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Old 09-16-2018, 01:40 PM   #1
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Adequate tires for tow vehicle?

On a recent trip, we had a puncture from a sharp rock. While the mechanic was repairing the tire, he mentioned to me that I shouldn't even be using those tires on my F250 diesel pickup. The tires were Bridgestone P275/65R18, installed at a Firestone store at the recommendation of the salesman there, because I asked for tires that would be good for towing long distances. I'll admit they gave me a comfortable, quiet ride, but were almost bald after only 27,000 miles, and according to the tire repairman, I was lucky because the greatest risk was of a blowout because of inadequate sidewall protection. He said the P designation meant passenger car, but what I wanted was LT, which means light truck.

Since they were almost bald anyway, and we were a thousand miles from home, I didn't want to worry about it all the way home, so I replaced them with Michelin LT275/65R18, which the Michelin guy told me were wonderful for towing and would last me a lot longer than 27,000 miles.

As you can tell, I don't know much about tires, just what people tell me. But now I know enough to ask for LT's instead of P's, and I wonder why the Firestone guy sold me P's to start with?
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #2
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I dont think it is quite that simple. My 2008 Tundra came with Michelin LTX M/S2-P255/70R18 112T (51 psi). I put about 50,000 miles on the Tundra. When it was time to get new tires I considered going to a heavier truck tire (80 psi) but a knowledgeable tire person on this forum told me that was not necessary. He basically said that the engineers had selected this tire for the Tundra and he saw no reason to change to a heavier duty tire. I replaced the tires with the same original Michelin tires. I just recently replaced them again at 95,000 miles. I could have waited at least 5,000 more miles, but I wanted to improve my wet weather tire performance so I replaced them early. I am now using the quarter test rather than the penny test.

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:06 PM   #3
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Never being a Firestone fan... Im on my third set of Firestone Transforce AT tires.
I got 137000 miles out of my last set, and seeing a shade less than 90000 on these and only 50%. I inflate hard, and rotate like a madman. Really enjoy towing with these tires.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:13 PM   #4
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Hi

Take a look at what type of tires Ford put on your 250 / puts on new 250's. I don't think you will find that they set them up with passenger tires.

Why did the Firestone guy sell you P series tires?

1) He didn't have LT's in stock
--or--
2) He got a better commission on the P's
--or--
3) The shop had a *lot* of the P's in inventory for a *long* time ....
--or--
4) He is a member of a secret sect that is out to kill you

Take your pick ....

Bob
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:30 PM   #5
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The very same reason you should never use P series tires on a trailer; ST series tires with a stiffer sidewall are used for trailers. The difference can be epic.

A P series tire on a 3/4 truck is trouble rolling down the road; especially towing anything.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:36 PM   #6
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THESE?


Yes..
You made a very good choice. 👍

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Old 09-18-2018, 02:14 AM   #7
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Yes, those, with the E load rating.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:15 AM   #8
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"....but were almost bald ...."

Doesn't much matter the type, rating, number of plus, color, etc. Once tread depth is gone it is unsuitable for any trip, towing or not.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:31 AM   #9
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First, check your vehicle tire placard to see what Ford specified for your vehicle. The placard will be on the driver's door frame - in yellow!

You didn't say what year your F250 was but if I assume it is relatively recent, some F-250's did indeed come with LT275/65R18 LR E's inflated to 70/75 - which makes what happened at the F/S store even more incomprehensible.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:47 AM   #10
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Adequate tires for tow vehicle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overstreet View Post
"....but were almost bald ...."

Doesn't much matter the type, rating, number of plus, color, etc. Once tread depth is gone it is unsuitable for any trip, towing or not.


You are correct, of course. The treads were still above minimum legal depth, which is why the tire repairman was willing to repair the puncture. However, they were beginning to look a little bald, and I probably wouldn't have gotten a puncture from a sharp rock if the treads had been a little higher. It's just that I had a hard time believing they were almost worn out after 27,000 miles.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
You didn't say what year your F250 was but if I assume it is relatively recent, some F-250's did indeed come with LT275/65R18 LR E's inflated to 70/75 - which makes what happened at the F/S store even more incomprehensible.

The F250 is a 2015, and did in fact come with the LT275/65R18s, as you describe. I know that because that is what the spare tire is, which is the same as the original 4 that were mounted. At the time I bought the replacement tires, I didn't know the difference between LT and P. I just assumed that if I went to a reputable dealer like Firestone, they would set me up with what I needed for towing. I have nothing against Firestone tires, and have used them many times for many vehicles over my life. The main reason Im writing this is so other people who don't know the difference between LT and P won't make the same mistake I did.
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