To best serve customers, a tire dealer needs to have product offerings that properly cover the entire performance and aesthetic spectrum in a lineup that makes sense for the market. When it comes to pickup truck and SUV tires, both highway-terrain – or H/T – and all-terrain – or A/T – are typical candidates for customers searching for their next set of tires. These segments have seen steady growth over the years, with the market share between the two remaining constant. But how do you find out which will be the better match?
In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio Video, we discuss A/T vs. H/T: a true dilemma for many an SUV or truck driver. Typically, A/T tires focus on great off-road performance and an aggressive appearance, while H/T tires should focus on a smooth and quiet ride. A/T tires have what you might call “the look” of an off-road tire, whereas H/T tires aren’t so appearance-centric, often looking more like a beefed-up touring tire.
A/T tires are louder and ride rougher than their H/T counterparts thanks to deeper tread depths and big block patterns. There’s a reason H/T tires have “highway” in the name – they just make for a more comfortable ride on the highway!
Ultimately, the choice comes down to understanding the customer’s needs. A/T and H/T tires are a little like siblings, with some A/T tires really leaning into rolling resistance and noise diffusion, but at the end of the day, you’ll find A/T tires are very aggressive with very deep tread depth and, yes, they’re just louder.
One last tip to maximize customer satisfaction, especially if they ultimately go with an A/T tire with deeper tread. Invite that customer back for a free rotation at around 4-to-5,000 miles. If they take you up on it – and who wouldn’t – this rotation will help to smooth out any irregular wear from tire scrub on the front axle. This early rotation minimizes noise later in the life of the tire and provides the consumer with greater satisfaction in YOU, their friendly neighborhood tire dealer.