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TYRE THREADS OR PATTERNS

June 29th, 2019 by

 

To understand tyre selection better, lets go into specifics of SUV tyres or off-road tyres as they say. These tyres are broadly grouped in three categories: Highway Terrain, All Terrain and Mud Terrain.

 

Highway Terrain (H/T) tyres are the lightest in construction and the quietest and the smoothest to drive on. These tyres, with a tread pattern much like a car tyre, are also usually the best for tarmac traction. H/T tyres are fitted to most new SUVs as standard because they are often cheaper to produce than other tyres.

As most new SUV owners don’t go off-road, H/T tyres score well in the around-the-block test-drive for their smoothness. So, it’s a no-brainer that H/T tyres are the pick of almost all SUV manufacturers. Not only do H/T tyres have the lightest construction and most car-like tread pattern, they have a higher speed rating and lower load rating. They are ‘Passenger- rated’ tyres for this reason.

 

All Terrain (A/T) tyres are the next step up from H/Ts for off- roading. A/T tyres are usually built stronger and have better tread patterns for hitting the tracks, and they are the best compromise for when you mix urban driving with the occasional off-road trip. Depending on the specific tyre, it may be noisier and offer less on-road grip than an H/T tyre.

A/T tyres take in the middle ground, with typically a lower speed rating than an H/T but have a higher load rating. However, not all A/T tyres are built equally tough, because tyre manufacturers design them according to what they believe is important.

 

M/T tyres (the heaviest and strongest construction, with a blocky, deep tread pattern) have a low speed rating and a high load rating. Their tread pattern is designed for muddy off-road conditions and, while they offer good grip in other off-road situations such as rock shelves, they are not the best for sand driving. On the road, M/T tyres can be noisy and harsh, and they don’t provide the same level of handling or grip as A/T or H/T tyres.

The M/T’s extra rolling resistance also causes increased fuel consumption. It’s no wonder the M/T is favoured for specific usages only. For heavy-duty off-roading, M/T tyres are the ultimate choice, as their heavy construction provides good puncture resistance.

 

Tyre Ratings Guide

With tyres, it’s a shame you can’t try before you buy, but that’s the same with most consumables. So here we present a tyre guide with which you’ll be able to go in with tyre selection eyes wide open. Every tyre is marked with some engravings with some number and codes, so here we try to explain all of them.

 

3 types of size description are used on SUV tyres. Example:

 

265/65R17 100T
265 = section width (in millimetres)
65 = sidewall aspect ratio (as a percentage) R = tyre construction (in this case, radial) 17 = rim diameter (in inches)
100 = load rating (in this case, 800kg)
T = speed rating (in this case, 190km/h)

 

9.50R16LT
9.50 = width (in inches)
R = tyre construction (in this case, radial) 16 = rim diameter (in inches)
LT = Light Truck construction

 

32×11.50R15LT
32 = diameter of tyre mounted on rim (in inches) 11.50 = section width (in inches)
R = tyre construction (in this case, radial)
15 = rim diameter (in inches)
LT = Light Truck construction

 

Speed Rating

Speed Rating Symbol

Max Speed (km/h)

N

140

P

150

Q

160

R

170

S

180

T

190

U

200

H

210

V

240


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