LT vs P tires and durability

Jan 13, 2016
Northeast Nebraska
When I got my 89 Sierra k1500 from my FIL it had P rated tires on it with about half tread life left. I hated the way it handled so much I took it to my mech and said I think the shocks are going bad. Turning corners felt like all the weight was transferring and leaning and going down a warn tar road it was hard to keep it going straight kept following the grooves. He took one look at the tires and said you have P rated tries on here when they should be LT tires. Put new LT AT3's on and couldn't believe how much better it handled, of course as other have mentioned a tad rougher but worth it for the handling.
Aug 23, 2010
besides the ratings a tyres quality or not affects handling as well, so depending on its intended use a lighter fuel efficient tyre thats also cheeper makes dollars + sense IMO. many who drive typical 4 dr 4WD TANKS + haul little or nothing are throwing their $$$$ away, smart or not its THEIR $$$$$
Feb 22, 2003
Somewhere in the US
I would like to hear CapriRacers thoughts on this.
There's a reason why I haven't commented before - and it's in the first part of the OP's post.
..... between running an LT vs a P-metric and increased tire durability. Specifically in regards to picking up flats/punctures. ......
We engineers use the term "durability" to mean "resistance to failure" - and we tire engineers classify flats and punctures as "Road Hazards" - in other words NOT durability.

So I'm going to talk about that.

Every indication I have gotten from the data is that punctures are random events - that trying to sort out, factually, what is going on is difficult.

But there are a few things that SEEM to be true:
  • That tires are more likely to get punctured the less tread there is.
  • That harder tread rubbers would be less likely to be punctured.
So LT tire would have 2 advantages over P tires:
  • LT tires start with more tread depth
  • LT tires use a harder tread compound
Those seem to be borne out by the anecdotes here and elsewhere.

But to my knowledge, this is no data to support the claims, nor is there likely to be a study in the future, because tire manufacturers don't think there is anything of value (meaning increased sales) to be learned here.
Nov 27, 2018
Our work trucks (1/2 ton sized) all get tires with load index less than 120 (non LT) depending on the specific tire/truck, etc.

Flat tires happen no matter what in the field. I’ve found that if you get frequent flats it’s almost always due to WHERE you are driving vs the specific tire you run.