Big truck tires

Discussion in 'Triple Diamond Trucks' started by Mark Ashford, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Mark Ashford

    Mark Ashford Moderator.. or something Staff Member Moderator

    Anyone got a good source (say on-line) or recommendations on 'big' truck tires.

    The 1510 just ended up with a flat in the front (appears to have a hole in both the tube and the tire), and the other day I noticed the KB lost a valve stem on the rear and killing a tire (not that they weren't junk already).

    the KB needs 9.00/20's, and the 1510 needs 7.50/20's front and 8.25/20's rear. I don't have any hook ups at any local tire shops, so I'm shooting blind there (never know if I'm getting a good deal or a hose job, or they don't care since I'm not a corporate client). I had a guy last year that was wanting to work with me for the KB back when I first got it, but never came through, we've lost touch and the contact I meet him through has gone down the road (not that that means too much, but name dropping never hurts I've found).

    I sourced a set of 19.5 non-splits for the 1510 once (only two rims/tires but the tires were too short to match the 7.50/20;s), but I just went by there and they aren't where they were stored any more. I'll have to see if I still got the guys number. I've even thought of going with 22.5's for the KB. Loose the splits, common tires etc. Maybe get a deal on a complete set mounted and ready to go. What you guy think?
  2. MarkO

    MarkO Farmall Cub

    Which type of wheels do you have--spoke or Budd?

    If you have Budd type wheels, how many holes?

    Knowing what you have may make it easier to find alternatives to what you have.

    When it comes to tires, I would go by your local school bus garages, transit garages, and city and/or county shops. Most of them have been spec'ing tubeless tires for a very long time now. If they still have any tube type tires they may be willing to pretty much give them away to get rid of them.

    You may also want to check any of the local tire shops that have trucks as a large part of their business. They may have used tires for a very reasonable charge.

    Our church bus needed some new steer tires. We purchased a really nice set of steer tires that were take offs. We purchased them from one of the locally owned tire shops. The tires looked like they hadn't been run more than a few hundred miles. The cost to the church for two tires mounted and balanced was less than half the cost of one new tire mounted and balanced.

    When it comes to take offs or used tires tubeless tires are going to be easier to find. Tube type tires are becoming a thing of the past and just are not that common any longer. The 10.00X20 is much more common than the 9.00X20 which is much more common than the 8.25X20. I can't remember when I last saw a 7.50X20 tire.

    You may have a real problem finding the less common sizes.

    It has been almost 30 years since I lived in the Shoreline area so any of the tire shops with which I dealt with are most likely not there or under different management by now.

    The one shop I can remember with which we did a lot of business had a shop on Aurora just south of the cemeteries. HTH.

    Mark O.
    Castle Rock, WA
  3. Rob Peterson

    Rob Peterson High Wheeler

    My S-140 is in need of new traction tires, too. I am currently running 7.50-20's which were the original size, per the line set ticket. The Budd rims are stamped "Max tire width = 8.25" so I assume I can go with the more common (?!) 8.25-20's. Firestone makes a traction tire in this size, and supposedly a company named Power King does but I have been unable to find a web site listing for Power King, or anyone who supplies these. PK used to be made in USA but I found one reference indicating they are now made in China. A moot point, as I have been unable to find a source for the USA. I think PK's used to be made by Kelly....anyone got a confirmation or a source?

    Check craigslist by typing in your desired tire size. I came up with results for '8.25-20' , but nothing in a traction tire and nothing locally.
  4. MarkO

    MarkO Farmall Cub

    If you really need traction tires and can't find the tread design you want, if your current casings are in good shape, have your casings re-capped.

    I have found Bandag top caps work very well, particularly on vehicles that don't go where it is hot or carry extra heavy loads.

    Bandag tread patterns go from not much more than straight lines to very aggressive rock rib traction tires.

    If your casings are not good enough to cap, I would go to the different truck tire shops in your area and ask them to show you what they might have in the way of 7.50X20 or 8.50X20 traction tires. Don't be put off by off brands. The tires made offshore can be very economical alternatives to name brand tires.

    Del Nat and Ohtsu are two that come immediately to mind.

    The local school district purchases Ohtsu tires for the substitute buses that don't go very far or very often.

    I have a set of Del Nat traction tires on my '51 L-series dumptruck.

    Mark O.
    Castle Rock, WA
  5. ragtopkid

    ragtopkid Binder Driver

    My 8.25x20's came from Les Schwab.
  6. IHWillys

    IHWillys Farmall Cub

  7. Doc Stewart

    Doc Stewart Content Team Staff Member Moderator

    Go to the biggest truck tire shop around your area. Wear your IH shirt. Tell the shop manager you need some take-offs for your antique truck project. Stand aside: They will knock themselves out for you.

    I put so little mileage on my trucks that I am not going to pay for new tires.

    Only one used tire has given me a problem.
  8. Jim Grammer

    Jim Grammer Editor at large Staff Member Moderator

    What Doc said, and if you're on the lookout for replacement wheels keep in mind that 19.5 is a common motorhome/medium duty commercial size so used/takeoffs aren't too tough to find. 9R22.5 is also a motorhome size that should work OK on the older skinny wheels, 'tho' I don't see them as often.

    Doc, if you have or can find 1 6 lug 22.5 wheel, the CO1600 currently has a 20" wheel in one of the back positions. I have a couple of 22.5 radial Michelins that go with the truck, be sure to get them :)
  9. Mark Ashford

    Mark Ashford Moderator.. or something Staff Member Moderator

    Thanks guys.

    Good used is all I'm looking for. Although I know that some of the Chinese imports are good, cost effective tires. So those are always an option. The KB will probably be lucky to see 2-3000 miles the rest of its life (at least with me), plus its more of a play thing and low on the priority list.

