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Whitley Automotive’s technicians checking and servicing big tires of a heavy-duty truck. Concept image of “Understanding Tire Types and Tire Maintenance” | Whitley Automotive in Locust, NC.

Understanding Tire Types and Tire Maintenance

Whether you drive a commercial truck or a commuter car, your tires are the only link between your vehicle and the road. So, you must use the right tire type to keep your vehicle safe, reliable, and performing at its best. Also, keeping the rubber in optimal condition through every mile is immensely important.

Fortunately, that’s easy to do with the help of Whitley Automotive. We’re here to help you understand the different tire types—including regular and commercial tires—and explore the service needs of tires. 

Types of Commercial and Regular Tires

When buying tires for your vehicle, you’re going to come across many different standard and commercial classes, including:

Passenger (P)

Also known as P-Metric tires, passenger tires are most commonly used on cars, minivans, and small SUVs. These regular tires offer a smooth, quiet ride and excellent traction in normal driving conditions, making them a great all-around choice for commuter vehicles.

High Performance (H, V, W, Y, & ZR)

Many modern sports cars and luxury vehicles use high-performance passenger tires instead. The H, V, W, Y, & ZR on the sidewall reflects the tire’s speed rating and overall ability to slough off heat in high-intensity driving conditions.

Light Truck (LT)

Light truck tires, or LT-Metric tires, are for light trucks, SUVs, and medium-duty commercial trucks, like delivery vans. These tires are built for bigger vehicles and can carry much heavier loads than passenger tires can.

Commercial Tire (ST)

Tractor trailers and other big rigs must use commercial truck tires designated with ST on the sidewall. These heavy-duty vehicles cannot safely use LT tires due to their weight and load sizes.

Agricultural Tires (R-1)

Your tractors, mowers, and other agricultural equipment likely use R-1 tires. These tires have the right level of traction for soft soil and muddy conditions. If you’re traveling over rough terrain, you may need R-2 tires instead.

How to Know My Tire Class

If you already have the right tires on your vehicle, you can just look at the sidewall to see what class to get. The tire class is listed right before the size. 

For example, if it says LT 215/75 R15, you have a light truck tire for a 15-inch rim with a 215/75 aspect ratio and width.

How to Care for Your Tires

Unless you drive a big rig, chances are good that you have passenger, light truck, or performance tires on your road-going vehicles. Nonetheless, all tires have the same service requirements, making it easy to care for all your cars, trucks, and vans.

When done on a regular schedule, the following tire repair services will help maintain the safety and reliability of your personal and fleet vehicles:

  • Check the pressure in your tires once a week to confirm they’re at the right level.
  • Have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or so to avoid uneven or excessive wear.
  • Get wheel alignments at least twice a year, when you buy new tires, or after hitting potholes.
  • Complete regular vehicle inspections and have your auto tech check for tire wear and damage.
  • Replace your tires if they’re damaged or when the tread wears down to 2/32nds of an inch.

In addition, report any tire issues to your trusted technician as they arise. If your tires won’t hold air, have signs of damage or excessive wear, or simply don’t feel right, you may need repairs or replacement services.

Furthermore, if you experience any tire problems while driving your medium-duty work vehicle, don’t hesitate to reach out for roadside commercial tire service from our team at Whitley Automotive.

Need Services for Your Commercial or Regular Tires? We Can Help

When you need standard, commercial, or agricultural tires, Whitley Automotive is the place to go. At our auto repair shop in Locust, NC, we offer all the tires you need, along with maintenance and emergency roadside tire services.

We’re located at 210 Locust Avenue, Locust, NC 28097. You’re welcome to stop by at your convenience to meet our team and schedule your tire service visit. 

If you prefer to give us a call, simply dial (704) 888-3560 to get in touch. We look forward to helping you keep your tires in excellent shape mile after mile, so please feel free to reach out today.



Our team at Whitley Automotive always awaits the chance to keep your vehicle running strong for
years to come. We encourage you to contact our team in Locust or Marshville, NC, whenever you
need auto repairs or maintenance services.

Contact the Locust shop at (704) 888-3560 or drop by at 210 Locust Avenue, Locust, NC 28097