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Glossary of Tire Terms

Posted by on 11/4/2015 to General
The tire industry like many industries is full of acronyms and terminology that may be confusing to someone who does not work in the tire business. Below is a list of terms that are often used by tire manufacturers and tire dealers.

  • (TT) - Tube Type, this indicates that the tire requires an inner tube to be used when installing it on a wheel
  • (TL) - Tubeless, this indicates that the tire does not require an inner tube be used when installing it on a wheel. This does not mean you cannot use a tube with this tire.
  • NHS - Non Highway Service, often found on lawn tractor tires and indicates this tire is for low speed use
  • Ply - Ply Rating, back when tires were made with plies of rubber this used to be an indicator of how many plies of rubber the tire was made of and therefore how much pressure it could hold and weight it could carry. Since modern synthetic materials have been introduced to tire manufacturing, ply rating has come to indicate how much air pressure the tire can hold and how much weight it can carry.
  • Load Index - A numeric indicator that allows you to determine how much weight a tire is designed to carry
  • Speed Rating - A letter indicator that allows you to determine the maximum sustained speed a tire is rated for.
  • UTQG - Uniform Tire Quality Grading System, designed by the NHTSA to help guide consumers in finding the right tire. The UTQG uses three factors to rate tires, allowing consumers to compare tires across manufacturers using a common set of factors. 
  • DOT - Department of Transportation, often used to indicate a tire has been approved for on road use.
  • R-1 - Found on farm and tractor tires, indicates this tire is for general farming where conditions are dry and average to ideal conditions
  • R-3 - Found on farm and tractor tires, indicates this tire is for for farming sandy or volcanic ash soils and where you want to minimize soil disturbance. The tread depth of an R-3 tire is usually half that of an R-1 tire
  • R-4 - Found on farm and tractor tires, indicates this tire is for for for light industrial service and highway department work. The tread depth of an R-4 tire is about 70% that of an R-1 tire.
  • Click here for a  full explanation of all the different farm tire codes

These are just a few of the many different codes, acronyms and terms used to describe tires and their applications. Be sure to check out our tire blog for many articles on choosing, installing tires and using tires.

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