Tips for recommending the right light truck tire

Tips for recommending the right light truck tire

Talking to customers about LT tires starts with understanding the nuances in the segment.

For tire dealers, recommending the right LT tire starts with understanding the nuances in this segment, as well as gathering pertinent information from the customer. “Understand the different segments of the LT market and adequately cater to the needs of each component,” Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) said in a statement to Tire Review. “For example, customers seeking an AT tire for their truck might have different needs than those interested in a highway tire.”

Since the same base vehicle can be equipped with vastly different tires based on consumer needs, Andrew Hyland, LT/4X4 on-road product manager for Continental Tire, said qualification for LT tires is more important than for passenger car tires.

“There is added complexity of on-road versus off-road needs, and a broad offering of cosmetic choices from mild to extremely aggressive appearance,” he added.

According to Brandon Stotsenburg, vice president of Kenda Tire’s automotive division, most LT owners and enthusiasts will have some knowledge and likely will have done online research prior to contacting the dealer. Many will have opinions regarding specific products and brands based on experience and secondary information.

“Show that your dealership is ready for this segment and the needs of these consumers,” he advised. “Proper mounting equipment for optimizing balancing and wheels is critical. An enthusiast expert on your staff who can engage with other LT or Jeep enthusiasts shows that you understand the performance tradeoffs. If the consumer is an off-road enthusiast or does overlanding, it is important to understand the types of environments that they experience and not just show them tire options.”

Since light trucks are often used for hauling or towing, load capacity is essential.

In today’s inflationary environment, dealers need to be able to offer value as many consumers — even enthusiasts who want great performance — also want a tire that provides similar performance at a lower price, Stotsenburg said.

“Explain the features and benefits of different tire models, highlighting aspects such as tread design, sidewall strength, off-road capabilities, and expected tread life,” said Jay Lee, product director for Nexen Tire. “Educate customers on the advantages of specific tire technologies, like run-flat tires or those with self-cleaning tread patterns.”

He also said dealers should emphasize the importance of regular tire maintenance, including proper inflation, rotation and alignment, to maximize tire life and safety.

“LT tires are engineered to meet the specific needs of light trucks, including enhanced load-carrying capacity, off-road performance, durability and puncture resistance,” Lee said. “While they may not provide the same level of ride comfort as passenger tires, they excel in ruggedness and versatility for a wide range of applications. Choosing the right LT tire involves considering the vehicle’s intended use, load requirements and driving conditions.”

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