Trucks are one of the most popular types of automobiles, both historically and even up to the modern times. There are a lot of advantages that trucks offer with regards to other automobiles.
For instance, compared to cars and motorcycles, they have much higher all terrain capability, with larger ground clearance, heavy duty suspensions, and 4 wheel drive systems being standard to almost all of them. In addition, they are larger in size. This can work 2 ways. With trucks being larger, this means that they can hold much more space for either passengers or luggage. And in addition, being larger gives them the benefit of “intimidation”. Trucks are always going to attract attention because even for their size alone, this makes these cars so visible. With regards to this situation, a lot of people are actually truck fans, and they have customized them in such a way that it reflects both their needs and personality.
With that said, truck rims are still one of the best selling parts that are being equipped on a truck, regardless of size, make, or form. A set of wheels is more than capable of transforming a car both on a performance and style standpoint, maybe even better than just about any car part in fact. With that said, this article is going to tell you everything that you need to know about truck rims.
Truck Rims: Form and Function
There is no denying that the wheel is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. This has made possible a lot of things, particularly on transportation. In fact, perhaps civilization would not have reached this point without the creation of the wheel.
With that said, it cannot be denied that the wheel is at the heart of the automobile. A lot may have changed within the automotive scene since it was invented by the late 19th century, but the rim has always been one of the very few constants that have been left practically unchanged. As automotive experts has always said, everything: an aerodynamic exterior, a great interior, a competent engine, a supple suspension, and a secure set of brakes are all useless without the wheels that would make it move from point A to point B. Serving as the legs of the automobile, progress in any other part will be left for naught without rims.
Of course, due to the increasing demand and abilities of the automobile, together with the improvements in both technology and manufacturing skills, the wheel has seen its share of welcome improvements. We’ve seen wheels that are lighter, stronger, and safer than they have ever been before. And also, we are starting to see rims in different styles and colors, capable of changing the character and personality of the car itself. Still, it has been able to retain its original shape through all the changes that it has encountered during the whole time that it existed.
Truck rims are no different from ordinary car rims. The only exception is that they are generally larger than those found in ordinary wheels. Also, they are constructed to be tougher. This is especially important because trucks are known to be heavier in build and are also known to carry heavier loads compared to their smaller automotive counterparts. With that said, there is no denying that the rims that you attach on your truck are going to greatly affect both its form and function.
Why Truck Rims Are Effective Upgrades
It is said earlier that most people think that installing a new set of wheels is one of the most effective upgrades that exist for cars. This is because it affects both its appearance and its performance. The same holds true for trucks. Equipping some aftermarket truck rims are going to substantially affect your truck’s overall profile, making it more personalized and suiting your character. In addition, depending on the set that you attach, you are going to make your truck suit your lifestyle much more. Do you want your truck to become an all terrain dominator or an on-road coaster with looks to kill? Installing compatible rims are going to be a huge step on the right direction for you to attain whatever plans you have for your car.
The truck segment is composed traditionally of pickup trucks: those 2 to 5 seaters that have a cab that can gobble up all kinds of luggage, and the SUV, a boxy type of truck that boasts a huge canopy wherein you can stash in either people or luggage. Both variants are available in different sizes: from compacts that features car-like size and consequently car-like handling and maneuverability, to full sized trucks that can occupy a full lane of the road while dishing in both power and strength.
With that said, truck rims are traditionally larger than car rims, and for good reason. The extra width of the wheels allows them to gain more track, essential to keep the balance of these beasts. In addition, because of the larger wheel wells of trucks as well as their increased ride height, they can accommodate larger diameters of wheels. Because of these 2 factors, it is possible for these trucks to have larger wheels, and they have been historically utilized to the hilt by truck enthusiasts.
Historically, trucks are constructed to be off-road beasts that are at home even on the roughest terrains possible. This can be seen on their heavy duty suspensions with extra ground clearance, extra steps on the skirts in order to facilitate entry on these relatively tall vehicles (due to the high ride height), equally heavy duty wheels, and these truck rims are wrapped around with massive tires that allow for serious grip even on uneven terrain. They are advertised to be off roaders, and they are designed to actually play the part. Still, having these settings is the weapon of choice for those that love to travel off road.
