4×4 Truck Tire Rotation Pattern – Illustrated!

Tire rotation is done to balance out the wear on the 4 tires. The 4×4 truck tire rotation pattern is different than the regular 2 wheel drive vehicles. This is because the weight of the engine and the 4×4 components in the front of the truck wears out the front tires faster than the rear.

A basic 4×4 truck tire rotation pattern is called X-pattern. You take the front left tire and move it to the right rear position, and the tire from right rear goes to left front. Then you take the right front tire and move it to the left rear and the one that was on left rear goes to the right front. The tire does not need to be removed from the rim, the entire thing can move positions.

Make sure to do this procedure safely because your entire truck needs to be in the air while you do this. In a home garage, make sure to use jack stands to keep the truck stable as you rotate the tires.

What is tire rotation?

In order to preserve tires and extend their life and performance, the tires get moved around into different positions on a truck so the wear is thorough and not in just one area. When driving the truck, a tire will get wear based on the alignment of the wheels, the load that is put on the tire and other factors. When this happens for a long time in one position, the tire will get worn more in one area and less in another.

Then you change the position of the tire regularly, the wear will get distributed across the entire tire surface. This will ensure that the tire lasts longer and gets thoroughly used.

Why Tire Rotation is Important for 4×4 Trucks

For 4×4 trucks, even tire wear is crucial not just for extending tire life but also for maintaining the vehicle’s performance in off-road conditions. Unevenly worn tires can affect the truck’s handling, making it less stable on rough terrains. Additionally, since 4×4 trucks often encounter more varied and harsher driving conditions than their 2WD counterparts, regular tire rotation becomes even more critical to prevent premature tire wear and potential failure.

4×4 Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

The pattern that is used for 4×4 trucks is called the X-pattern. The reason it is called that is because you literally move the tires in an X pattern. The front left tire gets moved into the right rear position and the one that was there goes up into the left front. Then the right front goes to the left rear and the tire that was there goes into the right front position. It is literally an X pattern.

If you wanted to randomize it even more, there is also a pattern called the Rearward Cross, in which your left tire will go into the right rear position and the right front into the left rear position. Then you take both the rear tires and move the to the front, the left one to the left front and the right one to the right front.

Using both patterns will help spread the tire wear even more evenly across the entire tire surface.

See the illustration below to visualize the pattern.

4x4 Truck Tire Rotation Pattern
4×4 Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

Here are several tire rotation patterns, but for 4×4 trucks, the following are most commonly recommended:

  1. Rearward Cross Pattern: This pattern is typically used for 4×4 trucks with non-directional tires. The rear tires move straight forward to the front, while the front tires move to the opposite sides of the rear. This pattern is effective for vehicles with full-time 4WD systems, helping to ensure even wear across all four tires.
  2. X-Pattern: The X-pattern is suitable for 4×4 vehicles with full-time or part-time 4WD systems. In this pattern, all four tires are moved diagonally to opposite corners. This means the front left tire swaps places with the rear right tire, and the front right tire swaps with the rear left. This pattern can be particularly effective for vehicles that see a lot of off-road or uneven road use.
  3. Front-to-Rear Pattern: In this pattern, the front and rear tires swap places but remain on the same side of the vehicle. This pattern is often used for 4×4 trucks with the same size directional tires and wheels. It helps ensure even tire wear but may not be as effective as the Rearward Cross or X-Pattern in balancing wear patterns across all four tires.

How To Rotate Dually Truck Tires & Dually Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

It is not much different if you have a dually truck in terms of prep work. If you are doing a tire rotation in a home setting, start by finding a level surface on which you can work and park the truck there. Then lift up each side of the truck and set up jack stands to hold the truck off the ground. Remove each tire and then move them into the new position. Remembering which one goes where is important so either move them one by one, or you can use a chalk to mark each tire to remind your self.

When you have dually tires on the back of the truck, with a total of 6 tires on the truck, the tire rotation pattern is a little different than normal. When rotating the tire on a truck like this, you need to make sure that all 6 of the tires change position. In this case there are 2 patterns you can use to randomize the tire position for an even more even wear on the tires.

In the first pattern, you will take the left front tire and move it to the outer left rear position. The tire that was in the outer left rear position will go to the inner left rear position. The inner left rear tire will go to the left front. That was your left side, now we will do the same on the right side. The right front tire goes to the outer right rear position. The outer right rear tire will go into the inner right rear tire position. Then the inner right rear tire will go to the right front position. Next time you rotate, you can switch them from the left to the right side.

The second pattern is a little more simple. The right and left front tires swap places, left to right and right to left. Then the rear dually tires swap sides as well. Both left tires go to the right side and both right ones go to the left.

See the illustration below for a visual representation of the pattern.

4x4 Dually Truck Tire Rotation Pattern
4×4 Dually Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

How do you tell if your tires need to be rotated?

