When it comes to towing and hauling jobs, nothing beats a pickup truck. And the biggest, baddest type of pickup is the dually — a truck with dual rear wheels, two on each side. That means six tires instead of four, which complicates rotating your tires, a process that’s usually quite simple on any standard four-wheel vehicle. So let’s talk about how to rotate tires on a dually.
You rotate the tires on your car to avoid uneven wear, and on a dually, you’ve got one more variable to consider. It’s not just that a right or left or front or rear tire might wear more quickly than the others — the inner and outer tires on both sides of a dually can wear unevenly as well.
But the tire situation is even more complicated than that. Sometimes your truck runs with an empty bed, not towing anything, but in other cases it might be carrying or towing literally tons. There’s no wheel alignment that can adequately cover that spectrum of load on your rear dual wheels. As a result, any working alignment will be an estimate — a compromise that accounts for what your truck might see before your next alignment. This means those rear wheels are more susceptible to wear issues than your front tires or the rears tires on a standard light-duty truck.
And when you’re considering the replacement cost of six tires, it really makes sense to get the most mileage and wear you can out of the rubber on your dually.
How To Rotate Tires On A Dually
Now that you know a bit more about why rotating tires on a dually is especially important, get your tire-changing equipment out and start preparing for the job. Opinions on the best way to rotate differ, but the general consensus among most tire pros seems to be that a counter-clockwise rotation on each side of the truck is the best approach.
In other words, the front tire on the driver’s side would become the outer left rear tire, the outer left rear tire would move inward, and the inner rear tire would move to the front. On the passenger side, the front tire becomes the rear inner tire, the inner tire moves outward to become the right rear tire, and the outer rear tire becomes the front tire.
It’s not only important to rotate the tires and rotate them the same way each time, but also to do so on a fixed schedule. In general, a good rule to follow is to rotate your tires every 10,000 miles. Note, however, that how you use your dually and the conditions in which you use it can affect the recommendations. For instance, frequently carrying heavy loads will cause additional wear on tires, and the type of road surface you drive on could also have an effect.
Consulting with some local tire pros and the community of dually owners on the web will likely provide you with some worthwhile insights on how often to rotate the tires on your own dually.
Check out all the tools and tire-changing supplies available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to rotate tires on a dually, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of MikeHagertyCars.com, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and losaltosonline.com. Previous outlets have included KFBK and KFBK.com in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and BBCCars.com.