However, there is a trend that is currently being observed on trucks. A new emphasis for maneuverability on the paved roads and having luxurious features has become the norm during the last few years. We are seeing both pickups and SUVs departing from their generally utilitarian styling and are starting to adopt those flowing lines and elegant stances together with more luxurious interiors and chromed out trims. Because of this, there has been a revolution of sorts going on with regards to the rims being installed on trucks. Taking advantage of the naturally big wheel accommodations that trucks have, there have been truck rims that have some enormous proportions. Informally called “dubs”, these wheels are sized 20 inches and above on diameter. These wheels are then equipped with low profile tires to ensure snug fit on the wheel wells, to give proper on road handling capabilities, to be able to install much larger wheel diameters than usual, and also to accentuate the wheels some more. And to cap off the “bling” that these wheels dish out, they are finished with its own paint job. But the most frequently used finish in these rims is chrome because that makes the rims stand out even more.
Things to take note of when installing truck rims
Just like any other automobile, there are precautions that must be taken when installing truck rims. In this section, we are going to discuss some of these things in order to ensure your maximum driving pleasure.
There are specific protocols that must be followed when it comes to installing rims. For instance, the size of the wheel must be compatible with both the dimensions and settings of the car. First of all, the wheel/tire combination cannot be too tall and/or too wide. The wheel must fit inside the wheel wells without any restriction of motion. It is never allowed for a wheel to touch the car, as this can damage the wheel, the car’s underpinnings, or even both. Even though trucks can be fitted with much larger wheels due to their structural advantages, this still must not be abused.
In addition, you must ensure the quality of the truck rims that you are going to purchase. You can’t just purchase just about any wheel as not all wheels are created equal. You must make sure that the wheel is made compliant with all safety and durability standards. While it would be tempting to buy a set of cheap rims (and no, we don’t encourage you to buy cheap wheels), you still have to check its quality. The last thing that you’ll want is to buy a knockoff that is going to collapse on you. If you are going for the second hand route, the same rules apply. It is true that used rims are much more affordable, but you got to be more vigilant. Beware of those wheels that are bent or cracked.
Lastly, and most importantly, you have to ensure that the specific size of your set of wheels is going to perfectly fit that of the allowable range of wheels that are allowed in your car. This would ensure that driving characteristics such as handling and shock absorbing are never compromised. The last thing that you would want to do is to buy a set of rims that you are going to remove anyway because they are so ill fitting that they are virtually useless while driving. If you are not quite sure what wheel sizes are compatible with your truck, you can go ahead and consult your car manual or pay a visit to your trusted wheel dealer or mechanic. They should be giving you an unbiased evaluation of your truck in order for you to determine if the size of your truck rims are perfect. And just in case you want to deviate from that, you might have to make modifications to your bodywork to accommodate the larger wheels as well as your suspension so it can better adapt with the modified rims.
The Uncertain Future of Truck Rims
It is no secret that the automotive business is constantly evolving. And together with that, the tastes for wheels are also evolving too. We have seen it earlier with the shift of tastes going for larger, more flamboyantly designed wheels. In fact, we have seen some insanely designed truck rims from time to time. Anything from rims that have sizes approaching 30 inches to spokes that are studded with gems, the styling of these wheels is just getting crazier and crazier by the year.
However, it also plays on the backdrop of changing times in the automotive industry. It is no secret that issues such as rising fuel costs are constantly on the minds of both producers and consumers alike. With that said, for economy’s sake, there is an upswing for the return of smaller wheels. It is so because it is generally perceived that cars that are equipped with smaller wheel diameters gain more mileage compared to similar cars with larger diameter rims. In addition, wheels with small diameters are cheaper to produce than larger wheels, and their tires are also cheaper too. And with the economy experiencing a downturn, saving money is certainly on the back of the minds of buyers.
And of course, there is the future of trucks in general. Trucks are maligned by some because some say they occupy way too much space and consume way too much fuel. And depending on whom you would ask, trucks are being seen as a portrayal of excess.
Despite all these uncertainties, trucks are here to stay. As long as there is demand for these vehicles (and size, power, space, and off road capability are always going to be in demand), they are going to be here to stay. With that said, no one exactly knows what the trends for cars in general, and trucks in particular, would go. But wherever they may go, expect truck rims to go the same way, shifting forms to keep up with the times. Always going to be the legs for these mechanical beasts, they will live on as long as the automobile does.