Does a ¾ Ton Truck Need 10 Ply Tires?

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If you have a ¾ ton truck, you may wonder what kind of tires it needs. 

Tire designations are complicated, so it can be hard to sift through all the available options and know what’s best for your vehicle. 

That’s where we come in. Let’s demystify tires for ¾ ton trucks and the different requirements you want to keep in mind. 

Does a ¾ Ton Truck Need 10 Ply Tires?

The reality is that how you drive and what you do with your truck determines what kind of tires you need for your ¾ ton pickup. If you regularly lug around a lot of heavy materials in your trunk, you will likely need 10-ply tires. 

Keep reading to learn more about weight limits for ¾ ton trucks and what kind of drivers require which tires.

Understanding ¾ Ton Trucks

Pickup trucks often weigh more than two tons. 

So why do people call pickups ¾ ton? The designation comes from their ability to haul heavy loads. 

A half-ton pickup can accommodate loads of up to 1,000 pounds or half of one single ton. 

A ¾ ton pickup can carry an additional 500 pounds, for a load rating of up to 1,500 pounds in total, or you guessed it, ¾ of a ton. 

Other Terms to Know

Does a ¾ Ton Truck Need 10 Ply Tires 1 Does a ¾ Ton Truck Need 10 Ply Tires?

The weight of an unloaded vehicle is called its curb weight. 

The payload capacity is the maximum weight a truck can carry in its bed and inside the passenger compartment. 

The towing capacity is the amount of weight the truck can pull on a trailer hitched to its rear end. 

It’s important to know these terms because automakers often upsell their truck’s capacity for trailering by assuming that the truck has only a driver on board with absolutely no other weight in the seats or the bed of the truck. 

So understanding the differences can help you identify advertising tricks. 

It’s also essential to understand how your choice of a tire may affect your ability to haul weight. 

Check out our article for more info on the differences between a half-ton and a one-ton truck if you want to know more. 

True Payload Capacity

Even though the ¾ and half-ton ratings are thrown around quite a bit, they aren’t necessarily accurate in their description of modern pickups.

That’s because the maximum weight they can carry exceeds their description in many cases.  

The ¾ and half-ton designations have become almost totally obsolete due to the extra capacity of trucks to handle the weight we pile into their beds and seats. 

It’s not uncommon for a half-ton truck to carry a rating for carrying more than a thousand pounds. 

For instance, the Ford F-150, a half-ton pickup, can carry more than 3,500 pounds! Some full-ton pickups can carry insanely heavy loads that dwarf a thousand pounds. 

Tire Ratings and the Number of Plies

Some tires are designed for carrying heavier loads. 

Other tires are intended for use on passenger vehicles. 

The tradeoff is that the heavier-duty tires are less comfortable to ride on and often much more expensive than the lighter-duty tires. 

Some tires are rated LT. They feature either 8-ply or 10-ply construction, extra material under the tread and in the sidewall, and even an extra steel belt for added toughness. 

These tires are intended for use on trucks that carry heavy loads, tow heavy trailers and other payloads, and are used on rough roads or gravel. 

LT tires are often specially constructed to resist the tearing that can occur on gravel roads or job sites, so many work trucks come with LT tires even though they don’t always carry heavy loads.

Other tires are intended for use primarily on passenger vehicles. These are called p-metric tires. 

They usually feature either 4-ply or 6-ply construction and have less material and shallower treads than heavy-duty LT tires. 

One thing to keep in mind, at the risk of making things even more complicated, is that ply ratings and terminology are a bit obsolete.

In the very early days of tire construction, tires featured plies of cotton woven together into layer upon layer. 

Tire technology eventually evolved to rubber plies which have much more capability.

Now, each layer is much stronger, so the ply number doesn’t always accurately reflect the number of layers. Instead, it’s a rough equivalency. 

Load Range Ratings

Tires are further broken down by their load range. This is the amount of weight they can handle. 

The load range corresponds to the number of plies. 

So, remember that LT tires can be either 8-ply (Load Range D) or 10-ply (Load Range E). 

Tires also come in other load ranges, and the number of plies corresponds with a tire’s maximum pressure as well. 

Check out the chart below to see how they all stack up against one another. 

Load Range Ply RatingMaximum Load Pressure

The Best Tires For ¾ Ton Trucks

If you have a ¾ ton pickup, you have to think about how you use it before you decide if 10-ply is the right choice for you. 

If you drive on gravel, haul heavy loads, or tow trailers frequently, you should almost certainly stick to tires with the WT designation. 

That’s because WT tires have design features that help them stand up to the demands of harsher service on rougher terrain, with more weight on the tires and on a trailer towed by the truck.

Conversely, if you have a ¾ ton pickup that rarely leaves the pavement and doesn’t do much more than haul around your kid’s hockey and football equipment or the occasional piece of furniture, you should look at p-metric tires for passenger vehicles. 

P-metric tires are for passenger cars and trucks, so instead of tough construction that comes at the expense of comfort, their design prioritizes a much more pleasant ride and better handling on the highway. 

As a bonus, some p-metric tires can carry plenty of weight, just not as much as a WT tire. 

Bottom Line

You can figure out everything you need to know about a tire from the markings on its sidewall. If there’s a ‘P’ or no letter before the size numbers, it’s a p-metric tire meant for passenger vehicles. 

If you see the letters ‘WT’ before the numbers, it’s a tire meant for carrying heavier loads, traveling off the roadway onto unpaved surfaces, and towing. 

That takes us back to the biggest question you need to answer. 

How do you use your truck? If you’re a serious job site cruiser with a heavy toolbox and a load of concrete in the bed, you do probably need 10-ply tires.

On the other hand, if you’re a highway commuter with a nice pickup truck you like to keep clean and shiny in between trips to the big box store and your hunting cabin, you can probably pick a lighter-duty p-metric tire for better road handling and comfort. 

Whichever tire you choose, the wear is likely to be similar. But WT tires tend to cost a bit more. 

They are also significantly heavier, so they will negatively affect your fuel economy and handling. 

Hopefully, you have all the info you need to make the right choice for you and your ¾ ton truck.