Top 10 Best Tires for Diesel Trucks: Recommendations & Reviews

Driving a truck is immensely popular in the U.S., something that foreigners can’t really understand. What they can understand, though, is that diesel engines are head and shoulders above gas engines for pulling power. That’s why diesel cars are still very popular in Europe.

Naturally, this also means that diesel engines are a better choice for trucks. I know, some of you won’t agree with that, especially because recently many gas engines are available with a turbocharger. However, even then, diesel engines have much higher torque numbers, available at much lower rpm’s.

These qualities of diesel motors make them an excellent choice for truckers that often tow large trailers or haul very heavy cargo. Diesel’s might be slower when the truck is unloaded, but they will be much faster once you attach a trailer behind.

All that weight puts even more strain on the already tormented truck tires. That’s why, when purchasing diesel truck tires, you need to think about their ability to withstand a lot of weight on their shoulders. That’s not easy – most tires will simply succumb to the weight and warp under pressure. Some might even explode.

If you don’t want that happening to you the next time you purchase a set of tires for your diesel truck, you need to choose tires that are designed for towing and hauling. In other words, tires with high enough load ratings.

The best tires for diesel trucks should provide the driver with excellent traction, grip, and braking on most surfaces and in most weather conditions. When you think about it, that’s a very tall order. There is no single tire that will work excellently on the street and for off-roading. That’s even truer when you put the weather into consideration.

Fortunately, you are just on the right website to find the best diesel truck tires. In this article, we will give you our list of the 10 best tires for diesel trucks. The list contains tires from various categories, each covering different needs and weather conditions.

If you don’t understand those categories, we also created a short buying guide after the top 10 list. There we explain what’s the difference between various truck tires and why some might work better for your needs.

But, enough of the chit-chat – let’s dig into the matter and find the best set of tires for your diesel truck!

Best Highway Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

The Defender LTX M/S is by far the best highway tire on the market right now and especially suited to owners od diesel trucks. It is also expensive, but you’re getting a premium product here.

With a set of these tires, you will be able to get the most out of your truck. The Defender LTX will give you ample traction with an empty bed, reliable grip in the corners, and excellent highway stability.

On top of that, the Defender LTX performs outstandingly well when towing or hauling heavy cargo. The tires are very strong and don’t succumb under pressure.

Furthermore, Michelin’s highway tire is very comfortable over bumps and quiet at high speeds. This is also one of the most durable highway tires – Michelin provides a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty.

If we’re nitpicking, we’d say that the tire is slightly worse in the winter than we’d like, but that’s our only gripe.

Pros

  • Excellent dry handling in warm and cold conditions
  • Very good high-speed stability
  • Outstanding wet traction on powerful diesel trucks
  • One of the best tires for towing and hauling
  • Quiet and comfortable

Cons

  • Not the best option for harsh wintry conditions

Best Highway Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

Discount Tire Direct - Cooper $170
Valid through Sep 25, 2021
Available at
DiscountTire.com

Shop for Deals on Cooper tires at Tire Rack!
Valid through Dec 31, 2021
Available at 
TireRack.com

Cooper’s competitor in the highway category comes at a lower price than Michelin’s, yet it offers almost the same performance.

With or without a large trailer attached, you can rely on the Discoverer HT3 to give you excellent traction, outstanding highway stability, and strong braking.

The Discoverer HT3 is characterized by excellent wet traction and braking, almost on the level of the class-leading Michelin.

Cooper even managed to make the Discoverer HT3 super comfortable and quiet, and very durable. They offer a 50,000-mile unlimited time treadwear warranty, a great offering for the price.

That said, snow traction is still not outstanding.

Pros

  • Very quiet and comfortable
  • Excellent wet traction and braking
  • Stable in dry conditions
  • Strong braking

Cons

  • Not the best light-snow traction

Best Highway Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

The General Grabber HTS 60 is a cheaper alternative for drivers of older diesel trucks, but also owners that want to save money on tires.

Despite the budget pricing, the HTS 60 still offers excellent performance across the board. Apart from the slightly worse wet traction for LT-metric versions, the Grabber is a completely safe and reliable tire with or without a trailer attached.

