Difference Between LT and P Tires
LT vs P Tires
The tires of truck and passenger vehicles are different. The tires differ in their size and air pressure. Well, in order to differentiate between truck and passenger vehicle tires, the letters LT and P are placed in front of the tire size.
If you want to carry heavier loads, or want to travel on harsh roads, then the best tires are the LT tires, as they are tougher on the roads than the P tires. If you just want to ride on the highways, and if there is nothing much to tow or carry, then the P type is the best choice.
P tires refer to Passenger tires and LT refers to Light Truck tires. One of the main differences that can be noticed between the two types of tires is that the LT tires are not as flexible as the P tires.
When comparing their durability, the LT tires are more durable than the P type tires. Moreover, LT tires are stronger when compared to the P types. LT tires ride rougher than the P tires, which ride smoother on the roads.
Another difference that can be seen between the two types, is that the Light truck tires come with maximum inflation. Unlike the Passenger tires, the Light Truck ones are used for carrying more loads. LT tires have a load range of 10 ply, whereas P tires only have a 4 ply load range.
Light Truck tires are made of more aggressive treads than the Passenger type tires. LT tires will give a more stable feeling on the roads.
Durability and Usage
Durability is a key concern for many vehicle owners, so it’s vital to understand which tire to choose if you intend to drive in different types of conditions. LT tires are built to cope with a wide range of difficult terrains, making them a more suitable option for off-road use. Their durable design ensures that their sidewalls don’t get damaged easily.
P-Metric tires, on the other hand, are more suitable for on-road use. This is why they are more popular and are fitted to a wide range of cars, light trucks and smaller vehicles that only travel on smoother driving surfaces.
LT tires are built with strength in mind and their tread depths are normally deeper than they are on P-Metric wheels. The sidewall of LT tires is stronger than P-Metric tires because they have added plies that help in preventing sidewall punctures or bruises. This makes LT tires stronger but they are a little less flexible than their P-Metric counterparts, which affects ride comfort to a degree.
Air Pressure and Tire Load Rating
In certain situations, the amount of air pressure a tire is able to hold can prevent future problems such as overheating. An LT tire is usually designed to hold more air pressure than P-Metric tires, so that it can comfortably tow or transport heavy loads all of the time.
Choosing the correct Tire Load Rating is something you need to get right. If it’s too low, it can affect the performance of your tires. Standard and XL (extra load) are the two tire load ratings of P-Metric tires. P-Metric Extra Load tires include an ‘XL’ marking on their wheel size, while Standard rated tires do not have this marking.
LT tires hold higher air pressure, with C, D, E and F tires available that can hold up to 80psi.
What Does a Load Range of SL on a Truck Tire Mean?
There is a lot of important information, including load range, printed on the side of tires. The load range indicates the maximum amount of weight a tire can safely carry. The load capacity of tires becomes especially important on trucks, which are often used to carry heavy loads.
Tires are given a maximum load rating based on the tire’s size, construction and inflation pressure. P-metric sized tires–tires with sizes starting with a “P” such as P235/75R15–are given a load range rating of either SL or XL. SL stands for Standard Load and XL indicates extra load. An SL-rated tire has its maximum load capacity at an inflation pressure of 35 psi. XL tires can carry a heavier load when inflated to 41 psi.
The maximum load capacity in pounds will be listed on the tire sidewall or in tire load/inflation charts. All SL-rated tires of the same size will have the same load capacity. For example, all P235/75R15 SL tires have a maximum load capacity of 2,018 pounds.
The load capacity for P-metric tire sizes is for passenger cars. If a P-metric tire is mounted on a truck or SUV, the maximum load capacity is reduced by 9 percent. If our P235/75R15 tires are used on a truck or SUV, the maximum load per tire is 2,028 times 91 percent or 1,845 pounds. The total weight for the vehicle should not exceed 7,380 pounds. The load capacity of an SL load range tire does not increase by inflating the tire to more than 35 psi. The tire will have a maximum tire pressure greater than 35 psi, but the max load capacity is reached at 35 psi.
There are several ways to provide your truck with a higher load capacity. XL tires instead of SL tires will add about 140 pounds of capacity per tire. Larger tire sizes will have higher load capacity. Switch from P-metric tires to light truck tires with load ranges listed as C, D or E. These tires have maximum loads at inflation pressures of 50, 65 and 80 psi respectively and are not load-downgraded for truck use. For example, a light truck tire size 255/75R15 load range C has a load capacity of 2,270 pounds, over 400 pounds more that the P235/75R15 SL P-metric tire when used on a truck.
SL-rated tires are the lowest load capacity tires that are used on trucks and SUVs. If your truck has load range SL tires, consider upgrading the tire load capacity, or be careful how much cargo you haul in your truck.