The term "Light Truck" covers great variety of vehicles, such as vans, SUV's and light duty pickup trucks. This is one of the reasons why the tires are labeled in many ways. It is also important to know what sizing system is applied in a tire designation.
There are several sizing systems for the light truck tire designations currently in use:
- 1. LT-Metric
- 2. LT-High Flotation
- 3. LT-Numeric
- 4. European Commercial Metric
- 5. P-Metric and
- 6. European Metric
Tires for light truck applications can be classified in two groups:
- Tires specially designed for the light trucks
- Passenger car tires applied on the light trucks
Tires specially designed for the light trucks
- LT-Metric light truck tires
- LT-High flotation light truck tires
- LT-Numeric light truck tires
- Euro commercial metric ("C" tires for vans)
- Euro commercial numeric ("C" tires for vans)
LT-Metric Tire Designation
If a size designation begins with the letters "LT", it means that a tire is LT-Metric (Light Truck-Metric), designed for the light truck vehicles with load carrying capabilities usually of 3/4 and 1-ton.
Light truck tires have the load range codes in a size designation (B, C, D and E) that shows the tire load and inflation pressure limits.
LT-High Flotation Tire Designation
"LT" at the end of the designation denotes that tire is LT-High Flotation, Wide Base or LT-Numeric.
The term "flotation" means that tire is capable to pass over the soft surfaces (e.g. loose sand, soft soil or mud) without sinking in. These tires "flotate" on the top of soft surfaces.
Flotation tires are usually slightly larger than the other tires used on light trucks and require a wider rim/wheel.
LT-Numeric Tire Designation
"LT" at the end of designation shows that a tire is capable to carry higher loads and tow heavy weight. These tires are designed for the medium and heavy-duty light trucks, some SUVs and full-size vans.
Euro Metric Commercial Tire Designation ("C" tires for vans)
Euro Numeric Commercial Tire Designation ("C" tires for vans)
Passenger car tires on a light truck
- P-Metric passenger car tires applied on the light trucks
- Euro-Metric passenger car tires applied on the light trucks
In many cases new light trucks and SUVs are coming with the P-Metric or Euro-Metric tires as the original equipment (OE). Although they are not specially designed for the light trucks almost 80% of all OE tires on the light trucks and practically all SUVs in USA are the P-Metric.
Here are some examples of the size designations for these two groups:
P-Metric Passenger Car Tire Designation
The letter "P" in front of the size designation shows that a tire is designed for the passenger cars but label without the "P" letter implies that the tire is the European metric - intended for passenger cars.
Euro-Metric Passenger Car Tire Designation
Keep in mind that the P-Metric and the Euro-Metric tires in the same dimension are not equal and they are not fully interchangeable. They have differences in the load and inflation features particularly if they are used on a light truck.
Read more about: