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Understanding Truck Tires: Sizes, Patterns, Types, And More

When it comes to truck tires, sizes, specifications, and patterns matter. If you want to avoid undue wear and tear and other unnecessary maintenance needs for your vehicle, then you need to understand the exact type of tire that will require your vehicle to operate as it should. There are quite a couple of elements that differentiate one truck tire from the other, and having a complete and total understanding of each is key to ensuring road safety and a comfortable driving experience. Not to mention, you also get more economical maintenance costs because you don’t have to keep on changing tires.

First things first, take a look at the sidewall of your truck tire. You will notice a series of alpha-numeric codes. This actually indicates the specification of your vehicle’s tire. Each number and letter corresponds to different characteristics that you need to understand when selecting truck tires.

Understanding Specific Tire Types

The first letter in the series will either be a “P,” a “C,” or an “LT.”

A “P” appearing at the end indicates that your tires are made for passenger vehicles. On the other hand, a “C” indicates that tires are specifically designed for commercial use. And finally, an “LT” means your tires are specified for light truck use.

If there’s no letter at the beginning of the series, you most likely have a metric tire, which is also commonly referred to as European size.

Understanding this is crucial because each tire type is built for different purposes, more so different loads. For example, a passenger car tire is not suitable for light truck vehicles as it may not be able to tow or carry heavy loads and trailers.

Understanding Sizes

Tire Width – Those two to three digits following the letter in the series indicate the tire’s width in millimeters. It’s also more commonly known as the section width, with its measurement taken from the outer sidewall to the inner sidewall of the tire.

Aspect Ratio – A forward slash should separate the tire’s width number from the two-digit aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is a percentage indicating the height of the tire’s sidewall. This is measured from the tire’s rim to the top of the tread. The bigger your tire’s aspect ratio is, the taller the tire’s sidewall or profile should be.

Understanding Patterns

Truck tires are designed with different tread types, each one meant for various road conditions and driving preferences. There are four types of tire patterns: directional, symmetrical, asymmetrical, and directional/asymmetrical.

Directional – This type of tire tread is designed to roll in one direction, featuring arrows that display the particular direction. This allows water to be displaced from the tire to avoid undue hydroplaning. Directional tires should be regularly rotated front to back from the side they are in to help with their overall performance.

Symmetrical – From the name itself, this type of tire tread has the same pattern, either continuous grooves or independent lugs, throughout the whole tire. This is the most common type of tire found in many passenger cars because of its durability and quietness. In addition, these tires can be rotated in many different ways, helping prolong their life and increase versatility.

Asymmetrical – Asymmetrical tire treads are often labeled as hybrid tires as these have combined patterns for maximum grip on both dry and wet roads. This type of tire is common among sports cars, with the inside and middle parts of the tire designed for wet traction and the outside for optimum cornering capability on dry surfaces.

Directional/Asymmetrical – With this type of tire tread, you get the best of both worlds. It features V-shaped patterns of a common directional tread that helps discharge water away from the tire and the dry weather grip of an asymmetrical tread. As for rotational patterns, it’s highly advised that you follow the same rules as directional tires.

Understanding The Different Types Of Truck Tires

Driving your truck to its full potential is impossible without knowing which tires are fit for the job. Luckily, you can learn all about the different types of truck tires.

All-Terrain Truck Tires – Rugged yet poses versatility. All-terrain tires are perfect for driving under challenging conditions as they smoothly and quietly transition from dry highways to wet roads.

Max Traction Tires – Without the right tires, your vehicle is most likely to spin, hydroplane, or get stuck in muddy or sandy terrains. Luckily, max traction tires are available to help tightly grip the road and prevent minor inconvenience and major accidents from happening. These tires are specifically designed for driving through inclement weather conditions and off-roading situations.

Mud Truck Tires – When you drive through off-roads most of the time, then mud truck tires might be for you. These tires give your vehicle the traction and power you will need to get through thick and muddy trails.

Highway Truck Tires – If all your driving experiences only consist of driving in major roads like highways or expressways, consider getting yourself these tires. Highway truck tires are perfect for highway or open road driving, providing comfort and quietness despite long drives. These tires can also handle the occasional heavy loads, which is perfect for most e-commerce logistics trucks/providers.

Having all this basic knowledge about truck tires will eventually help you decide on which types are fit to do the job for your light truck vehicle. Browse through our catalog here (link to light truck tires product page) for more information about our light truck tires.