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Dually Wheels: What’s the Real Difference?

Dually Wheels: What’s the Real Difference?

You might already be familiar with dually wheels if you’re the type of driver who relies on their truck to tow huge amounts regularly. 

Or maybe you’re the type of driver who loves their aesthetically aggressive style, and we don’t blame you—they look badass. 

But you might just be a reader interested in learning more about dually wheels in general. 

Whatever type of driver you are, we’ve got you covered. Let’s talk about what dually wheels are, what you should know about them, and whether you should give them a try. 

What Are Dually Wheels?

Simply put, dually wheels are the four rear tires on a heavy-duty truck. There are two on each side, thus the name “dually wheels.” You may have seen them ripping down the freeway or working at a construction site. 

This tire formation isn’t for everyone, but it has pretty significant benefits for those who need them. 

Why Would You Want Dually Wheels?

As we’ve mentioned, dually wheels are typically used on heavy-duty work trucks. The extra set of tires mainly benefits drivers who need to lift and carry massive amounts of weight, which is where dually trucks shine. 

To determine how much weight a single tire can hold, we look at the Load Index key stamped on the sidewall of every tire. 

Let’s use the Nexen Roadian AT ProRA8’s as an example. On either sidewall of the tire, you can find a string of numbers and letters that looks like this: 

235/75R15 109S

This data series tells us a lot of important information about your tires. Today, we’re looking at the second to last component, which we’ve conveniently highlighted for your viewing pleasure. 

This is the Tire Load Index number. Using the Tire Load Index chart, this number tells us the maximum capacity for the tire in pounds. 

For the Roadians, the tire load index number is 109. After looking at the tire load index chart, we can see that these tires are rated for 2,271 pounds per tire. 

So, if we have a truck with four wheels, our maximum load capacity would be 9,084 pounds. If we have a dually truck with six wheels, our max capacity shoots up another 4,542 for a total of 13,626 pounds.

For drivers that use their trucks for heavy-duty projects and need the strongest equipment they can get, two and a half tons of maximum capacity makes a big difference.  

Why Wouldn’t You Want Dually Wheels?

As with everything in life, the dually truck has pros and cons. We know the benefit of dually tires is their massive powerlifting capacity, but there are some downsides to having six wheels. 

The Stronger They Are, The More They Must Eat

You might be wondering about the downside of having two extra wheels on your truck. All that extra lifting power seems too good to be true. With great power…comes poor gas mileage. 

Anyone who regularly lifts knows that you need to fuel up more often to support the extra weight. It’s no different with trucks. 

Dually trucks tend to sacrifice gas mileage efficiency in exchange for all that power. Plus, it’s a bit less comfortable when there’s nothing in the back. 

Dually trucks are for work, and they mean business. If you’re looking for a casual day-to-day commuter vehicle, dually trucks might not be your best option. 

These Trucks Are Big... Very Big

Even if you drive a bigger four-wheel truck, you might not be prepared for a dually. These beasts add at least an extra foot of width, which means that driving or parking in the city might be a hassle. And we’re talking about experienced drivers. 

In short, these trucks aren’t for casual cruising—or any type of cruising, for that matter. They’re workhorses who crush the competition regarding power and lifting, but they are a bit broad for city slickers. 

Mo’ Tires, Mo’ Problems

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth a mention. When you replace the tires on an average four-wheel car, you typically replace all the tires at once. 

While the extra two tires on a dually add to its strength and towing capacity, those two tires also add to your total bill when you get a set of shiny new tires. Not to mention, you’re probably buying the biggest, baddest tires you can. Two extras are going to add up. 

Of course, if you buy all six of your tires at Rent A Wheel, we make it more affordable than ever to get the best deals on the market. With our flexible payment plan options, we’ll have you rolling off the lot with the best possible tires at the best possible price. 

Things To Remember While Shopping

Alright, so you’ve decided that a dually truck is the right fit for you. Let’s talk about some important points to remember when shopping for a new truck and new wheels. 

All Rear Tires Have To Be Identical

All of your tires should be the same brand and style so that your load index and speed index are the same across the car. With dually trucks, this becomes even more important. 

You’ll want to make sure that the tires fit on your rear axle. All four of them should be identical in make, size, and age. 

If you have back tires that are different heights, the bigger tires will wear faster and unevenly. Not to mention, a full load will awkwardly bend the axle itself and damage the entire rear system. 

This also affects your overall maximum capacity. If the rear tires aren’t all touching the ground, you won’t be able to use your full load capacity. If the tires have different load capacities, then you’re relying on the weakest set you have. 


This is an important factor to consider when looking at aftermarket wheels for your dually truck. The rear wheels include one wheel with an extreme negative offset and another with an extreme positive offset. 

An offset is the distance between the center of the wheel and the connection surface, by the way. But you knew that already. 

So if you’re looking to purchase aftermarket wheels, you’ll have to remember to buy one set with a negative offset and one with a positive offset. 

Check out the Moto Motel MO985 Breakouts as an example of negative offset wheels and the Cavallo CLV 5’s for a positive offset.

If you purchase wheels through Rent A Wheel, we make offset rules easy to remember and satisfy. Our team of professional tire technicians is ready to chat with you and find the perfect fit for your truck. 

Proper Spacing

Another important component when fitting tires for your dually truck is making sure that your spacing is just right. 

When tires take on large amounts of weight, they tend to widen at the sidewalls. This widening isn’t too much, especially when the tires are properly inflated. Still, it’s enough that proper tire spacing becomes a priority.

We start to see trouble when you load up your truck a little too much and your rear tires start spreading out. They’ll end up pushing into each other, which can cause serious sidewall damage and ultimately ruin your tires.


So, what’s the difference between an average truck and a dually? About two and a half tons of maximum weight capacity and a foot and a half of extra width. 

At least, those are the main takeaways. If you’re considering a dually truck, experience one for yourself. It may be a bigger change than you’d expect. 

The comfort is different, the size inconvenience is different, and it might be difficult to adjust to the way it feels. 

Still, owners of duallys will tell you that once you tame these beasts, their sheer power and strength are unmatched. With a dually, you can tow just about anything without the risk of overloading. 

Duallys might be big beasts that use a little more gas, don’t like being parked most places, and cost more to get new tires, but they make it all worth it once you put in the work. 


What is a Dually Truck? | Shopping Guides | JD Power

Dually Trucks: What Are The Benefits Of A Dual Rear-Wheel Pickup? | GM Authority

Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck Fuel Economy Numbers You Can't Find Anywhere Else | Consumer Reports