How many wheels does a school bus have?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How many wheels does a school bus have? We will also explain how much a school bus tire is and give you a few but essential tips on how to maintain and prolong their life. 

How many wheels does a school bus have?

A school bus has six wheels. Two of them are on the front axle and four tires are on the dual axle. Smaller buses can have four axles (two wheels on both axles).  If tires are a fundamental element in safety material for cars and motorcycles, in buses, trucks and heavy vehicles, this role takes on even more importance.

Let us remember that, in these cases, the vehicle’s support points with the ground are forced to support unimaginable amounts of weight and are one of the components whose correct operation most directly influences the overall performance of the vehicle and its fuel consumption.

Not to mention its importance in terms of security. In these vehicles commonly used for the transport of people and goods, a correct level of grip, as well as an adequate response to braking, can make the difference between a journey without incident or a true catastrophe. Let us remember that, for the user of any other type of vehicle, being unlucky enough to have an accident with a bus or similar vehicle always entails greater damage.

We always emphasize the need to always drive with our tires in the best possible conditions.

The basics of changing tires on school buses and trucks

When it comes to the process of changing tires on school buses and other heavy vehicles, there are a number of guidelines that should be taken into account.

  1. First of all, in cases where the replacement wheels are new, all of them must always be of the same brand, the same model and have the same structure. Of course, they must also be of the same dimensions and have exactly the same speed and load code.
  1. If it is also about retreaded tires, which is not highly recommended in those vehicles that usually spend long days on the road, to all the previous conditions we must add that of coming from the same retreader. Furthermore, it should be noted that mixing new and retreaded tires on the same axle is prohibited.
  1. Regarding the level of depth of the wheel tread, in our country, there is no specific legislation that establishes a minimum measure in particular. However, the pattern must always remain visible as it is one of the clearest symptoms when determining that the tires retain a correct level of grip on the asphalt.

We recommend that the difference in depth of the tread of a tire with respect to another on the same axis does not exceed 5 mm.

  1. Of course, none of the wheels may show, in any case, obvious signs of deterioration despite having a visible tread. We refer for example to dents, deformations, cracks, loose cables or signs of breakage in the housing. Nor should it be circulated when observing that clearly, irregular wear has occurred on the tread band or if any of the layers that make up its structure had detached.

How long do school bus tires last?

As with other vehicles, the life expectancy of tires on school buses and other heavy vehicles will depend directly on the use and care taken of them.

In this sense, factors such as the quality of driving, the usual weight of the load, the state of the road on which it is circulated, the inflation pressures or any possible geometric defect in the vehicle are completely differential.

We recommend subjecting our tires to a specialized review at least every five years, this period being able to decrease in the cases of vehicles that are used to spending a large part of the year on the road. Remember that it is your safety and that of the rest of the members of the road that is at stake.

How much is a school bus tire?

A set of school bus tires can cost you between $2,000 and $3,000 depending on the manufacturer and the place you are buying them. You can save money by purchasing used tires from eBay, Facebook market or Craigslist, but new tires often come with a warranty and will probably last much longer. 

What to consider when choosing tires for school buses:


  • Recommended tire size for your bus
  • Maximum load capacity and weight required 
  • Vehicle type and class (type A, B, C or D)
  • Necessary flank resistance (essential for city driving where bumps against curbs may be unavoidable).


  • On what type of road do you most travel
  • Are these tires for demanding service conditions?
  • Weather conditions.

It is essential to learn how to choose the best tires according to characteristics and seasons. Fitting a suitable cover represents one of the strengths of our vehicle and therefore, let’s examine some of them:

  • These are the tires that guarantee perfect adherence to the road, interacting and improving the ABS, which guarantees faster braking of our vehicle.
  • The best tires can last longer and, and in case they run flat it will still allow you to drive for 60 miles even if you have a puncture.
  • You can choose between the different types of tires according to your driving needs, so you can choose your tires according to your driving style.
  • There are also winter or summer tires, depending on the season. They will make your driving safe in any weather.
  • 4 season tires – a possible choice if the correct parameters and the best brands are chosen.