On top of that, the Grabber HTS 60 is also very comfortable and quiet, even at higher speeds. Finally, General Tire offers a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty for LT-metric models, which is great for the price.

Pros

  • LT-sized versions are excellent for towing and hauling big payloads
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Fair price
  • Good high-speed stability

Cons

  • Heavy-duty versions are worse good in the rain

Best Highway Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

Shop for Deals on Yokohama tires at Tire Rack!
Valid through Dec 31, 2021
Available at
TireRack.com

Yokohama’s highway tire scores highly in almost every measurable category, except the off-road trail traction, which leaves a lot to be desired.

Still, if you mostly drive on the road, you’ll be completely satisfied with the YK-HTX. The traction and braking are very good, both on dry and wet surfaces.

Stability with a trailer attached is also among the best in the category. Furthermore, the Yokohama works pretty well over snow, better than most all-season highway tires.

As expected, the tire is very quiet and comfortable, even under load. Yokohama provides a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty on the tire, an excellent result for the price.

Pros

  • Excellent traction and braking on dry surfaces
  • Outstanding wet handling and braking
  • Usable good over light snow
  • Quiet and comfortable ride
  • Excellent treadlife

Cons

  • Performance on gravel and dirt is worse than other highway tires

Best Highway Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

Firestone’s highway tire is primarily designed for commercial diesel trucks, but it can also serve well on standard diesel trucks.

The best thing about the Transforce HT2 is that it’s super-tough. Even with a very large trailer attached, or a lot of cargo in the bed, the Transforce HT2 will give you excellent traction, grip, braking, and stability.

The chip- and tear- resistance casing makes the tire usable on dirt and gravel without worrying about damaging it. Still, despite the fact that it’s a commercial tire, Firestone could’ve offered a treadwear warranty.

On the positive side, the Transforce HT2 performs very well in wet conditions.

Pros

  • Excellent high-speed stability when towing
  • Outstanding wet performance
  • Chip- and tear- resistance casing

Cons

  • No treadwear warranty

Best All-Terrain Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

The Goodyear Wrangler series of tires is perhaps the best in the off-road world right now. The all-terrain version has a Kevlar reinforcement and a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, making it one of the most durable tires on the market right now.

The Wrangler works amazingly well on most off-road surfaces, including rocks and mud. Moreover, we were surprised at how good the tire handles the street – traction and grip are more than sufficient. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern, the Wrangler is also usable on snow.

That said, the tire still produces more noise on the highway than we’d like.

Pros

  • Tough construction
  • Usable on every off-road surface
  • Surprisingly good on the road
  • Usable in light snow
  • Best-in-class 60,000-mile treadwear warranty

Cons

  • Noise on the highway

Best All-Terrain Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

BFGoodrich is a company that started being popular with its off-road tire lineup. The most popular model in this lineup is the all-terrain KO2, which works well across the board.

For off-roading, the KO2 is one of the best tires right now – it provides the driver with ample traction on every surface. On top of that, the casing on the KO2 is very strong and durable.

The KO2 performs very well on the road – stability with a trailer attached is top-notch. That said, there is more noise on the highway than we’d like, and BFGoodrich doesn’t provide any treadwear warranty on LT-metric sizes.

Pros

  • Outstanding off-road abilities
  • Extremely durable and strong
  • Stable with a trailer attached
  • Very good on-road traction

Cons

  • Far from the quietest all-terrain tire
  • No treadwear warranty for LT-metric models

Best Off-Road Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

The maximum traction off-road version of the Wrangler performs outstandingly well on off-road terrain. Right now, it is perhaps the tire with most traction for rocky surfaces, and among the best in the mud.

Like every other Wrangler tire, this one is also made from Kevlar, which greatly improves toughness and durability.

On the road, the Wrangler with Kevlar is completely safe on dry surfaces, but we would’ve liked a better wet performance. Also, performance on unpacked snow leaves us wanting for more.

