How To Rotate Dually Tires (Updated)

Last Updated August 5, 2022

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Tires on cars wear out after a while. And with time, tires wear unevenly because of things like driving speed, strong acceleration and braking, and fast cornering speeds. This wearing out also happens in pickup trucks with dual rear wheels or what is more commonly known as the dually.

How To Rotate Dually Tires

Rotating your tires prevents uneven tire wear. There’s more than simply the right or left, or the front or rear tire could wear faster than the others – the inner and outer rear tires on both sides of a dually might wear unevenly as well.

The dually tire situation can be complicated. This process that’s usually quite simple on any standard four-wheel vehicle is possible on dually tires. Rotating dually tires may be complicated, but we made the instructions simple for you, so read on. 

What You Need To Know About Rotating Dually Tires

It is possible to correct uneven tire wear by rotating the front-rear and left-right tires together regularly using the tire rotation maintenance approach. This is pretty much the same thing in dually tire rotation, except more tires are involved.

Is it necessary to rotate tires on dually? Yes!

Your dually truck may operate with an empty bed and not tow anything at times, but it may also haul tens of thousands of pounds literally at other times. It is impossible to get a wheel alignment that covers the whole range of loads on your rear twin tires.

A working alignment will always be an estimate because you never know exactly what your truck will see before your subsequent adjustment. To put it another way, the rear wheels of a light-duty truck are more prone to wear difficulties than their front counterparts.

When you factor in the expense of six new tires, it only makes sense to stretch the life of your dually’s tires as far as possible. 

How To Rotate Dually Tires

Now that you know why it is crucial to change the tires on a dually, get your tire-changing tools out and get ready to do the job. Different people have different ideas about rotating tires, but most tire experts agree that a counter-clockwise turn on each side of the truck is the best way to do it.

Tire Changing Equipment

For the 4-wheel car, the process is quite simple. All there is to do to even the wear on the front steering axle and the back axle is switch the front wheels with the back wheels and move them back and forth. When you rotate dually tires, you don’t know or maybe get confused where they should go.

Here’s a brief guide on how to rotate dually tires. 

Step 1. Park On A Flat Surface

Park your car on a level surface like the ground or concrete. To keep the vehicle from rolling while the front is jacked, insert a piece of wood behind the back tire. Remove all of the lug nuts from each of your tires. 

Step 2. Jack Up The Vehicle

Place two heavy-duty jacks, one on each side, under the front of your vehicle, and then raise the back using two more jacks. To ensure the tires can be removed from the car, jack it up.

Go to the back of your vehicle and perform the same thing. After jacking the rear axle up, drop it back down so the rack can fit inside the wheel. 

Step 3. Rotate The Tires

The next step is to rotate the tires according to the manufacturer’s directions after completing the first two steps. In this situation, we have some recommendations on how to rotate your dually tires:

  • Take the front tire and turn it around, so it is on the outside of the vehicle. Ensure that the outside rear tire is rotated to the inside and the inner back tire is brought up to the front. 
  • This is the simplest way to rotate your dually’s tires because you’ll only need to remove one side of the vehicle for it to work. Raise one side of the vehicle using a jack and rotate the tires.
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Tip: Spread grease between the rear steel wheels before putting them on to keep them from sticking and make them easier to take off the next time.

If your dually’s wheels are made of aluminum, it is highly suggested to take that front wheel and put it on the back, then take the two wheels on the inside and flip them side to side. To do this, you will have to take off all the wheels at once.

This process will take some time, but it will save you from taking the wheels off the rims again. But, this will only work if your tires are non-direction specific. If they only work in one direction, you could turn that front wheel around and put it back on the other side.

This would keep the tires turning in the same direction. 

Important Reminders for changing dually tires

Step 4. Return To First Position

First, jack up the back of the car and take the rack off. Then, gently lower the car. Tighten each nut as you go around to get the best fit. 

Dually Tire Rotation Patterns

When you change the tires on a dually, you can do it in many different ways. Let’s start with the most common patterns and move toward the less common ones. 

Circular Rotation Pattern

Dually Tire Rotation - Circular Pattern (1)

This is the best pattern to use if the wear isn’t strange or uneven. If you have two rear wheels, the best way to rotate the tires is in a circle. It’s a simple pattern: the front tires move to the back, the back tires move to the front, and the front tires move to the back.

When this pattern is used, the tires stay on the same side of the car. You only have to jack up one side of the car at a time, which makes it easier to change the tires yourself.

If you want this pattern to look nice, all three wheels will have to be the same. Circular rotation works best with two-axle trucks with steel wheels. 

Directional Tire Rotation Pattern

Dually Tire Rotation - Directional Tire Rotation Pattern

When you have six tires, turning in a specific direction is a little more complex because the back wheels on the outside of the axle face inward. When you switch the tires around, you have to keep this in mind.

