To LT or ST: Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Using Light Truck Tires on Your Trailer


When it comes to selecting tires for your trailer, you might have considered using light truck (LT) tires instead of specialized trailer (ST) tires. Light truck tires are designed for trucks, vans, and SUVs, and while they may seem like a viable option for your trailer, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of using LT tires in trailer applications. This article will assess the advantages and disadvantages of using light truck tires for your trailer to help you make an informed decision.

  1. Load Carrying Capacity

a. Pros

Light truck tires generally have higher load-carrying capacities than passenger car tires, making them more suitable for trailers carrying heavy loads. LT tires are designed to support the weight of trucks and vans, which often have higher Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) than passenger vehicles.

b. Cons

Although LT tires have higher load capacities than passenger car tires, they may not offer the same load-carrying capacity as specialized trailer tires. ST tires are specifically designed for trailer applications, with stiffer sidewalls and optimized tread patterns for better load distribution and stability while towing.

  1. Durability and Resistance to Damage

a. Pros

Light truck tires are typically built with more robust materials and construction to handle heavier loads and rougher terrain. As a result, they may offer better resistance to punctures and sidewall damage when used on a trailer.

b. Cons

While LT tires may be more resistant to damage, they are not specifically engineered for the unique demands of trailer use. ST tires are designed with reinforced sidewalls and construction that minimize heat buildup and provide better stability during towing, which can be crucial for maintaining the overall performance and safety of your trailer.

  1. Ride Quality and Handling

a. Pros

Light truck tires can offer improved ride quality compared to ST tires, thanks to their more flexible sidewalls. This flexibility can help to absorb road irregularities, leading to a smoother towing experience.

b. Cons

The flexibility of LT tires may be a drawback in terms of trailer stability. ST tires, with their stiffer sidewalls, provide better stability and reduce sway while towing, especially at higher speeds or when cornering.

  1. Tread Patterns and Traction

a. Pros

Light truck tires often come in a variety of tread patterns designed for different terrains and weather conditions, which can be an advantage if you require a specific type of traction for your trailer application.

b. Cons

Despite the variety of tread patterns available for LT tires, they are not specifically designed for trailer use. ST tires feature tread patterns optimized for the unique demands of towing, which can provide better traction and stability, especially when braking or cornering.

  1. Price and Availability

a. Pros

Light truck tires are widely available and may be more affordable than specialized trailer tires, depending on the brand and size. This can be an attractive option if you are on a tight budget or require a quick tire replacement.

b. Cons

While LT tires might be more affordable upfront, they may not provide the same long-term value as ST tires designed explicitly for trailer use. The optimized construction and tread patterns of ST tires can result in better performance, safety, and longevity for your trailer.

Using light truck tires on your trailer has both advantages and disadvantages. While LT tires can offer better ride quality, durability, and a variety of tread patterns, they may not provide the same load-carrying capacity, stability, and performance as specialized trailer tires. It is crucial to consider your trailer’s specific needs and weigh the pros and cons of using LT tires before making a decision. Ultimately, choosing the right tires for your trailer can ensure

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