Pros

  • Outstanding off-road traction
  • Extra tough and durable
  • Very good high-speed stability

Cons

  • Wet traction and braking could be better
  • Snow traction could be better

Best Off-Road Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

If you want the best performance in mud for your diesel truck, there is no better tire than the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM3.

This tire is simply outstanding for off-roading, easily one of the best tires out there. The tire is also very tough and durable, even though it doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty.

On the road, the KM3 performs very well in terms of performance, but it still produces noise on the highway.

Pros

  • Outstanding mud-terrain performance
  • Excellent on any terrain
  • Tough and durable

Cons

  • Noise on the highway

Best Winter Tires for Diesel Trucks

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks

The LTX Winter is the best winter tire for diesel trucks. It is very tough and durable, which means that it can be used for towing large trailers or hauling heavy cargo.

Michelin even provides a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, something that no other tire manufacturer does with their winter tires.

The LTX Winter provides the driver with outstanding traction and grip in freezing conditions, including excellent snow and ice traction.

Michelin even managed to build a low-rolling-resistance technology in the tire, which will save you fuel at the pump.

Pros

  • Excellent performance in freezing conditions
  • Very good snow traction
  • Strong and durable
  • Improves fuel efficiency
  • Excellent 40,000-mile treadwear warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Tires for Diesel Trucks: Buyer's Guide

1. Highway Tires are the Best Choice for Driving on the Street

Modern trucks are very capable off-road machines, especially when equipped with an AWD system. However, most drivers never exploit those capabilities and mostly use their diesel trucks on the road. That’s completely fine by the way.

For drivers that mostly drive on paved roads, the best choice is highway tires. As their name suggests, these tires are specifically designed for highway use. Consequently, they have all the characteristics required for long road trips.

The best thing about highway tires when compared to similar types, such as touring tires, is that they come in higher load ratings. In other words, highway tires can withstand much higher loads and pressures, which is useful for drivers that tow and haul often with their trucks. Just be sure that the tires you purchase are rated “LT,” and you should be fine.

Naturally, this also makes highway tires the best choice for diesel trucks, which are made for towing in the first place. That said, be careful when buying new highway tires. Some options might look like highway tires, but they might be touring tires. Touring tires don’t come in higher load ranges and aren’t very useful for towing large trailers.

Highway tires possess other qualities that make them useful for road driving. They are especially good for driving in a straight line, thanks to the outstanding high-speed stability and road-holding. On a twisty road, highway tires should provide the driver with enough grip, but don’t push them too much – they are not performance tires.

Furthermore, highway tires have excellent traction on dry and wet surfaces. Most highway tires available today have an optimized tread pattern for excellent performance in both conditions, which means that you shouldn’t worry the next time it rains.

Another great advantage of highway tires is that they are very quiet, even at higher speeds. That’s very important for drivers that cover a lot of miles annually and go on road trips with their families. Most highway tires also have smooth ride quality, which is another great plus.

On top of everything else, highway tires are also known for their outstanding value. Sure, some premium highway tires are costly, but they are still cheaper when you compare them to more specialized tires.

Moreover, highway tires also have very long treadlife – the best ones come with up to 70,000-mile treadwear warranties, which is outstanding for diesel truck tires. Many highway models also have cut- and -chip resistant casings for driving in off-road conditions.

When it comes to off-road traction, though, highway tires are very limited. They are good enough for driving on dirt and gravel, but not much else. We recommend investing in all-terrain, off-road, or mud-terrain tires if you really need strong off-road traction.

Nonetheless, for the majority of diesel truck drivers, highway tires are the best choice right now.

2. All-Terrain Tires Offer a Combination of On-Road and Off-Road Traction

For the majority of people that encounter off-road surfaces at least 30% of the time, all-terrain tires are the best diesel truck tires.

These tires are specifically designed to give you better off-road traction on most surfaces, but without sacrificing on-road comfort and dynamics. In other words, they are the bridge between highway tires and real off-road tires.

