Somebody Thought Putting Square Wheels on a Super Duty Was a Good Idea

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Though most of us don’t know the history of how the wheels on our vehicles came to be round, it’s safe to say that we just assume that common sense prevailed.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that square wheels just aren’t going to provide a smooth or even relatively comfortable ride – not even close.

That common sense hasn’t stopped a perpetual myth which insists that if you drive fast enough, square wheels can provide a smooth ride.  In addition to that, some have suggested that square wheels might actually provide an advantage over round ones when it comes to climbing hills.  As ridiculous as all that sounds, it didn’t stop the guys on Myth Busters from trying it out.

From the looks of the beating those square wheels administer on both truck and driver, even at low speeds, it quickly becomes obvious that this is a bad idea.  The truck doesn’t even make it past 20 miles per hour before the ridiculous vibrations caused a wheel to fall off.

Amazingly enough, despite repeated mechanical failures, the ride did indeed smooth out as speed increased.  Not exactly to the point of what we would consider acceptable (or even less than torturous), but better nonetheless.

In regards to climbing hills, the square wheels didn’t provide any advantage over round ones, despite initial thoughts that they might provide better traction.

So there you have it.  If you were considering making the switch to a set of square wheels, you can officially put that idea to rest. Sometimes ideas and inventions are best left alone, even if they have been untested and unrivaled for centuries.

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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