What the numbers on your trailer tires mean

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RE: Puncture Resistance of Sidewalls

Great question Mark,

There is no specific sidewall marking that identifies the puncture resistance of a tire; however, a rough link can be made about durability based on the ply rating, tire construction and the application that the tire is used in. For example, a tire designed for highway use will not tolerate rough, rocky driving. An all-terrain tire which has been designed to handle off-road conditions would be a better choice.

A tire with LT 265/70r17 E markings on the sidewall tells us it's designated for use on a “light truck” and the letter “E” indicates it is a 10 ply equivalent tire, keeping in mind that "plies" is an older term which is now more commonly referred to as "load range".

Since newer materials perform better, a tire doesn’t need as many layers and makes for a lighter tire that runs cooler and performs better.

These load ranges show what the equivalent ply is:
Load range “E” = 10 ply equivalent
Load range “D” = 8 ply equivalent
Load range “C” = 6 ply equivalent

Older bias ply tires have sidewall markings that indicate how many cotton plies are in the tire, whereas most current/modern tires contain newer polyester, nylon-type materials and usually have only 2-3 carcass plies.

Also, the higher the load range, the more weight carrying capacity of the tire. To carry that extra weight, more air pressure is needed, and to hold that extra air pressure, a more robust carcass is used, which usually adds more durability.

Kal Tire 321 days ago

Determining Puncture Resistence of Sidewalls?

Puncture resistent sidewalls are important to some off-roading enthusiasts. Do tire markings provide any insight on the number of body plies or the puncture resistence of the material used in the calendered sheets?

Mark E. Geres 325 days ago

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