Heavy duty 3/4-ton and one-ton trucks, such as the Chevy Silverado 2500, Dodge Ram 3500 and Ford F-350 typically require heavy duty tires. A Standard Load tire doesn't have enough load capacity to match these vehicles properly.
I frequently receive phone calls from truck owners looking for 10 ply tires. However, modern heavy duty tires no longer have ten plys. Many years ago, heavy duty tires were built to carry more load capacity by increasing the number of cotton plys in the carcass of the tire. The more cotton plys the tires had, the more load capacity they could safely carry. As tire technology has progressed, materials stronger than cotton began to be used to create stronger plys used in the tire's construction.
Therefore, tire manufacturers no longer needed to increase the number of plys in their tires to carry extra loads, but rather increase the strength of the plys. For example, a tire that once needed ten plys, may now only have two or three actual plys. Lighter and stronger tires can now be made using fewer plys in a tire's sidewall. The tire industry also changed the way they label heavy duty truck tires. Even though some may still refer to the old system, it's been updated. When shopping for new tires, you can use this simple chart to refer to the modern term for load capacity ratings on heavy duty tires used on 3/4-ton and one-ton pickups and SUVs.
- 2 ply = Standard Load
- 4 ply = Extra Load
- 6 ply = Load Range C
- 8 ply = Load Range D
- 10 ply = Load Range E
For more information on this topic, take a look at "Load Range E 10 Ply Tires for Heavy Duty Use."