Dayton or Budd? The eternal question.

Trucks can come with a wide variety of options to suit any working condition or driver preference.  Engines, transmissions, axles, frame length, suspension bits, the list goes on and on.  Recently I’ve had a few people ask me about wheel styles, more specifically what are Dayton style wheels.  This is a question I’ve asked myself many times and the answer can very depending on who you ask.  I’ll start with the basics of what I know and let you make your own decision on what you think is the better choice.

To start, this is a Dayton or spoke style wheel.

Notice the five bolts, they attach to the rim which hold the tire to the truck.  To detach the tire you remove the bolts, the hub or spoke stays attached to the truck.  There is no center part of the rim with this type of wheel.  In the trucking world of today Dayton style wheels are ancient history.  I do not believe it is possible to order a new truck with this style wheel.  Now, some old truckers out there will tell you that daytons are the only way to go.  They claim that this wheel setup is better suited for trucks hauling heavy loads or working in tough conditions as they resists cracking around the bolt holes, a major weakness of Budd style wheels.  From the collector standpoint the argument is made that a Dayton wheel just looks correct on the truck styles of yesterday.  Another potential of spoke wheels is the ability to seal out snow, ice or dirt from the brake drums.  Some disadvantages, it requires more skill and time to mount a dayton style wheel correctly.  Incorrect mounting results in a wobbly wheel and tire wear.  Top speeds are also limited due to heat concerns.  In the old days of trucking there was a strong east coast bias to spoke style wheels despite the fact they were called “California” style wheels.  Most likely this is due to many truck manufacturers being located east of the Mississippi.

The modern alternative to Dayton style wheels?  The Budd.  Nearly every truck has this style wheel now.  It is very similar to the same wheel on your passenger car or pickup.  The tire is mounted to a rim that has a center hub.  See below.

A Budd wheel can come in steel or aluminium.  You can paint it or chrome it.  As mentioned above this style wheel can suffer from stress cracks around the bolt holes.  However, the cost of Budd wheels and ease of maintenance helped push this wheel to the top of heap.

I recall a story from my CDL training days from the instructor of many years that helped scare the spoke lover out of me.  He claimed it was possible for the flanges holding a spoke style wheel to break loose effectively neutering any braking power as the wheel was no longer really connected to the drums!  Tall tale to scare the rookies?  Very possible.

So that is my amateur take on truck wheel styles.  Please feel free to share your thoughts or correct my mistakes.

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43 Responses to Dayton or Budd? The eternal question.

  1. MartMns says:

    I don’t know how common this combination was,
    but back in the early-and-mid-1990’s, I owned and drove an 1987 FLC120 Freightliner that had come from from the factory with 24.5 aluminum Alcoa “Budds” on the steer axle and 24.5 cast-iron Dayton spokes on the drives. Being a Canadian truck, it also had a 60-inch “Canadian spread” on the tandems as well.

  2. Lance says:

    From ANCIENT memory, as I recall, there was (key word WAS) a moment in time (mid-80’s) when there was quite the focus on ‘updating’ older Dayton-trucks to Budd trucks. I don’t remember how it was done exactly. I can’t remember if they were swapping drums, changing whole axles, or if there was some conversion kit out there that allowed it to be done. I know most-all Chevy C65 and C70’s came with all-around Daytons, and I have seen more than one mid-70’s C65 sporting Budds (which was not possible in the day OEM).

    Good luck finding this information, but I know I have seen it and heard the truckstop talk of it. It is NOT a direct conversion, there IS some hardware change required to do the conversion.

    • T Schmidt says:

      Our trucks had all Budd aluminum rims and the mechanic loved them. He told me how with the “old Dayton Claw hubs” as he called them, if it was time to replace the brakes on the drive axles, you had to first deflate and remove the tires and spacer on the duals. Then the entire claw hub itself had to be slid out with the axle to get to the brakes! A very laborious job, with great attention to re assembling every par tcorrectly.

  3. brandon says:

    We still run dome daytons on our bulk trailers I think we have roughly 24 bulk trailers

    • Eric says:

      Still plenty around, especially on trailers. I see that Mack and International still offer them on steer axles by custom order.

