Why do some truck tyres stick out?

Updated: Jan 21

An increasing number of truck owners are choosing to invest in wheels that stick out, thereby giving their vehicles a more chunky and athletic appearance. To help you understand this trend and learn how to achieve the look, we’ve put together a handy guide below.


What is wheel offset?


Your vehicle’s wheel offset describes the distance between the wheel mounting surface and the outside of the vehicle. A neutral offset is a mounting surface that perfectly aligns with the centre of a wheel, while a positive offset is one in which the wheels are pulled closer to the vehicle. A negative offset describes a mounting surface that sits closer to the brake calliper, pushing the wheels away from the vehicle.


Typically, trucks have a positive offset by default, meaning those hoping for a negative offset will need to customise their vehicles after purchase. Fortunately, altering the offset of your wheels is relatively simple and can be achieved with the help of a mechanic.


Why invest in negative offset?


The advantages of altering your truck to attain a negative offset include:


  • Your vehicle will have a wider track, meaning you can enjoy improved stability while corning. However, it is worth noting that this comes at the expense of reduced feedback, making it harder to sense how the wheels are moving a working while you’re driving.

  • Negative offset wheels look attractive and are popular amongst truckers in the stance scene.


How does wheel width affect a vehicle?


Obviously, the width of your wheels will also affect the extent to which they stick out. Typically, manufacturers produce vehicles with a positive offset so that owners have more scope for adding wide wheels. Negative offset vehicles cannot accommodate as many widths.


Backspacing


Backspacing is another factor affecting the extent to which truck tyres stick out. It describes the distance between the inside edge of the wheel and the wheel mounting surface, and it can be adjusted according to preference.


The backspacing of a truck is dependent on the offset of the wheels. Take, for example, a vehicle with two wheels of the same size. If one wheel has a positive offset and the other has a zero offset, the former will require more backspacing. Similarly, if you have two wheels with neutral offset but of different sizes, the larger wheel will require more backspacing. Vehicles with too much backspacing can lead to issues with a truck’s chassis or suppression components, so it's important to get the balance right when customising a vehicle.


Clearances


Altering wheel width, tyre size, or wheel offset will change the geometry of your vehicle and could create clearance issues. Clearance is when any components of the truck rub together when moving. Changing the offset of a wheel could, for example, cause issues with suspension, steering, or the chassis of a truck.


Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to address clearance issues, including trimming the vehicle’s fenders, removing mud flaps and chin spoilers, replacing the front bumper, and installing a lift on the truck.


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