Normally there is no way to tell if it is time to rotate your tires. If you see wear on the tire that is concentrated on one area, it is already too late to prevent it. But even then, if you do see concentrated wear on a tire, you can rotate the tires and take the load off that area so the tire gets a new wear pattern onto it. It will help but what you want to do instead is rotate the tires on a schedule.

It is recommended to rotate the tires about every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. If you are an average driver that drives about 10,000 miles per year, this means you want to schedule a tire rotation about every 3 to 4 months. Since an oil change also uses a similar schedule, both of these things can be scheduled to be done at the same time.

What happens if you don’t rotate your tires?

Failing to rotate tires regularly will wear the tires out in one area and the tire will become dangerous to drive on a lot more quickly than if the tires were rotated. This can cost more money per year and it can also become dangerous. Sometimes when the alignment is not correct, one side of the tire will get worn out a lot faster. If the worn out side is on the inside of the wheel, you wont even notice the wear because the outer side, which you can see, looks normal with plenty of tread still on the tire, but if you peek under the car to the inner side, you will see that it is very worn out.

Dodge Ram Tire Rotation Pattern

The tire rotation patterns are the same for all 4-wheel trucks and the pattern is same for all 6-wheel trucks, regardless of the make and model of the truck. So when we’re working on a Dodge Ram truck, there are 2 version we could have, a 4-wheel version and a dually truck that has 6 wheels.

For the 4-wheel Dodge Ram, you want to follow the X-pattern where the left front tire gets moved into the right rear position and the tire that was there goes to the left front position. Then the right front tire will get moved into the left rear position and the tire that was there will go to the right front position.

The 6-wheel, dually Dodge Ram will need to use the dually rotation pattern which is more complicated. Start with the left front tire and move it to the outer left rear position. The tire that was in the outer left rear position will go to the inner left rear position. The inner left rear tire will go to the left front. That was your left side, now we will do the same on the right side. The right front tire goes to the outer right rear position. The outer right rear tire will go into the inner right rear tire position. Then the inner right rear tire will go to the right front position. Next time you rotate, you can switch them from the left to the right side.

See the illustration below for a visual representation of the pattern.

4x4 Dodge Ram Tire Rotation Pattern

4x4 Dually Dodge Ram Tire Rotation Pattern

The tire rotation patterns are the same for all 4-wheel trucks and the pattern is same for all 6-wheel trucks, regardless of the make and model of the truck. So when we’re working on a Ford F-150 truck, there are 2 version we could have, a 4-wheel version and a dually truck that has 6 wheels. I wrote about the Ford F-150 4×4 tire rotation that focuses on the 4×4 F-150 truck specifically.

For the 4-wheel Ford truck, you want to follow the X-pattern where the left front tire gets moved into the right rear position and the tire that was there goes to the left front position. Then the right front tire will get moved into the left rear position and the tire that was there will go to the right front position.

The 6-wheel, dually Ford truck will need to use the dually rotation pattern which is more complicated. Start with the left front tire and move it to the outer left rear position. The tire that was in the outer left rear position will go to the inner left rear position. The inner left rear tire will go to the left front. That was your left side, now we will do the same on the right side. The right front tire goes to the outer right rear position. The outer right rear tire will go into the inner right rear tire position. Then the inner right rear tire will go to the right front position. Next time you rotate, you can switch them from the left to the right side.

See the illustration below for a visual representation of the pattern.

4x4 Ford Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

4x4 Dually Ford Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

2019 Ram 1500 Tire Rotation Pattern

We already discussed the Dodge Ram truck tire rotation process above, but some people are specifically looking for the tire rotation pattern for the 2019 Ram 1500. So here is the pattern specifically for this truck.

For the 4-wheel 2019 Dodge Ram 1500, you want to follow the X-pattern where the left front tire gets moved into the right rear position and the tire that was there goes to the left front position. Then the right front tire will get moved into the left rear position and the tire that was there will go to the right front position.

See the illustration below for a visual representation of the pattern.

4x4 Dodge Ram Tire Rotation Pattern

Ford F150 4×4 Tire Rotation

We already discussed the Ford truck tire rotation process above, but some people are specifically looking for the tire rotation pattern for the Ford F150 4×4 truck. So here is the pattern specifically for this truck.

For the 4-wheel Ford F150 4×4 truck, you want to follow the X-pattern where the left front tire gets moved into the right rear position and the tire that was there goes to the left front position. Then the right front tire will get moved into the left rear position and the tire that was there will go to the right front position.

See the illustration below for a visual representation of the pattern.

4x4 Ford Truck Tire Rotation Pattern

Conclusion

When rotating the tires there is one thing that you need to keep in mind, spread the wear evenly across the entire surface of the tire. This will increase the lifespan of the tires and save you hundreds of dollars per year. You will buy new tires every 2 to 3 years instead of every year. It will also keep you safer on the roads, preventing tire blowouts, which in themselves are dangerous when driving at high rate of speed.

It doesn’t take much to schedule a tire rotation for your truck, so get it done.

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