    • danny says:

      I am looking for Dayton 22 inch rims with 1100R tires. Do you know where any are at. Thanks

      • Larry Marmet says:

        Hi Danny, the modern 11.00-22 tire replacement in a radial would be a 12R24.5 tubeless tire on a 24.5 tubeless dayton rim which slides right on in place of your lock ring tube type 22’s. Luckily you have 22″ wheels because the 24″ tube type does not have a tubeless replacement. Likewise old 20″ tube type daytons take a modern 22.5″ rim. (10.00-20 in tubeless is an 11.00-22.5 or 11R22.5) I have some Autocars and a Brockway with the popular heavy tire in the day, 11.00-22 and would love to find the correct size 12R24.5 tires on Daytons. The readily available 11R24.5 tires are a lot smaller than it sounds! If you see them side by side at a truck show you will understand. The speedometer will be off considerably too and it just doesn’t look right to me. But if I wanted to take a road trip and it was a choice between weather checked old tube type 11-22’s or nice 11R24.5 sneakers I would take the latter and console myself knowing it would give me a little advantage in a slow race. IF I could afford it my rigs would be sporting 12R24.5 sneakers after a restoration because I like an occasional road trip and piece of mind.

  4. Pingback: Wheel Terminology Question - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

  5. Mike Melnychuk says:

    I’m looking for upgrade information/source on “keeping Dayton hubs”, but looking for tubeless super-single rims/drives, and tubeless rims/steer. Where would you start?

  6. Owen Elfrink says:

    Both Dayton and Budd wheels are ancient history. The industry has gone to hub mounted pilot wheels. A true Budd wheel required 10 studs and 10 in order to mount a duals – real pain n rear when doing without an air wrench

    • Steven Strimling says:

      Exactly. Unimounts are not Budd.

      • Bob Crace says:

        While the “Budd” type wheel was made by many other companies, the original design was made by The ” Budd Wheel Company” The Budd Company only manufactured steel wheels, any aluminum version was Alcoa or another manufacture. Budd Wheel also did make the center hole pilot mount which became the most popular.
        Budd Company also began making the Tubeless Demountable that adapted a tubeless rim to the Dayton spider mount hub where a special ring replaced the original disc allowing the tubeless tire and replacing the deadly split rim

  7. Mark McC says:

    I haven’t seen this mentioned, but I recall being warned, to loosen the nuts first. Break the wedge loose with a hammer, before removing the nuts completely. This can save your life. Those wedges can pop loose with great power.

    • Cristobal says:

      You are absolutely right. First, just release the pressure from the nuts, then, you can use a hammer and hit the wedges one by one, or just take a big old pipe, and hit the whole tire, and all the wedges will release. Then remove the nuts. That wedges, can hurt, even kill a person.

    • Michael Carnevale says:

      Budd wheels are MUCH safer. I am a old timer trucker and I’ve known many of a driver getting killed while trying to repair a flat or installing a new tire on a Dayton rim. Thats why if you go to any trucking company worth there salt or a truck tire store you’ll see a cage where they put a tire mounted on a Dayton rim to fill with air. This protects the person from the tire exploding and shooting the rim off and hitting And killing them while leaning over and putting in air.

      • Hugh Crandall says:

        Those cages were designed for the old tube-type split rims to keep the improperly ring from blowing off the rim and destroying life and property. The cages are still required for all tube and tubeless tires as an OSHA requirement. Even tubeless tire can blow off the rim at 120psi if the tire doesn’t center properly or if the bead is over lubricated.

      • Mason Barbour Jr. says:

        I had 2 explode on me in the late 70’s one went thru the roof, the other rim clipped my knee’s, lock ring went thru the backdoor of the shop. I was almost killed twice, saved by God’s grace! The shop I worked for didn’t use a cage until the second explosion happened.

    • Frank dunlap says:

      Just reading some of the tire and wheel and hub talk on here,its been awhile since I have changed any tires out,i did fleet service work for years,and eventually getting my ITRA certified fleet tech,bandag ,oliver retread systems and A2 giant tire tech journeyman certification and eventually getting my hell on wheels award in the army,ive seen the transistion of all of our dinosaur type wheels and i was ag certified on farm and impliment,i was put in the hospital 4 times from tire and wheel explosions,happy to try and answer anybodys question.

      • john stagg says:

        I have Dayton wheels on my 1987 international S1954 truck. It also has disc brakes. The calipers have a wedge on the bottom which holds it all together. I had to use a chisel and a sledge hammer to remove the wedges. When I replaced the calipers they came with a small kit, everything but new wedges. My old wedges were damaged. Know I cannot find any auto parts store that sells wedges for my old truck. Do you know any place I can purchase new wedges, thanks.

        • Marty says:

          You’re likely to find them at a “handle it all” tire shop. More likely if they specialize in aggro, as the most prolific users of daytons are farmers nowadays.

          As a general note though, wedges come in several sizes, so youll need to look up that wedges will work best for your specific setup.

  8. Mark says:

    Your story about spoke wheels failing that way is the opposite of what I’ve always heard- not sure how much that really happens, but I suppose it could.

