A Guide To Choosing the Right Off-Road Tire Sizes

The main purpose of tires for off-road vehicles is to provide traction since the off-road terrains are muddy, slippery or rocky. This makes purchasing off-road tires one of the things that should be taken seriously.

However, the sizing of tires can be really tricky for beginners and even for those who have been driving off-road vehicles for years.

If you will look at an off-road tire size chart for the first time, you will probably end up being confused rather than enlightened. This is due to the sizes of tires for your trucks, ATVs, and jeep are vehicle specific, making the process of buying a tire harder.

While you can just ask your manufacturer or look at the manuals to know your off-road vehicle’s tire specification, it is always best to know what the off-road tire size chart indicates. Just like in purchasing anything, education is the best key to buying the best products and making the most out of it.

Different ways to determine the size of tire you need:

Ask the manufacturer

The easiest way to know the right off-road tire you need is, of course, to call the manufacturer. They should know the size limit your vehicle can handle, as well as give recommendations on where to buy them.

Check the off-road tire size chart

Checking the charts will give you an idea of the fit of various tires on different vehicles. They could also show whether a specific tire will clear the fenders. Later you will find out how to read the charts so you will further understand what the numbers and letters mean.

Have a loot at factory service handbooks and auto service centers

You can also check the internet for reviews and tips. There are a lot of trusted sites that provides this kind of services to help you find the right tires for your off-road vehicles.

Reading the Chart Sizes

There are actually two ways to write the size of the tires. One is read in inch sizes while the other is read in metric sizes. This article will show you how to read in both ways using given examples.

Reading in Inch Sizes: 35X12.50R15LT E

  • The first numbers in a high floatation tire size always indicate the total diameter. In the example written the diameter of the tire is 35 inches.
  • The second set of the number after “X” are the section width. For this example, it is 12.50 inches.
  • The letter following the section width indicates the tire construction. The R is for radial tire, D is for diagonal construction, and B is for belted construction.
  • The next number after the tire construction, which is 15, indicates the measurement of the wheel diameter. Thus, for this example, it is 15 inches.
  • The letter next to the wheel diameter is the tire class. LT stands for light truck tire, P stands for passenger car tire, T stands for temporary, ST stands for a special trailer, and C stands for commercial.
  • The last letter indicates the tire load range. For this example, E means 10 ply tread. For other tires, they got B for 4 ply; C for 6 ply; and D for 8 ply.

Reading in Metric Sizes: P255/60R17 102V

  • The first character is the tire class. For this example, P means passenger car tire.
  • The number following the tire class is the section width, which is 255 mm wide.
  • The second number after the slash sign is the aspect ratio of the tire. For this example, it is 60 which means that the sidewall is 60% of the section width.
  • The letter next to aspect ratio is the tire construction which is also R or radial.
  • The third number, which is 17, is the wheel diameter. However, it is still measured in inches. Thus for this example, the tire has 17 inches wheel diameter.
  • The number after space is the load index or the most weight a tire can carry. The higher it is the heavier weight the tire can carry. The load index in this example is 102 or 1874 lbs.
  • The last character or letter indicates the speed of the tire or the top speed the tire can withstand. For this example, V means 149 mph. The speed rating is usually given by the government when a tire met specific standards for reaching and sustaining certain speeds.
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