This pattern isn’t good for non-directional tires because the circular pattern will help the tread wear more evenly over time. This is also how you would rotate white letters that are only on one side of the tire. It will ensure the white letters always face outward if you care about how it looks.

Directional tires on a standard four-wheel vehicle can never switch sides, but they must be able to do so on a six-wheel truck or RV.

The front tires move to the spots in the middle of the back. The wheels in the middle move to the outside on both sides. The tires on the sides of the front move to the opposite sides. 

Side To Side Rotation

Side to side rotation works best when the front and back wheels or tires are different. This could happen if you have tires for pulling on the back and tires for steering on the front. Or, the wheels or tires may be different sizes, making it impossible to move from the front to the back.

When the front tires are turned, they just switch sides. 

Four Matching Steel Rims on Rear Axle

Side to Side Rotation - 4 Matching Steel Rims on Rear Axle

When rotating the back tires on a car with identical wheels, each back tire should spend some time in each possible position. This is done by moving each rear tire over one spot every time the wheels are turned.

The driver’s side rear outer moves to the driver’s side rear inner. In this case, the driver’s side rear inner tire is transferred to the passenger side rear inner tire position. The inner passenger-side tire switches to the outer passenger-side tire.

The loop is finished when the outer on the passenger side moves to the outer on the driver’s side.  

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Inner Steel and Outer Aluminum Wheels

Side to Side Rotation Inner Steel and Outer Aluminum Wheels

Whenever the outer and inner rims are different, the outer rears and the inner rears should be swapped. 

Tire Rotation with Spare

Include a spare tire when rotating dually tires so that it doesn’t go to waste before dry rot sets in, and the spare may be used in the event of a flat. This will help guarantee that the spare tire is fully inflated and in good condition if needed.

 

When you change the tires on our dually, you may include a spare tire in a few different ways. 

Spare Tire Circular Pattern

Tire Rotation with Spare Circular Pattern

Using a new circular layout, drivers’ outside rears are now spares, while their inner rears are now used as a second set of spares. 

Spare Tire Directional Pattern

Tire Rotation For 4-Wheel Drive

Typically, if you have six identical wheels (all steel), you’d take the driver’s inner rear wheel and store it in the spare spot. The spare tire would be relocated to the back of the vehicle behind the driver. Otherwise, the two-way pattern would remain the same as it is now. 

Spare Tire Side to Side Pattern

Tire Rotation with Spare Side to Side Pattern

If all four rear wheels and tires are identical, the driver’s inner rear will become the spare, and the passenger’s inner rear will become the spare. You’ll see the identical pattern to complete the rotation as in the previous section. 

How Should Tires Be Rotated on A Dually?

Rotating tires on a dually depends significantly on what kind of restrictions you might run into. If you can, the best way to do it is in a circular pattern.

For the circular pattern to work, all the wheels and tires must be the same. This is not true for many people who own duallys. The front and rear outer wheels are often made of aluminum, while the inner rear wheels are made of steel.

This means you can’t rotate your tires any way but from side to side or like for like.

Less good comes from rotating a tire from side to side than from front to back or from the inside to the outside of the back. Most experienced dually truck owners with three different sets of wheels don’t rotate their tires unless they notice that they are wearing down in different places.

How Often Should You Rotate Dually Tires?

Tires on a dually truck should be rotated every so many miles to keep the tires’ warranty valid. Most tire makers will tell you to rotate your tires before they reach a certain number of miles.

Most of the time, rotating your tires every 5,000 miles will meet or exceed this requirement, but it can vary, so read the paperwork you got when you bought your tires to make sure you rotate them according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep your warranty. 

How Are Dually Tires Mounted?

The rear axle has two rear wheels that face each other. On each side, the driver and the passenger’s will have two wheels that face each other. The front and inner wheels are set up like they usually would be. The outer backs are mounted with their backs facing in. 

Is Rotating of Aftermarket Dually Tires Possible?

Most of the time, you can only turn aftermarket dually wheels from side to side. This is because the aftermarket tires on the front and the aftermarket wheels on the outside of the vehicle are usually made in very different ways.

Since they can’t be seen, the inner rear wheels are often made of cheap steel.

The back wheels of dually trucks with six steel wheels face in instead of out. This is taken into account by the designs of aftermarket front and outer rear wheels, which are different but work well with inner rear steel wheels.

Conclusion

Tire rotation on a dually is much more complicated than on a car with only four tires, but it’s still a good idea to have this service done regularly.

If you rotate your tires regularly, it can help even out how they wear. This will help your tires last longer, make the ride smoother and quieter, and is usually needed to keep the mileage warranty on your tires. 

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