    BUt what I have heard, from MULTIPLE -first hand- accounts (from guys who had it happen to them), is that the Budds are the dangerous ones on a heavy truck because when something fails, the whole wheel is just gone…. if you’re lucky you get stopped safely and just watch your lost tire/rim roll down the road in front of you. It seems to me that at least in most cases, if a spoke wheel fails it will fail in one point , and may start to come apart if enough play develops, but will not be a “sudden complete catastrophic failure” of the entire wheel and probably will either stay together or at least let you get stopped first.

    I know this is an old post, but just saw it and figured it couldn’t hurt to add what I’ve heard to it. Personally, aside from heavy-duty drive-axle types and planeteries, etc. I still just don’t think a “heavy” truck with buds is as “heavy” as the same truck on spokes- partly aesthetics, and partly because I’ve always been led ( by those who have experience with both types and only tell stories of the Budds cracking and suddenly being gone) to believe that the spokes are the superior choice in heavy applications.

    • Larry D Owens Jr. says:

      Kinda like the bitch sessions that people put out on product. They ONLY complain if they have bad experience. I have seen MANY Budd wheel failures in my time as a maintenance director but I have ALSO proven to myself that the wheel is NOT to blame. It is the maintenance and maintenance abuse that causes the wheel to fail. The hub piloted Accuride system was a major engineering attempt to remove the technician from the failure equation as much as possible. The latest ‘gadgets’ today revolve around a VISUAL or mechanical methodology to reduce the failure rate from mis-torqued wheel hardware. You might see a series of brightly colored ‘flags’ stuck onto the hub piloted wheel flange nuts to give a visual clue that the nut has loosened, or there is a plastic spider lasso that ‘locks’ the mounting flange nuts into position to prevent backing off. When this important maintenance function is applied correctly and monitored, wheel failures are virtually eliminated. The one big bug ga boo is outside repairs done on the wheels. Anytime a wheel assembly has been tampered with, the vehicle MUST be reinspected and the lug nuts ret-orqued and locked back into position. It is YOUR equipment and your responsibility to see that it leaves the shop in the best of condition.

  9. Russell Pate says:

    I run the Dayton 5-Spoke Wheel on a trailer. Yes, its true if the wheel clamps aren’t torqued down enough the rim will spin within. Yes, its true the wheel clamps can shear off. But, that combination can take a lot of abuse before coming apart. Budd’s YES, can crack and have the whole wheel fall off instantaneously – yes that’s also happened.

  10. Alan says:

    ” Please feel free to share your thoughts or correct my mistakes.”

    Trucks have BRAKE drums that provide the BRAKING power.

  11. hi!
    You do have tools to get these drivers to wake up a little bit. Flashing your lights is one way to get a drivers attention. Often all they need is a small signal and they will realize that they are doing something stupid, like driving too slow in the fast lane

  12. Aiden says:

    Spoke Wheel because the spoke has five spokes .LOL

  13. MyNameIsJason says:

    Trucks could be ordered with any combination of Dayton and Buds that the customer desired. I’ve seen front / rear and rear / front. I currently have an 86 International that has Buds on the front and Daytons on the rear, I formerly had an 85 International that was very similar that had Daytons all the way around. Of course a big challenge these days is getting 22.5″ Dayton wheels to get the old 20″ bias plies off of the old trucks. As far as the old 20″ “split rims” they were only dangerous to people that should not have been fooling with them. Rust built up in the ring groove, if the groove was not cleaned out before the ring was re installed, it did not seat and could easily blow off when the tire was inflated. Particularly in the spot where the ring was split.

  14. Six Pack says:

    “I recall a story from my CDL training days from the instructor of many years that helped scare the spoke lover out of me. He claimed it was possible for the flanges holding a spoke style wheel to break loose effectively neutering any braking power as the wheel was no longer really connected to the drums! Tall tale to scare the rookies? Very possible.”

    My gravel truck has Dayton’s, and I’m not so sure this is possible, at least on mine.

    You see, the rim actually has a couple of “humps” that protrude, and the rim is fitted so that these “humps” are in between a section of the spokes. Can rim come loose and slide? They ABSOLUTELY can, and will, but generally would be limited to an inch or two each way by these humps, thus giving the driver/owner an opportunity to properly retorque them.

    And Daytons are a SUPER tough wheel set-up. Excellent for heavy off road use. I would not “upgrade” to a more modern style wheel. Just a word from my own personal experience… Just make sure to retorque them after dismounting them, preferably even two or three times. This should solve any potential issue with slippage.

  15. Larry D Owens Jr. says:

    I think you have your lug nuts all cross threaded there. In the industry, the term Budd Wheel is often used in a misleading way. Technically ANY wheel made by the Budd Corporation can be called a Budd wheel but the scoop on the ground is quite different. Your description of the Dayton style wheel is correct but your assessment of their utility and defects leaves out the MOST critical part of why these wheels are no longer with us. They were exclusively (until the upgraded design to the tubeless rim) a tube type tire and they featured a split rim design that could (and did) prove deadly to people trying to service them when the retainer ring blew off after an improper seating. The tubeless rim designed much later eliminated this occupation hazard but as you pointed out, the skill level was still high to get the rim onto the spoked hub to run square.

    Your photo of the “Budd Wheel” is NOT a Budd wheel at all, rather it is of the more modern Accuride design, known as a hub piloted steel wheel.

    To be classified as a Budd Wheel in the common vernacular of the trucking industry the wheel MUST be of a single piece disc and it MUST be of the Stud Piloted style. That is to say that the wheel/tire combination os ‘centered’ by the 10 ball socketed studs running against the 10 concave pockets machined into the wheel disc. This is the ONLY style of wheel that is recognized as a Budd wheel.

    The wheel that is shown in your photo is generically called a “hub piloted” wheel and it is being centered ON THE HUB index. The loading is actually distributed onto the large 5″ ?? index hub. The wheel is held to the hub by 10 flanged nuts and they carried NO weight of the vehicle. The wheel, when mounted loosely on the indexing hub, will actually fit loosely over the hub studs and will rotate fore and aft about 1ยบ. Accuride is the original designer/producer of this wheel but it is now manufactured under license by Goodyear and Firestone.

    • Hugh Crandall says:

      Thank you for clarifying the difference between BUDD and hub piloted rims. Kind of calling a rifle magazine a clip. Drives me crazy. I drove a tri-axle milk tanker with the old tube-type Daytons. Had several rims split at the edges and blow off the hub and hundreds of feet away from the truck. We ran at 120psi. We found that when we oiled the wedges and threads and torqued the nuts to lubricated torque values we eliminated the rim cracking. Then came the tubeless Daltons and life was good.

    • Marcus Reddish says:

      Hub piloted wheels are called “Coach” wheels and were used by Chevrolet in the 30’s.. Accuride definitely did not invent them.

    • glen b jackson says:

      the lugs do carry all the weight. their clamping force is holding up the weight to the truck. there is a SMALL gap between the central hub and the piloting steps around the center diameter. very small to the point its considered “centered” but only couple tho smaller and is not bearing on that center diameter. its not even a slip fit, very loose in fact. On installation you have to put a centering pad at 12o’clock position to help “split” this small offset. There are stud centering bushings you can buy to tighten the concentricity of the wheelend or for damaged “hub centering steps”.

  16. Laird says:

    I used and fixed hundreds of tube type Daytons, they are only dangerous if ur not careful with the ring. Tubeless tires were such a blessing to the trucking industry and hub pilot was second. Daytons were great in there time but were very troublesome. the clamping system was proven to not be up to the job, they had to be constantly monitored for torque. If they loosened off they would spin on the hub under power or brake application thereby shearing off the stoppers and valve stems. Hub pilot is far superior and is far less trouble than the original budd wheels also

  17. Kevin says:

    Anyone know where I can get a Dayton 6.5×20 or 7 x 20 wheel with lock ring. Had tire change on my old 50’s grader and one of the rims was bad. I am having a very tough time find one of these things. All help will be appreciated. tx kevin

  18. Edmund Monaghan says:

    I remember the Dayton wheels being a harder and rougher ride down the road. And the Dayton’s burned more fuel per mile..

  19. Er says:

    The only wheels that I personally have seen come apart while in use would be a piloted split rim style. This is the type that would have been on chevy c series of the 70s. I’m not sure the specific name of these. But they are the dangerous ones. The rim is of two halves that you hammer down when disassembling and have a slight lip and a notch where you stick a pry bar in to take wheel apart. These wheels obviously only used tube type tires.

  20. Jason says:

    Wow. People still looking for Daytons? I just did a tire cleanup in my backyard and crushed 800 of them to get the tire off the rim. Sorry guys!

  21. glen b jackson says:

    they are call “demountable rim” not “dayton rims”. Dayton company was a company that made demountable rims but not called daytons. like Kleenex is a company that makes tissue paper.
    newer wheels are “steel disc wheels”, two types BSN and FN. Ball seat nut or stud piloted wheels, they are ones with left and right handed threaded lug nuts. Then Flanged nut or hub piloted wheels, the newest and most popular wheel setup. they center on steps around the hubs center diameter.
    all of these wheel and rims are available in tube-type or tubeless configuration, thought type is rare.

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