Gladiator makes aftermarket all-terrain vehicle tires, but much of the business is devoted to producing steer-axle, drive-axle and trailer-axle tires for the truck, trailer and RV market. All types are designed with extra-durable casings that can better withstand heat and heavy use.
Steer-axle tires fit on the front end of a semitractor-trailer or on the front wheels of an RV. They must withstand the constant back-and-forth movement generated by the driver without experiencing excessive wear on the edges of the tread. Tires that don't have this ability start to show uneven wear patterns and must be replaced more frequently.
Drive-axle tires fit on the back of the semitractor-trailer. Most semis have two drive axles, with four tires on each one. These tires use the power from the engine and transmission to both push the tractor and pull the trailer. Drive-axle tires must have a high heat tolerance because this is where the majority of the breaking takes place. These tires are also used on the rear axles of larger RVs.
Trailer tires must be able to withstand bouncing up and down on rough roads and be capable of supporting heavy loads. Most big-rig trailers have auxiliary brakes so these tires must also be heat tolerant.