What Does LT Mean On A Tire? LT Tires Pros And Cons

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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If you’ve ever shopped for tires for your truck, you’ve probably come across tires with the letters “LT” on the sidewall. But what is the LT tire’s meaning, and how does it affect your choice? Let’s find out in this article!

What Are LT Tires?

LT stands for Light Truck, signified tires used on larger, heavier vehicles, such as pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans. Besides being made to support higher weights, LT tires offer improved handling and stability when pulling tow trailers or handling carrying demands.

Light Truck tire

Some claim these tires have an average lifespan of 80,000 to 110,000 miles. However, this could change depending on how each person uses them, especially given that they are typically utilized for tough terrain and big load ranges.

To recognize Light Truck tires, you will need to look at the tire sidewall. There, you can find a DOT serial number along with a few other digits indicating the tire’s load capacity, aspect ratio, and diameter. For instance, if it reads LT235/75R15, it is intended for light vehicles. Meanwhile, suppose it begins with a P; it belongs on a passenger tire.

When To Use LT Tires?

LT tires are designed and constructed for individuals with 3/4- or 1-ton class automobiles. However, they are not required or recommended if you have a small or medium SUV or crossover utilized as a commuter or runabout.

They are more suited to transporting heavy loads and navigating rough terrain because they are designed with deeper treads and more solid sidewalls than passenger tires. Inquiries about the performance of LT tires are growing as more automobile owners investigate their options.

LT Tires Pros And Cons

Similar to other types of tires, these LT tires have their advantages and disadvantages.


  • Load-carrying capacity: They are made to carry heavier loads than conventional tires, making them ideal for larger automobiles and for towing vehicles or hauling heavy cargo.
  • Durability: LT tires are often built with stronger internal construction, helping them resist punctures, impacts, and other types of damage.
  • Off-road capability: These are for off-road use and can provide exceptional traction on rough terrain.
  • Severe weather performance: They are suitable for snowy and icy driving conditions due to features like chunkier treads, siping, and special rubber compounds.


  • Stiff ride: Because of their heavier construction, LT tires can promise a more rigid and less comfortable ride.
  • Lower fuel efficiency: The heavier weight leads to reduced fuel economy.
  • Higher cost: LT tires are often more expensive than other tire types due to their heavier-duty construction and specialized features.

Major Difference Between Passenger And LT Tires

Difference Between Passenger And LT Tires

The design of the tire is what distinguishes these two tires from one another.

  • Type of vehicle: Whereas LT tires are made for light trucks, SUVs, and some commercial cars, passenger tires are geared towards passenger vehicles, minivans, and small SUVs.
  • Tire load capacity: LT tires are intended to carry higher weights than passenger tires. Thanks to this feature, they can often handle more weight without overloading or wearing out too quickly.
  • Type of tire tread pattern: LT tires often feature more open tread and deeper groove blocks than passenger tires, bringing a more aggressive tread pattern. As a result, they can offer improved traction in muddy or gravelly off-road environments.
  • Sidewall strength: LT tires’ strengthened sidewalls provide greater protection against dents and impact damage than passenger tires. Thus, they are more suitable for use on rocky terrain or in industrial settings.
  • The comfort of the ride: Passenger tires are usually made to ensure a smoother ride, but LT tires may have a rougher ride due to their heavier structure and more stiff sidewalls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are LT Tires Stronger?

Yes. These tires are generally stronger than regular tires. This is because LT tires are designed to carry heavier loads and handle the stresses of larger, heavier vehicles, such as pickup trucks and SUVs.

Are LT Tires Always 10 Ply?

No. LT tires can be 8 or 10-ply. A 4 or 6-ply comparable sidewall is typical for passenger tires. Its extra weight reduces performance by making the ride rougher, the fuel efficiency worse, and the handling less responsive.

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Are LT Tires Good For Snow?

Yes. They are made specifically for use in snowy and icy conditions, with features like deeper tread depth, siping, and thicker rubber compounds that help improve traction on snow and ice.

The Bottom Line

What is LT size meaning on a tire? Now you know they are meant to be used on light trucks, SUVs, and similar vehicles. Keep in mind to always choose the right tires for your beloved car, as this will allow you to enjoy a safe and comfortable ride no matter where the road takes you.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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