Breaking down light truck tire sizing

March 23, 2011

The top 10 most popular replacement sizes accounted for 74.1% of total shipments. The top two sizes, LT245/75R16 and LT265/75R16, represented almost 30% by themselves. However, while LT265/75R16 is trending upward, LT245/75R16 is trending downward.

In 2005, the top 10 replacement LT tire sizes were made up of one 17-inch, six 16-inch and three 15-inch sizes. Five years later, the same six 16-inch sizes are still in the top 10. However, two of the 15-inch sizes (LT235/75R15 and 30x9.50R15) have been replaced by 17-inch sizes (LT285/70R17 and LT245/75R17).

Original equipment sizing eventually will catch up at the replacement level. The top 10 most popular OE sizes in 2010 were:

1. LT245/75R16: Has been the number one size for 18 consecutive years among RMA members.

2. LT245/75R17: Represented 19.5% at the OE level, 15.1% at the replacement level.

3. LT225/75R16: Number three in 2009, number two in 2008 and 2007.

4. LT275/65R18: Highest ranked 18-inch LT tire ever.

5. LT265/70R17: Ranked as high as third (2008); represented 7.9% of total shipments last year.

6. LT275/70R18: Has been in the top 10 for three years (it ranked 10th in 2008).

7. LT265/70R18: First time in the top 10; accounted for 4.5% of all shipments.

8. LT275/65R20: Only 20-inch size ever ranked in the top 10; ranked as high as fifth (2007).

9. LT255/75R17: Dropped out of the top 10 in 2009 after being ranked seventh (2008) and 10th (2007).

10. LT235/80R17: First time in the top 10; accounted for 3.1% of all shipments.

The top 10 domestic OE LT sizes represented 86.8% of total shipments. The top size, LT245/75R16, accounted for 40.8% of the shipments.

Look for LT245/75R16 in an area near you

There were 27.6 million replacement LT metric and flotation sizes shipped in the United States last year, according to the 2011 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue. That was up 6.1% over 2009. Imports accounted for 75% of the shipments in 2010.

About the Author

Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000 and retired in January 2020. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and had been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993. He won numerous awards for editorial and feature writing, including five gold medals from the International Automotive Media Association. Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University and has a law degree from the University of Akron.