What is a light truck?

A light truck is a United States federal classification for trucks or truck-based vehicles with a payload capacity of under 4,000 pounds (1,815 kg). Light truck class includes:

  • Vans - most mini vans and full sized vans.
  • SUV's – Mini SUV's, Compact SUV's, Mid size SUV's, Full size SUV's, Extended length SUV's.
  • Light duty pickup trucks.

In other countries words usage and meanings are quite different.

Mini van


Full-size van

full size van

Full-size SUV

full size suv

Tires applied on a light trucks

These vehicles and tires are specially constructed to carry more passengers and/or cargo than passenger cars. Technical features of light trucks different from passenger cars are:

  • Off road design.
  • Increased ground clearance (higher center of gravity).
  • 4x4 or all-wheel drive capabilities.

Tire design for light truck applications is determined by these features. Tire designers have to meet expected service conditions, loading and other factors referred to particular vehicle.

Tires for light truck applications can be classified in two groups:

  • Tires specially designed for light trucks (with LT in size designation) and
  • Passenger car tires applied on a light trucks (with P at the beginning of size designation or without P if the tire is European metric).

Passenger tires are most often as Original Equipment on a light trucks (up to 80% of OE tires in USA).

Tires for light truck applications are exposed to more severe usage conditions and they have to carry heavier loads. Accordingly, load capacity of the passenger tires applied on light trucks must be reduced by a factor 1.10.

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