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Why do trucks have bigger steering wheels than cars?

Why do trucks have bigger steering wheels than cars?

Semi-trucks are larger in size, heavier in weight, and have huge wheels operated by bigger steering wheels. These are used for better handling and quick movement of large and heavy front tires.

Why do trucks have bigger steering wheels than cars? According to our research, trucks have bigger steering wheels than cars because they require more torque and more force for their movement. The size is essential because of the bigger size of semi trucks, their heavy weight, large wheels, better control, smooth movement, and less mechanical damage to its components.

You should also measure their size before purchasing them because most have a diameter between 14 and 18 inches.

Why do semi trucks have bigger steering wheels than cars?

These trucks have a large steering wheel for comfortable and smooth driving. It is uncomfortable to drive them with smaller ones. Moreover, the parts of the larger vehicles are also large for their efficient working.

Trucks require more torque

They require more torque for their movement, and the torque is equivalent to force and distance.

The bigger steering wheel indicates the vehicles need more force to control because of the large radius and distance from the axis.

Moreover, the larger ones also provide more leverage for better control. The smaller ones are not best for them because they can cause difficulty in movement.


The installation of bigger-sized parts on trucks is necessary because of their heavy weight.

These are heavy and larger because of their specific duty. These are specifically designed to haul the heavyweight.

The payload capacity of these automobiles is also more than other regular trucks. However, you cannot move them at turning points with the small steering.

According to the law of inertia, more mass requires more force to change its direction and state of rest. Therefore, you need more force to move massive vehicles smoothly.

It becomes difficult to drive them with heavy hauls because of more weight in the cargo area.

Smooth movement

The smooth movement and safe driving of these vehicles are essential because of the fragile things in the cargo area.

It efficiently manipulates the heavy weight and provides better handling for smooth and comfortable driving.

You can also move them smoothly and efficiently on turning points without applying extra effort. However, you have to exert more effort on the smaller one, which can also make you tired during driving.

In addition, it is also easier to move, and you can hold them in a better manner.

Better control

Better control and stability are necessary for a safe and secure ride and to decrease the risk of collisions.

They require a larger steering wheel to control them while driving on highways. As a result, the smaller ones cannot work efficiently, and moving them at turning points takes longer.

You cannot control them in a better way due to more leverage and radius for the application of force.

Massive wheels

The wheels of these automobiles are larger and heavy to bear the weight of the chassis structure and cargo.

The larger and heavy wheels in the semi trucks are essential because smaller tires cannot bear their weight and explode.

These tires also decrease the risk of wear and tear because of their capability to hold heavy weight.

The larger wheels are difficult to control because of their weight and the weight of the cargo. As a result, you need more effort to move the steering.

Less wear and tear on steering

The risk of mechanical wear and tear of the steering components is more when you drive your trucks with the smaller ones.

The mechanical damage to the components occurs when you apply more force to drive with smaller components.

It decreases the mechanical damage by providing more leverage to handle the weight of heavy trucks.

The steering gear, arms, wheels, shafts, and ball joints are also at less risk of wear and tear because of smooth movement.

Do all trucks have large steering wheels than cars?

All larger trucks, including semi-trucks, require bigger steering wheels than conventional cars because of their size, weight, and heavy tires. Their size depends on the factors you should consider before purchasing your automobile.

Depend on brand

Different automobile manufacturing brands in America have various quality and manufacturing standards.

Every brand has a different reputation in the market according to the quality and sale of its products.

Therefore, each of them uses different parts from the other to make their product distinguish and competitive in the market.

In addition, the size of different parts of the trucks is also different from brand to brand. 

Standard size

The standard size of the semi trucks also varies, and these are different from one another. Some of them are larger, and others are smaller.

The steering wheel size in these vehicles is according to their standard size. 

The automobile manufacturing company added the parts according to their specific size and design.


The weight of the vehicle also differs according to its specific functions. For example, regular pickup trucks are not too much heavier because they are not used for heavy hauling.

They have more weight because they are specifically used for heavy hauling and transporting heavy materials from one place to another.

Model of truck

There are different trims and models of the trucks with the advancement of features. For example, the size of the power steering is different in various models.

Some models are heavier and require more force to operate. However, the larger ones can operate efficiently without exerting extra effort and energy.

What is the Maximum size of a steering wheel in trucks?

You require bigger steering for semi trucks for better control and comfortable driving at turning points and while taking over.

The maximum diameter is 18 inches, which is standard size, and most brands use them in larger and heavier vehicles.

Sometimes the size also varies in various models and manufacturing brands. For example, there are different brands of semi trucks, each of which has slightly different sizes.

All of the vehicles do not have the same sized steering wheels. Most heavy-duty automobiles have a diameter of about 20 to 22 inches, providing more leverage for smooth driving.

On average, the size of this part ranges from 16 inches to 2 inches in different models and sizes.

Do trucks have a power steering wheel?

Most semi trucks have power steering wheels, so you can exert less effort to operate them. However, it becomes difficult to drive them with a manual system that needs more effort and skills for control.

These are of three types, including hybrid, hydraulic and electrical types. Many people want to purchase the electrical type because it is more efficient and less vulnerable to damage.

The hybrid types use the power from the hydraulic source that uses an electrical supply to generate power.

The hydraulic types only use the compressed hydraulic fluid for smooth movement in all directions.

Can you replace the large steering wheel of your truck with a smaller one?

Some people are not comfortable with the larger steering of their trucks. People think it takes more space and makes the driving area congested, which is uncomfortable for them.

In addition, it is also difficult for many people to control them because it requires more skills and attention.

You can change them with smaller ones, which is costly and time-consuming. In addition, you have to apply the extra effort to handle these overly sized vehicles.

Can you install a customized steering wheel in your truck?

You can install customized ones in your trucks according to your choice.

You should also visit the market to check aftermarket products. It is difficult, and you cannot do it at home.

You should take help from experienced mechanics for replacement procedures. Moreover, you can also wrap them with leather covers for a better grip and luxurious appearance.

Why do cars have smaller steering wheels? 

The cars are smaller, and you can operate them with smaller steering wheels according to their specific size.

You cannot install the bigger ones in them because it takes more space and makes driving difficult.

The size of their wheels is also smaller and less heavy than the standard large-sized vehicles. These are also comfortable and best for driving.

The large and heavy-weight cars have slightly bigger components for comfortable driving and better movement of large tires.

What do truck drivers say about this?

I surveyed about 453 semi-truck drivers in America to take their reviews about the large-sized power steering wheels.

Out of 453 drivers, 287 (63%) said that driving with larger steering is the best experience because it takes less effort.

79 (18%) people added that it provides more leverage, which means you can smoothly turn the wheels at turning points and less mechanical damage to the components.

The remaining 87 (19%) people said it is not a good addition because the steering wheel with more diameter is uncomfortable for them and takes more space.

One of the truck drivers mentioned: “I have 18 inches power steering wheel in my semi truck which provides easy movement of heavy wheels without any noise”.

The other mentioned: “I like larger steering because it is helpful to decrease the wear and tear on its components and decrease my maintenance cost.”

The third driver mentioned: “I prefer a customized steering wheel for my trucks which is comfortable for me and provides better control.”

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