Do You Know the Different Types of Tires?

There are many different types of tires on the market today. Do you know which type of tire is best for your vehicle? Even though this information can be found elsewhere online, we thought it best to put it all in one place. If you have questions, by all means, please contact Beach Quick Lane for help!

Light–Medium Duty

Light-duty tires for passenger vehicles carry loads in the range of 550 to 1,100 pounds on the drive wheel. Light-to-medium duty trucks and vans carry loads in the range of 1,100 to 3,300 pounds on the drive wheel. They are differentiated by speed rating for different vehicles, including (starting from the lowest speed to the highest): winter tires, light truck tires, entry-level car tires, sedans and vans, sport sedans, and high-performance cars. Apart from road tires, special categories include:

  • Winter—Snow tires are designed for use on snow and ice. They have a tread design with larger gaps than those on summer tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Such tires that have passed a specific winter traction performance test are entitled to display a “Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake” symbol on their sidewalls. Tires designed for winter conditions are optimized to drive at temperatures below 45 °. Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire to increase traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Studs abrade dry pavement, causing dust and creating wear in the wheel path. Regulations that require the use of snow tires or permit the use of studs vary by country in Asia and Europe, and by state or province in North America. As well as…
  • All-season—Related to snow tires are those with an M+S rating, which denotes an “all-season” capability—quieter on clear roads, but less capable on snow or ice than a winter tire. These tires have tread gaps that are smaller than snow tires and larger than summer tires. As well as…
  • All-terrain—All-terrain tires are designed to have adequate traction off road, yet have benign handling and noise characteristics for highway driving. Such tires are rated better on snow and rain than street tires and “good” on ice, rock and sand.

Heavy Duty

Heavy duty tires for large trucks and buses come in a variety of profiles and carry loads in the range of 4,000 to 5,500 pounds on the drive wheel. These are typically be mounted in tandem on the drive axle. Here are a few more different types of tires.

  • Truck tires—Truck tires come in a variety of profiles that include “low profile” with a section height that is 70 to 45% of the tread width, “wide-base” for heavy vehicles, and a “super-single” tire that has the same total contact pressure as a dual-mounted tire combination, as well as…
  • Off road—Off-road tires are used on construction vehicles, agricultural and forestry equipment and other applications that take place on soft terrain. The category also includes machinery that travels over hardened surfaces at industrial sites, ports and airports. Tires designed for soft terrain have a deep, wide tread to provide traction in loose dirt, mud, sand or gravel.