    The 1510 has probably gotten more use in the few months that I have owned it than just about all the IH's I have right now (with the exception of my scout, but then I've had it for over 10 years now). Course, its one of the few IH's I actually DROVE home and have had to do little to no work to it so far (although it does need some, soon). The tires on it are actually pretty good (tread wise, and actually not too rotted), I was hoping to get away without rubber for it for a while, but thats not to be.

    The tires on the KB are trashed, 99% sure not even good for carcases.

    Both rigs are BUDD pattern, The KB runs the 'standard' 6 on 8.25(?) that I actually see around quite a bit on older medium trucks. Thats why I'm hopping I might be able to score a set of 22.5's with good rubber, loose the split rims and be good to go. But we'll see what I find.

    The 1510 runs 5 on 8 (IIRC). Oddball pattern unique the the 1500's and some Ford/Dodges of similar years. I've seen (and heard of) a 19.5 tubless rim in this pattern, but they are rare. I'd like a set for the front atleast to open up tire options and possibly improve handling (radials). I don't really mind so much the splits/bias and 20's in the rear.

    Doc, I like that idea, and it might just work. I don't really live in the sticks/farm belt, more the yuppie/industrial/mix of everything area (heck, I'm near Seattle :)). But I do know of a couple bigger tire houses not far from here. Worth a try. Now to just be in that neighborhood with a few minutes to spare, some $$ in my pocket and when they are open ;)
  10. John Donnelly

    John Donnelly Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    They will be your friend when it comes to tires for real trucks.

  11. mike m.

    mike m. Farmall Cub

    Hi mark, yes there were some 22.5" rims that were 6-lug. In fact I saw a set a few months ago on an old U-Haul truck{furd f-500,600 I think} and I have seen them a few times on old furds and some dodgges. That 6-lug patteren was quite popular at one time.
    John, I agree, Bandag is great, IMOP. All of our bus fleet runs bandag caps on the rear{drive}tires and they do a great job. Have not had any problems from them and when removed from service they still have plenty of life left in them, like for an old IH.
  12. IHWillys

    IHWillys Farmall Cub

    5 on 8 is a common pattern but not in tubeless wheels. I have seen though a few Dodge based motorhomes with the 5 on 8 pattern with 19.5 wheels. I saw one here in the Safeway parking lot near my house of all places. I checked it out up close to make sure of the pattern. So I know they are out there. You might try asking around about '70s era motorhomes. My '60 B140 has 5 on 8, lockring wheels, but these are much better than the true split rim(no lockring, wheel splits down the middle) that it came with.

  13. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

    I have commercial connections with the major tire manufacturers through my job (fleet management - mostly light duty with a little medium duty mixed in). I talked to Firestone about their 8.25-20 Super All Traction NA for my R140. They advised against those as it's been so many years since they've been manufactured (in the 8.25-20 size) that even if they could find them, they would probably be rock hard. They hooked me up with the local GCR Tire store (Bridgestone/Firestone's truck tire chain) who recomended the Power King. I bought 4 of those (mine's single rear wheel), but haven't installed them yet. I have a mixed set of the 20" rims and want to find at least two more of the original lock ring rims, then sandblast and paint before installing. I just simply haven't had time to look for any - job and young kids are keeping me plenty busy.

    Anyway, I thought this info might help.

    Check out the GCR Tire website ( and give them a call if you want info on the Power King. I don't think they have a shop in the Chicago area, but they appear to have several in WI. Hopefully some are in south WI and near enough to you. I'll ask to see who we use for truck tires in Chicago. From memory, I think I paid about $125 each for the Power Kings (with tubes and flaps), but I think they normally sell for around $160-$180 without the tube. Let me know if you need any more info. the GPX's someone else mentioned looked good as well. I would also expect the local Bandag retreader to be a good source, as well as bus barns, municipal, etc.

    Power King is distributed by TBC Brands in Memphis ( Here's the Super Traction Tire (

    I had also heard Kelley Springfield and the china manufacture rumors about the Power King, but I don't know if that's fact or fiction, or if it even matters. I'll give my Firestone rep the serial numbers from my Power Kings and see if he can tell me who the actual manufacturer is.

    Good luck!
  14. John Donnelly

    John Donnelly Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Another company that can help is STA.

    This company makes a lot of tires that folks know by the name of "Grip Spur", and also make NATO NDT tires for military and severe use applications.

    Many an S-140 had NDT's and this is also of benefit to those fortunate few that have an IH military truck.

  15. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

    By the way, Power King is marketed by the same company as Cordovan and Multi Mile. Mine do say "Made in China" on the sidewall.

    Did you hav any luck finding the Power Kings or GDC Tire Store?

    The website has a dealer locator on it. Put in your zip code and see who comes up. I put in 60008 (Rolling Meadows, IL - not too far from you, correct?) and several came up.

    Let us know.

    BTW here's a link for a search for some 7.50-17 traction tires for a R140 woody. Not much info yet, but maybe more to come.
  16. Rob Peterson

    Rob Peterson High Wheeler

    Geoff: I contacted TBC Private Brands and they told me that any of the dealers for their other brands can order the Power Kings. There is a dealer about 4 miles away (good news). I will be contacting them to see if they will work with my 20" Budd split rims. I have also been following the current thread on DIY-split rim mounting.

    The TBC contact said, however, that the Power King Super Tractions in 8.25-20 are currently out of stock across the country and the next production run won't be here until December. That's OK with me, since once the snow flies and the roads are salted here my S-140 will be off the road until spring anyway.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  17. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

    Good deal, Rob. Glad to hear it.

    Take care,

Share This Page