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January 6, 2024

Why You Should Switch Your Bias Tires for Radial Tires In Construction

Overheating, puncturing, and tread separation — challenging words in any OTR tire owner’s vocabulary they never want to hear. Choosing the right tire for the right application and then maintaining that tire is what keeps your OTR tires rolling. In the past, bias-ply tires were the preferred option for construction machinery, standing out for their durability against premature deterioration. But times have evolved, and so have tires. The one to beat has been sidelined in recent decades with the next tire advancement: radial tires.

Bias-Ply Tires vs. Radial Tires

Bias-ply tires are not without their benefits. For one, due to their crosshatch development, they have harder sidewalls, making them more difficult to puncture. Their price point also looks more appealing upfront. So, it makes sense why they were the go-to choice from the early twentieth century up until the 1970s. But that changed when radial tires came on the market — a longer-lasting, better-performing tire.

Benefits of Radial Tires

  • Improved traction and stability: ​​The modern design of radial tires enhances their grip on various terrains, ensuring stability even in challenging conditions.
  • Enhanced load-carrying capacity: Radial tires’ robust construction allows for greater loads, a crucial aspect for heavy machinery in construction.
  • Extended tire life and reduced downtime: Radial tires are built to last, minimizing tire replacement and maintenance downtime.
  • Cost efficiency: Because radial tires last longer than their counterpart, ultimately, they end up being the less expensive option.
  • Improved operator comfort: A smoother ride increases operator comfort and contributes to safer and more precise machinery operation.

Advantages of Radial Tires for Compact Construction Equipment

Radial tires are versatile and suitable for compact construction equipment used in various applications. Radial tires can perform, whether it’s a small loader, compact excavator, or mini skid steer. Advantages include:

  • Reduced heat build-up: The design of radial tires minimizes heat generation, increasing their resilience during prolonged operation.
  • Improved contact patch: Better ground contact means improved stability and maneuverability.
    Better fuel consumption: Radial tires enhance fuel efficiency, saving you money.
  • Better traction: Traction is a game-changer on construction sites for better maneuverability, safety, fuel efficiency, and more.

Cost Savings

Switching to radial tires may involve a higher upfront cost. Still, the long-term savings quickly become apparent when their extended tread life is examined against bias-ply tires, which results in a significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO). The durability and resilience of radial tires translate to fewer replacements and reduced downtime on construction job sites, ultimately offering a more cost-effective solution.

Efficiency and Productivity

Radial tires significantly enhance heavy equipment performance through improved fuel efficiency, reducing operational costs for construction equipment. Their design contributes to lower soil compaction, thereby preserving the integrity of your construction site and preventing unnecessary disruptions. Lastly, their enhanced traction and stability ensure ease of maneuverability and safety.

Operator Comfort and Safety

Radial tires offer a noticeably smoother ride for the operator. They reduce vibrations and enhance overall comfort, which directly translates to improved safety on a construction job. The advanced design of radial tires, with cords running perpendicular to the tread, provides better stability, reducing the risk of equipment sway and enhancing overall control. This stability is crucial for operators working in challenging terrains, ensuring a secure and controlled operation, thus minimizing the potential for accidents, injuries, and downtime.

Radial Tire Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance is paramount for maximizing the life and performance of radial tires. Regular inspections, pressure checks, and routine rotations ensure even wear and optimal functionality. Addressing minor issues as they reveal themselves, such as repairing punctures or attending to irregular tread wear, extends the lifespan of radial tires. Ultimately, investing time and effort in proper tire care significantly pays off, providing an extended service life and maintaining consistent performance from your tires.


The transition from bias to radial tires in construction offers a multitude of advantages, ranging from enhanced traction and stability to increased load-carrying capacity and extended tire life. This switch ensures operational efficiency and increased productivity and contributes to significant cost savings over the tire’s lifespan. When weighing the upfront cost against the long-term benefits, it becomes evident that the lower total cost of ownership associated with radial tires, coupled with improved fuel efficiency and reduced downtime, makes the switch easy to roll with.

Check out East Bay Tire’s radial tire inventory or contact us with questions regarding OTR maintenance and service offerings in your area.