Has a treadwear warranty of 60,000 miles. Sidewall tread allows it to maintain traction in deep snow or mud. Tire walls are wider, allowing for puncture resistance.
Can be a bit noisy once the tread gets worn.
Long-lasting tread that holds up to year-round weather. Has good sidewall protection that helps with off-roading. Designed to keep rocks from getting stuck.
May be a little loud on some surfaces.
Uses a special blend of components to make the tire thicker without decreasing rolling speed. The tread works well whether the air pressure is high or low.
Some users have noted that the tires don't wear evenly.
The aggressive tread pattern allows it to maintain a grip on any surface. Has special grooves that allow water to flow out of the tire. Had good, even wear when tested.
The tires are a bit more narrow than other options.
Tight lug spacing helps to reduce rolling resistance. Increases fuel efficiency and overall performance for larger trucks. Tread design breaks up loose terrain and road debris for better traction. Handles snow and mud well.
Tires do not perform well when pulling heavy loads and trailers.
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Are you shopping for new truck tires? SUVs and pickup trucks require a different type of tire than sedans do. If you want to learn more about truck tires and how to choose the right ones for your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place.
At BestReviews, we collected a bounty of information about truck tires, including what separates them from sedan tires, which types are available, and how much you should expect to pay. Please read the shopping guide below to gather the pertinent facts you need to outfit your truck with new “shoes.”
You shouldn’t put the same type of tires on your pickup that you put on your sedan. Why? Here are some of the biggest differences between tires for a sedan and tires for a truck.
Size: A truck tire is larger and heavier than a sedan tire. This is understandable, as more support is needed for the extra weight of an SUV or pickup. Larger tires also cost more than smaller tires.
Type of rubber: Truck tire rubber is harder in order to handle the weight of the larger vehicle. Sedan tire rubber is softer, giving the car the ability to handle the road with a better grip.
Tread pattern: Truck tread is squarish and deeper than sedan tread. This allows it to dig into the terrain, resulting in better traction on uneven roads. Sedan tire tread is shallower and narrower. For paved roads, this is ideal.
Sidewall construction: Due to the heavier loads it may carry, a truck tire needs a thicker sidewall than a car tire. The thicker material helps the tire maintain its shape under stress. However, this thicker construction isn’t going to give you the smooth ride that a car tire offers.
Generally speaking, truck tires resist punctures better than car tires. This is because truck tires are designed to be more hardy and durable in rough conditions.
Both car and truck tires have a code printed on the sidewall. The code tells you quite a bit about the tire, including its use case and size. Your particular model of SUV or pickup truck will need certain tire sizes and specifications. Always follow the recommendations of your vehicle’s manufacturer when it comes to this.
Here’s a breakdown of the information you’ll find in the tire code.
The start of the code may have one or two letters. An “LT” indicates a tire made for light trucks, including most SUVs and pickup trucks. A “P” is a tire primarily used for passenger cars, although some small SUVs and pickup trucks can also use “P” tires.
If there is no letter at the start of the code, it’s a tire designed for use in Europe – although you can use it legally in North America if it’s the right size for your truck.
The number following the letter code indicates the width of the tire in millimeters. Truck tires typically run between 215 and 275 millimeters in width.
The number after the slash mark is the ratio of the tire’s cross-section height to its width. Tires with a larger aspect ratio have a larger sidewall. For trucks, common aspect ratios range between 65 and 75.
The letter after the aspect ratio reflects construction type. An “R” denotes radial construction, which means layers of the tires run radially. Radial construction is typical for truck tires. Occasionally, you’ll see a “B” for bias construction. The layers of these tires run diagonally.
The two-digit number after the construction type indicates the rim diameter. This number is equal to the width of the wheel from end to end in inches. Rim diameters between 16 and 20 inches are common for SUVs and pickup trucks, although other sizes are available too.
Some of the other numbers and letters in the code may indicate things like load index, speed rating, and traction grades. You may also see the term “DOT” imprinted on the tire; this indicates that the tire adheres to U.S. federal safety standards.
Some tires also have a unique identification number that indicates manufacturing date and location. However, this information does not appear on every tire.
Although they may look similar, truck tires vary quite a bit in cost. Here are some general price ranges you can expect to encounter.
Economy truck tires: An economy-style truck tire is designed primarily for use on pavement. It’s also made for smaller pickups and SUVs. You can expect to pay $75 to $125 apiece for this type of truck tire.
Mid-range truck tires: A mid-range truck tire can be used on pavement or in rough terrain, although it’s not recommended for extreme off-roading work. These tires cost $125 to $200.
Specialty truck tires: Specialty truck tires often have deep tread for rough off-roading. Some include raised stone ejectors to keep rocks out of the tread. These tires are often much larger than average, and you can expect to pay $200 to $350 per tire in this category – although some specialty tires can cost up to $500.
Other costs: If you will have the tires mounted by an auto repair center, you can expect to pay another $10 to $30 per tire for mounting and balancing. If you’re disposing of old tires, you may have some recycling fees to pay – $1 to $5 per tire is common.
If you’ll be driving your SUV or pickup truck primarily on pavement, a less-expensive tire would probably serve you well. However, if you plan to use your SUV or pickup as a working or recreational vehicle where road conditions are less than ideal, a higher-end tire may better fit your needs.
Bear in mind that some online retailers will give you a slight discount when you purchase four tires together, and some offer discounts to first-time customers.
Q. How do I know if my truck tire pressure is too low?
A. Many vehicles have an automatic tire measurement system called TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System). The TPMS will give you an alert on the dashboard if it senses low tire pressure in any of your tires. You also can check the tire pressure using a manual gauge. Consult manufacturer guidelines to determine which tire pressure is right for you.
Q. Why do my truck tires seem to wear out so quickly?
A. Several factors contribute to the longevity of tires. If you often drive on rough roads, including gravel, your tires will wear down faster than if you drive primarily on pavement. Driving on tires that aren’t properly inflated can also cause them to wear down faster than normal. It’s also possible that your vehicle is misaligned or has loose parts that are contributing to the problem. If this is the case, you’ll want to have a professional look at your vehicle as soon as you can.
Q. Why do some truck tires have speed ratings?
A. Tires sold for heavy-duty trucks in North America (like dump trucks) may have a speed rating, but passenger-style trucks usually don’t. European truck tires often have a speed rating for both heavy-duty and passenger-style trucks. The speed rating indicates the range of speeds at which the truck can carry certain weights safely.
Q. I’ve heard that it’s better to fill truck tires with nitrogen than standard air. Is this true?
A. It’s difficult to find specific use cases that clearly point to nitrogen as an improvement over standard air. As such, it’s more of a personal choice whether you use nitrogen. Notably, there are some truck manufacturers that recommend against the use of nitrogen in tires. Check with your tire manufacturer for any recommendations before you choose.