But the ply is more than two dual tires with a much wider diameter.
What Is the Point of Super Single Tires?
Driving a dually truck when you’re not towing anything is quite uncomfortable. It’s a rough ride. Super single tires make the drive much smoother because the larger sidewalls absorb more of the bumps and vibration.
Installing super singles also eliminates the pesky rock problem. Often debris will get in between dual rear tires, damaging them and creating an annoying sound. A super single won’t pick up any rocks.
Switching to super singles also makes sense for drivers who want fewer tires to maintain. You don’t have to deal with monitoring the air pressure of four tires in the rear. And if you do a lot of off-roading, taking care of two tires instead of four is much simpler.
Finally, owners also install them because they improve off-road capabilities. When driving on uneven terrain, one tire of a dually truck can come off the ground. Thus, it reduces the traction greatly. A super single will maintain better traction.
Pro Tip: Have you found a hole in your super single tire? Use these tips on How to Easily Patch a Tire Hole.
How Long Does a Super Single Tire Last?
Most tires, including dual rear ones, last about six to ten years. However, super single tires experience more wear since they’re single tires instead of two working together. As a result, a super single will wear out faster and lose its tread faster than a dual rear one.
However, the longevity of your tires greatly depends on your mileage and terrain. If traveling along dirt roads and driving over rocks every weekend, you’ll have more wear and tear on the tires.
In addition, someone who drives longer distances will see their tires weaken faster than someone who stays close to home.
Are Super Singles Lighter Than Duals?
Because a super single tire has an aluminum wheel and rim, it is lighter than dual rear tires. This can lead to better fuel efficiency. Many trucking companies switch to super singles for this reason.
It increases the payload capacity by taking away weight from the truck itself. This might be a moot point for overlanders since you don’t need tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. But super singles are lighter than dual rear ones.
What Size Is a Super Single Tire?
Super singles can vary in size, just like all the others. The Goodyear G275 MSA 335/80/R20 military tire is 41 inches in diameter and 12 inches wide.
This comes out about 9 inches larger in diameter and twice as wide as the tires on most dually trucks. You can also find tires that are 13 and 14 inches wide.
Pro Tip: Keep your super single tires looking like new with these tips on How to Easily Super Clean Your Tires.
Are Super Single Tires Good?
This is highly debatable, depending on personal experience. Owners who have had a blowout on a super single will probably tell you not to get them.
When one tire fails on a dually truck, you can at least limp to a repair shop. In addition, a super single tire doesn’t have as much traction in wet or wintry conditions.
Off-roading traction is excellent, but if driving in snow for three months out of the year, super singles may not be worth the investment.
Why Do Trucks Have Dual Wheels?
Trucks with dual rear wheels have a higher payload capacity than single rear wheels. The dual rear wheels also increase stability and safety when towing heavy loads. Two tires work better and are stronger than one standard tire.
For RV owners who tow large, heavy fifth wheels, you need dually trucks to safely travel from one location to another. For a truck owner who simply drives to and from work every day, dual rear wheels are unnecessary.
Is a Super Single Tire Worth It?
There are pros and cons to all types of tires. You’ll have to weigh the options, consider the cost, and consider how you travel before making the change.
Some owners feel thrilled that they switched to super singles and would never return to dual rear ones. However, not everyone can afford the super singles, and not everyone needs to install them.
If looking for a lift and big tires, save money and do something else. But if you genuinely need the traction and payload capacity that a super single tire offers, contact a local tire shop.
Are super singles in your future? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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