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Old 05-06-2020, 11:32 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1
14 or 16 ply tires?


I have a 40ft 2003 bluebird RE bus which currently has 11R22.5 16ply tires on it. I was hoping someone would know if I can use 14 ply tires? I need to replace all 6 and I don't have a lot to spend... i can get the 14ply 11R22.5 tires for about $250 each and the 16ply are about $350 each...

I understand the load ratings will be fairly similar... currently 16ply have a load rating of 148 = 6844lbs and the other 14ply have a load rating of 146 = 6614lbs.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Ajsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 01:11 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
My question is - do you plan on running at maximum weight all the time? Most of us probably won't, and in some (many?) cases if we did, we would end up exceeding our rated axle limits.

I'm willing to bet you have a 12K rated front axle and 20K rear axle (if not lower). Do the math - that's a max of 6K per front tire (assuming even side-to-side distribution) and 5K per rear tire (same assumption) and it's worth noting these tires very often have different ratings for running single/dual (again, you're unlikely to exceed these ratings).

In my area, the cost difference between the 14 and 16 PR is only a couple bucks, depending on tire brand, model, etc. - I don't buy tires I don't recognize, or get recommendations for. I generally stick with name brands, or tires made by the recognized companies. In your case I believe the 14 PR will be fine.
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:05 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 690
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
I agree with what Brad said. Your best bet would be to complete your build, then find a weigh station and get separate weight on each axle. I have similar bus and my bare bones weight is 7300 front, 13340 rear, with about 1/2 tank fuel. My GVRW is 36,000. With the 14 ply tires, that gives you roughly 6000 lbs you can add to each axle. The 16 ply would be about 1200 lbs more. Knowing your end weight vs your GVWR will be important in deciding how much your tires will need to carry.
JackE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2020, 08:02 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,651
Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: 3800
Engine: t444e
Rated Cap: 24
Tires are the first link in the chain of your suspension system. Less compliant construction may result in a harsher ride and possibly non optimal traction in certain situations. What I don't know is whether 2 plys would make a noticeable difference. There's also the weight issue formerly mentioned (unsprung), which further impacts handling (theoretically speaking). So as with all things, it's all a compromise, and more may not always be better.
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load rating, tire ply, tires

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