5 tips for school bus tire maintenance

Tires are without a doubt one of the busiest parts of the school bus. We know that the maintenance of bus tires is essential to provide a good service and guarantee the safety of the vehicle, that is why in this article we show a compilation with the 5 basic tips for the maintenance of bus tires.

  1. Prudent driving is essential for the maintenance of school bus tires. Driving habits are a factor that has a great impact on the maintenance of tires on a bus. Cautious driving by an experienced driver can translate into longer tire life of the tires, if, on the contrary, the driving is aggressive, with sudden accelerations and braking, since the tread has higher friction and suffers premature wear.

Within efficient driving, the load weight that the bus contains must also be taken into account. An excess load that exceeds the recommended load translates into a greater weight that the wheels must support and greater friction between the tire and the road, which also accelerates wear.

  1. Check that the tires have the correct pressure. Checking that the tire pressure is adequate is essential for proper tire maintenance. It is advisable to check monthly that the tire pressure is the one recommended by the manufacturer.

Proper tire inflation guarantees better performance and durability of the tires. Normally, a slight variation of approximately 10% of the total air contained in the wheel is allowed, when this variation is greater, the tires do not have an optimal pressure and this translates into negative effects such as:

  • Greater fuel consumption.
  • Increased tread wear.
  • Bad circulation of the vehicle.

If the tire pressure is below the manufacturer’s recommendation, the tire wears unevenly and will heat up more quickly. If, on the other hand, the tire pressure is above that recommended by the manufacturer, the tread wears much more in the middle, the bus loses grip and will be more vulnerable if it is travelling on a road that is in bad shape. 

  1. Periodically check the wear and depth of the tread. Good maintenance of tires on buses increases the useful life of the tires, but it is also important to know when the vehicle wheels should be changed.

An indicator of tire wear is the tread of the tires. To check the level of the tread, it is advisable to run your hand over the tread periodically to check the wear of the wheels. Worn tires significantly increase the stopping distance which leads to unsafe driving by losing grip and traction on the road.

  1.  Carry out a balance and alignment of the wheels for the correct maintenance of the tires. Balancing and aligning the bus wheels is part of the routine tire maintenance that must be performed.

Wheel balancing and alignment minimizes premature tread wear, eliminates vibrations, and protects the vehicle’s suspension, steering and transmission areas. We recommend going to a bus workshop to fine-tune the balance and alignment of the wheels if when driving the vehicle it vibrates or the wheels have uneven wear. Whenever wheels are mounted or changed, they must be balanced and aligned.

  1. Take care of the valves and caps. Finally, the valves and plugs should also be periodically checked for optimal tire maintenance. The valves and their caps are usually made of materials such as rubber and plastic, which, when exposed to the sun and rain, wear out and end up deteriorating.

It is advisable to change the valves with the same periodicity that the tires are changed since, with high loads, the rubber valve bends by force and can end up deteriorating. The cap, for its part, maintains the seal and protects the valve from dust and dirt, thus being a small part, but at the same time important to check in tire maintenance.

FAQ on How many wheels does a school bus have?

What are the best tires for RVs?

The best tires for RVs are the Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude and Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor Tires. On our list, there is also the Michelin XPS RIB Truck Radial Tire, Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST Radial Tire and the Sailun S637 Trailer Radial Tire.

What kind of tires do school buses use?

School buses use conventional 10R22. 5 or 11R22. 5 size tires. These are believed to be the tires with a longer lifespan and that have fewer mileage shortfalls. 

How long do school bus tires last?

School bus tires last between six to ten years, depending on the type of tires, the brand, and also on how many miles you used them for. Tire manufacturers recommend replacing your school bus tires after 10 years of use. 


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