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Top-7 Tires for Towing Heavy Loads

Traction, Durability, Safety

Let's talk about rubber meeting the road for a moment. Like, literally. Unless your truck moves around on bulldozer-style Mattracks or some other intricate running gear, good, old-fashioned rubber tires are crucial elements of a truck's composition. And, for trucks that work hard—specifically pickups moving a lot of weight (payload or towing trailers)—using the right tires is a must.

Most trucks are fitted by the manufacturer with "Light Truck" (LT) tires, which, in the case of heavy-duty pickup trucks and sizeable SUVs, typically are "E" rated. This load-range designation means the tires are more durable (as much as 10-ply), and designed with larger beads and deeper treads than Passenger-series ("P") rubber, for longevity and higher mileage. LT-series tires support the higher air pressures that are common for towing.

At a minimum, Load Range E tires are capable of safely supporting about 3,000 pounds. So, in the case of a dualie (six wheels), the tires collectively will provide more than sufficient grip for safely towing 18,000 pounds.

Given the huge amount of companies--well-known, major brands, and those we're not as familiar with--that manufacture towing-capable and towing-specific tires, selecting the right rubber for your rig isn't easy.

Here are a few options that we like. They're all 10 ply, and capable of covering several-thousand problem-free miles (barring an inadvertent nail or other object causing damage), towing, or just driving your truck without a load attached. As a bonus, we're also noting Load Range D and E (8- to 10 ply) tires for trailers. In the end, it makes no difference how many tires are on the ground. When you're towing or transporting anything heavy, doing it on the right tires is critical.

Toyo Tires' all-new Open Country H/T II basically picks up where its predecessor, Open Country H/T, leaves off, as a premium all-season tire that's made primarily for trucks and SUVs that tow. The second-generation H/T features a unique double sidewall, and is designed for improved wet-braking performance, better ride quality and handling, longer tread life and consistent highway performance.

Strength and durability are the Firestone Transforce HT2's best qualities, carried over from its predecessor, Transforce HT. The updated version features "zig-zag" sipes that provide improved traction, and braking, and the company's Long-Link Carbon tread compound and two nylon-wrapped steel belts continue to give Transforce its fortitude. This tire is very well suited for the serious weight of commercial towing. However, as such, passenger comfort is sacrificed.

Maxxis calls its Bravo Series HT-770 a "premium highway-terrain tire designed for light truck and SUVs. The HT-770 features a closed-shoulder design and multi-pitch technology for minimized pattern noise, increased casing stiffness and additional tread reinforcements to improve overall braking performance. The sidewall is also improved for better ride quality and stability.

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is a great tire for nearly every driving condition (it does exceptionally well in wet weather). It features Michelin's Evertread compound, and an additional steel belt for increased durability and stability when towing (trailers up to 13,000 pounds). Defender Series tires are typically super quiet and provide cabin occupants with a very smooth ride on the highway.

One tire that we must include is the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac. "Why?" You ask? The answer is simple. While the DuraTrac is a proven, hard-core off-road tire, it also more than holds its own as rubber that is plenty capable of performing just as well on tucks that also tow. The DuraTrac features a rugged, aggressive tread compound and a 10-ply load range, which again makes it a great option for trucks that travel off-road, but also tow big trailers.

For trailers, Maxxis' M8008 is a durable, high-speed radial tire that's designed for smoothness and excellent performance while supporting heavy weight. The tire is constructed with double steel belts for added strength and towing stability, and an advanced tread compound that helps decrease rolling resistance, and improve fuel economy and tread life.

Carlisle Tire's latest Radial Trail HD is a 10 ply, "E (load-range)" tire that's built with drastically reduced rolling resistance and higher heat resistance (for high-speed towing). It is also more durable and has longer tread life than its predecessor, the Radial Trail RH.

Load Ranges/Max GVWR/Air Pressure: TRUCKS
Load Range B/4 ply - 1,430 pounds - 35 psi
Load Range C/6 ply - 2,205 pounds - 50 psi
Load Range D/8 ply - 2,623 pounds - 65 psi
Load Range E/10 ply - 3,042 pounds - 80 psi
Load Range F/12 ply - 3,960 pounds - 95 psi

Load Ranges/Max GVAW/Air Pressure: TRAILERS
Load Range B/4 ply - 1,430 pounds - 35 psi
Load Range C/6 ply - 2,205 pounds - 50 psi
Load Range D/8 ply - 2,623 pounds - 65 psi
Load Range E/10 ply - 3,042 pounds - 80 psi

7 Best 10-Ply Tires for Towing: TRUCKS

Toyo Open Country H/T II

Firestone Transforce HT2

Maxxis Bravo Series HT-770

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

7 Best 10-Ply Tires for Towing: TRAILERS

Maxxis M8008

Carlisle Radial Trail HD

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