Ogden Pools’ owner Josh Ogden says the company considers the mileage and load capacity of its vehicles when making decisions about tires.

Good Traction

Choosing tires for company wheels

Water chemicals, filters, plaster and other pool necessities are important, but good tires will keep a business rolling throughout the year.

Without well-maintained tires, company vehicles risk losing money and the ability to serve customers, or worse, causing harm to the vehicle or employee.

Shane Wilks has worked with companies, servicing everything from small cars to big rigs, during his 50 years with Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville, Alabama, which he owns with his brother, Craig Wilks.

“We’re one of those necessities that people don’t usually think about until they have to have it or until they have a problem,” Wilks says.

Some companies have fleet managers who ensure vehicles are properly equipped and maintained. Wilks says the best fleet managers fully understand the vehicles, how they will be used and the specific requirements and preferred brands for the company.

Other companies, like Ogden Pools in Germantown, Tennessee, and Strong Refuge Pool in Wilsonville, Oregon, trust their tires to a reputable vehicle maintenance provider.

“We don’t put a whole lot of thought into it because we trust the shop we’re working with,” says Chris Bingham, owner of Strong Refuge Pool. “To me, [that trust is] the bigger thing than what tire we’re getting.”

Wilks suggests finding a provider with a positive reputation and a long history of service. He notes that it is especially important to find one that already works on commercial automobiles to ensure it has all the equipment and knowledge to properly maintain company fleets.

Load capacity

The load range and load index are two measurements that indicate the maximum weight a tire can safely carry when properly inflated. Load range is measured by letters A to F, with A being the lowest carrying capacity. Similarly, the load index, commonly thought to be the most precise, uses numbers from 65 to 150, with the lowest numbers representing the lowest carrying capacity.

Understanding a vehicle’s use and the amount of weight it will typically carry is vital to efficiency and safety.

“You don’t want to take a standard-duty pickup and load it down with tools and equipment so that it’s overloaded day in and day out,” Wilks says. “It becomes a big liability issue.”

- Sponsor -

Ogden Pools maintains a fleet of around 13 vehicles, including 12 trucks of various capacities and one SUV, owner Josh Ogden says. The smaller trucks, like Ford F-150s, perform basic maintenance routes and do not regularly carry heavy equipment. The larger super-duty trucks, however, regularly haul 10,000-15,000 pounds of equipment to perform service calls. Likewise, Strong Refuge Pool uses cargo vans to haul its heaviest equipment, Bingham says.

Driving conditions

Driving conditions, including weather and road conditions, are also an important factor in tire choice. 

Winter and off-road tires are made with different compounds and tread designs that improve traction in difficult driving conditions, like harsh weather or excessive mud. Winter tires, for example, are made with a rubber that stays flexible in the cold to help the tire grip the road. The tread is also deeper with more slots and sipes, which are slits in the tread that help dig into the snow and ice.  

Sometimes tires need extra help driving during inclement weather. Since Strong Refuge Pool serves customers in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest, Bingham fits one or two of his automobiles with tire studs in the winter. Studs are small metal spikes inserted in the tires to further increase traction. 

“We have hills and mountains all around us [with] different types of weather,” Bingham says. “Those customers still want us to take care of them.”

Studded and winter tires do have downsides, though. They lower gas mileage and do not drive as well in the warmer months, Wilks says. Additionally, studs can damage roads. Regular, all-season tires are more beneficial for vehicles driven in normal conditions during the summer or generally travel several miles each day on good roads.

Wilks also notes that he finds some brands do better in certain conditions. He says Michelin tires do well for high-mileage, highway driving, but he finds Goodyear and Cooper brands to be more durable for off-road use.


Whatever tires are used, regular maintenance helps the company get the most out of them and ensures greater vehicle safety. Wilks recommends a tire rotation and balance every 6,000 miles, just like any other car. He notes that most reputable providers will offer free balance and rotation when you purchase tires from them. 

Preventative maintenance and the general services that you should be doing on a regular basis will save you a lot of money over time.”

Shane Wilks, Wilks Tire & Battery Service

“Take advantage of those safety checks and preventative maintenance things,” he says. “Preventative maintenance and the general services that you should be doing on a regular basis will save you a lot of money over time.”

Request Media Kit

[contact-form-7 id="1975" title="Media Kit Inquiry"]