(This guide is authored by a regular contributor to the specialized Tire News (Pneu Mag) magazine, which he co-founded over 10 years ago)
Choosing new tires for a light truck is not as easy as choosing new tires for a car mostly since there are so many different types of tires for trucks.
As far as SUVs and CUVs are concerned, many of them use the same models of tires you’ll find in our guide to summer and all-season tires for cars. They might have a different identification but as most SUVs and CUVs are used as cars, the tires in those cases are similar.
On the other hand, the bigger truck-based SUVs share their tires with light-duty trucks, pickups and commercial vans.
Note that light-duty trucks and pickups can be had with all-season tires, which is appropriate if you use yours as a passenger vehicle. Indeed, many of the pickups sold today are used almost exclusively for that purpose by owners who will likely never drive them onto a construction site or in an off-road situation. You’ll find on the market tires that are pretty big but that are more “Touring”-type than truck-type tires.
Some owners might want their truck to have a sturdy, more off-road look and will consider having very aggressive tires mounted on their vehicle. Beware what you wish for, as with those tires the vehicle will lose some of its ride comfort while the sound level in the cabin likely will increase. If you intend on making your light-duty truck a “passenger” vehicle, look for all-season “summer-like” tires.
On the other hand, tire manufacturers are offering more and more sporty or aggressive-looking tires that bear the winter logo (the silhouette of a mountain with a snowflake in the middle), which means that those tires are legal in areas where winter tires are mandatory during the cold season (for example in Quebec).
Some of those tires are marked A/S for All Season, other are marked A/T for All Terrain. Which one to choose will depend on your everyday driving routines. To help you make an informed choice it’s best to consult in person with a professional tire dealer.
Trucks come in so many shapes and models that choosing the right tire is almost a science today. Once again, your best bet is to choose the same tire your light truck came with.
Obviously, some owners will prefer a higher-quality tire that could be quieter or more durable. Others might want to go for a bigger-size tire. In this case, it’s better to consult an expert who will direct you to the best choice possible.
Conversely, some truck owners might want to change their more-aggressive mud and off-road tires for more comfortable and quieter tires.
Remember, unless you intend to use your light truck for real work, you have no need for robust products with 10-ply sidewall ratings, for example. These are designed for either commercial users who load their vehicles with heavy cargo or enthusiasts who want to travel off-road.
Incidentally, if you drive an older truck, for example a more-rugged model like an old F-250, don’t choose a “P”-rated passenger-type tire; stick with the type recommended for your truck. In the case of the old F-250, that would be a commercial truck tire identified by the letters LT or bigger, with more sidewall plies in order to carry heavier loads (I know, I know, you swear you’ll never transport heavy loads, and you won’t until you do…).
Truck tires are more expensive because they are bigger and more robust, especially on more recent-vintage trucks. I’m afraid you’ll have to accept this reality, but don’t forget they are also so much better for your truck and your safety.
By the way, if you have a trailer and you have to change tires, it’s safer to opt for specialised trailer tires, identified with the ST letters.
Like with car tires, it’s always possible to order light-duty truck tires online. However, if your knowledge of tires is limited, we still suggest you visit a professional tire retailer in person.
Here then is out guide to some of the best tires for SUVs and pickups on the market. These tires will fit light-duty trucks, large SUVs and bigger vans.
1- Michelin LTX MS2
One of the best light truck tires on the market, this all-season product is available in H-rated passenger and LT models for wheels from 17 to 20 inches. It will also fit some CUVs. Its best characteristic is that it will last for many more kilometres than most other tires.