When it comes to off-roading, modern all-terrain tires are surprisingly capable. In our testing, they consistently prove to be the best choice for driving on dirt and gravel, thanks to the prominent, but not overly aggressive tread pattern. In these conditions, they truly shine, providing the driver with outstanding traction, responsiveness, and drivability.

The best all-terrain tires are also very capable of driving on intermediate surfaces, such as rocks. They should also be good for tackling light mud, and some even provide deep mud traction. However, you shouldn’t rely on them heavily on muddy surfaces – they aren’t really designed for that.

On the road, all-terrain tires won’t provide you with the same performance as highway tires, but that’s expected. Traction and grip will be worse, and you might experience longer braking distances. That said, modern all-terrain tires are still very safe to drive, even at highway speeds.

When it comes to comfort, all-terrain tires nowadays are very smooth, but they still produce more noise than highway tires.

Most all-terrain tires come in higher load ratings, which makes them useful for towing and hauling.

3. Off-Road and Mud-Terrain Tires are the Best Diesel Truck Tires for Off-Roaders

While modern all-terrain tires are very capable of off-roading, they might still get stuck on some very demanding surfaces, such as deep mud and large rocks.

If you use your diesel truck for off-road frequently, we recommend going for mud-terrain or maximum traction off-road tires. Both of these tires are specifically designed for severe off-road terrain and will provide you with outstanding traction on every surface.

Between both, off-road tires are a tad better on rocky terrain, while mud-terrain tires are better in the mud. However, both will work tremendously well on almost every surface.

With that said, off-road and mud-terrain tires aren’t the best choice for driving on the street. They lack grip in the corners and aren’t very responsive. Moreover, these tires can also be very loud, especially at higher speeds.

Mud-terrain and maximum traction off-road tires are also more expensive than highway tires, yet have shorter treadlife.

4. And What About the Climate?

Up until now, we only talked about how different tires perform at various surfaces. However, there is another thing that plays a significant role in how the tires perform – the climate.

When you choose the next diesel truck tires, it’s very important to take the climate into consideration. The tread compound of most tires is made to work in a tight temperature range and won’t be very comfortable out of it.

For example, the temperature is too low, the tread compound becomes hard and brittle, which translates into a loss of traction and grip, especially on wet surfaces. Furthermore, cracks in the tire might appear, rendering it unusable for further driving.

On the other end of the spectrum, the tread compound might become too soft at higher temperatures. In this case, the tires become unresponsive, the high-speed stability is severely worsened, and overall grip and traction are worse. Hot conditions can also accelerate treadwear on cold-weather tires.

To mitigate these issues, most tires today are made from an all-season tread compound. This compound makes them usable in a wider temperature range. Modern all-season tires are usually very good in hot conditions and acceptable in freezing conditions.

However, don’t expect outstanding performance in very hot conditions, nor good traction on snow. All-season tires only work over light snow. If you want better snow traction, all-weather tires are a variation of all-season tires made for colder weather.

All-weather tires usually have a deeper tread with more siping, and softer tread compound. That gives them better traction on snow, but also over ice and slush.

That said, truck drivers that live in areas with harsh wintry conditions might still want to consider proper winter tires. These tires are specifically designed for winter driving and tackle snow, ice, and slush with ease. Winter tires are made from soft and pliable rubber and have an aggressive tread pattern with deep grooves and a lot of siping.

On the other hand, summer tires still perform the best in hot weather, providing the driver with outstanding traction, grip, and braking. However, not many truck tires today are available with a summer compound, simply because for trucking, all-season tires provide good-enough traction.

Summer tires today are mostly reserved for high-performance tires, where the sticky compound makes a big difference.

Final Words 

As you can see from our list of the best tires, we only included tires from reputable manufacturers. In our testing, very cheap (Chinese) tires are unsafe on the road, especially with a very large trailer attached, or when it rains. If some tire is three times cheaper than a premium one, that’s a sign of low quality, not value. 

For people that want value-oriented tires, there are many well-known manufacturers that produce such products. Some of those tires are included in our list of the best tires for diesel trucks – choose one of those instead. Regardless, always purchase tires made from manufacturers that you know and fully trust.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top