Tyre upgrade - Is it worthwhile upgrading from LR 98 to Light Truck?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 16:08
ThreadID: 131426 Views:1622 Replies:8 FollowUps:16
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Hi Guys and Gals
Tyres for 2009 Subaru Forester are 215/65R16 with a 98 load rating are standard.
We want to upgrade to light trucks for a lot of dirt road driving.
Most LTs are 100/102/104 load ratings (which is very close) and some are 109.
Are the 98 Geolanders (6 Ply) regarded as LTs with an 8 Ply Rating?
Are LT tyres significantly more robust than the Geolanders?
BruceK
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 18:41

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 18:41
you need to keep in mind what the tyre placard on the vehicle states ,
anything less will deem the vehicle unroadworthy an possibly uninsured
do your homework
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 595285

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 21:02

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 21:02
Thanks mechpete,

Am I to understand from your answer that the Geolander 98s are not light truck tyres?

In ref. to your comment, my understanding is that if the speed rating of the fitted tyres is less than that recommended by the manufacturer that a notice to the driver must be fitted to the vehicle stating the new speed parameters.
Mind you I think it ridiculous that a vehicle fitted with e.g. 200klm/hr tyres can't be easily refitted with 160 kph tyres in Aust, but that is another subject.

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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 22:21

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 22:21
My kia sorento has tyre rating of 107 H. I emailed the transport department here in WA to find out if i can change this. They replied that i can go down to a "S" speed rating but have to stay or be above 107 load rating to stay legal.

Wizzer
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 07:08

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 07:08
Hi Bruce
I think the Peter is just saying to stick to what the tyre label says. He didn't say the Geolander 98's was illegal.
Phil

I was just out in the kitchemn and realised that what I said was not 100% correct. I didn't understand from Peter's post that he was saying that the Geolanders were illegal.

You should stick to what the tyre placard said. However some of the tyre specs do have variables that you can use. eg: ours quotes a 265/70/26 as standard but we are allowed to go up to 285/75/16's. The same may apply to your car. It all depends on tat placard and whet the allowances were applied to it when the car was accepted for rego in Australia.

Didn't mean to confuse you mate. Just not fully awake here.

have good one

Phil

PS Thank God for the edit function.

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FollowupID: 863952

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:46

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:46
Thanks Wizzer,
I didn't find the WA rules so that really helps.
It seems that the "S" speed rating rule applies in most states.
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FollowupID: 864080

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 21:18

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 21:18
have never heard of a notice being fitted to the vehicle, its not just that simple ,the vehicle was built to comply with Australian requirements , for you to change that I would say you would have to have it engineered , the tyre placard is there for a good reason an must be adhered to
you need to check with the manufacturer an the tyre people
for clarification
mechpete
AnswerID: 595289

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 23:00

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 23:00
Just spent some time on the I'net about this.
It seems fairly standard for a Forester or a "passenger car" to be able to run on S rated tyres no matter what the tyre placard on the vehicle says.

NSW says put a sticker on the windscreen if less than the rating.
http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/safety-rules/standards/vsi-09-rev4.pdf p5

Qld says that if the speed rating is S or higher you can run S 180kph for passenger vehicles and N rating..140 kph for Off road vehicles
https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=tyre+speed+rating+change+qld VMR Qld Vehicle Standards Code of Practices Page 25&27

Vic says 180kph and 140kph respectively.
https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=tyre+speed+rating+change+VIC (VS126) part3

There seems to be some sense here since the vast majority of our speed limits are 110 or less.



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FollowupID: 863946

Reply By: Zippo - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 22:49

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 22:49
Bruce, there are number of different Yokies under the Geolandar label. The original fitment on Foresters - usually nicknamed Geosquealers - are one. They also do H/T and A/T styles in the Geo family.

In the (placard-matching) 215/65R16 size the GO12 A/T-S is 98H. These received decent reviews on that size/weight of vehicle and they seem preferred over Bridgie 697's by the Forester owners I've been in contact with.
AnswerID: 595293

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 06:51

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 06:51
I agree. The standard Geolander HT on my old Outback were a terrible tyre, very soft and ripped to shreds on dirt roads. The Geolander AT-S on the other hand were an excellent choice for a Subaru. They handled outback dirt roads very well, even the none LT version. I couldn't believe they were made by the same company. The AT-S come in a massive range of sizes, so do Pirelli Scorpion ATR's.
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Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:52

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:52
Thanks Zippo & Michael H9.
Certainly the GO12 A/T-S look good but are expensive at $244.
I have gone back over this site and the GO12s seem to be the pick if LT's are not going to be chosen.
It seems though that the LT's give much more peace of mind.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:45

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:45
It occurs to me that there are some practicalities to deal with.

As mentioned you have to deal with the load and speed ratings ........ seems there has been some flexibility allowed on these matters in recent years ........ Check out the road authority web sites.
It now seems the view on speed ratings is that 180Kmh should be sufficient for any road car given the speed limits.
It also now seems that as long as the load rating is adequete for the purpose, they are happy with that ..... remember that means a maximum possible load carried on the heaviest axle pluss a safety margin ( around 15% minimum from memory).

More of a problem will be the available tyres for that vehicle ... 205/65R16 is not a typical light truck form ..... more like a passenger tyre form ....... SO you may have difficulty or a reduced choice of tyres by the time you fill all the regulated requirements pluss the desire for a light truck tyre.

cheers
AnswerID: 595301

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:55

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:55
Thanks Bantam,
Yes, the choice of sizes is massive, but getting the right one is tricky.
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:49

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:49
Brucek - The Geolandars with a 98 load index rating are not a light truck tyre.
They are an SUV tyre, with a slightly heavier construction than regular passenger tyres.
They are still rated as a passenger tyre.

If a tyre is rated as a "light truck tyre" it often (but not always) has a "ply rating" stamped in the tyre sidewall.
You can never rate a 6 ply tyre as an 8 ply - there's a major difference in construction, in the thickness/number of the cords.

Some light truck tyres rated under the TRA (Tyre & Rim Association) code (which is American) have "LT" placed before or after the tyre specification code (typically - LT265/75R16 - or 265/75R16LT if it's a high flotation tyre) - but a lot of tyres sold in Australia are rated under the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) - which does not use the "LT" coding.
The Euro-rating light truck tyres will carry a "C" designation in the tyre specification (typically, 215/65R16C)

The TRA-rated tyres have a Load Index that is a letter - Load Range A, B, C, D, or E.
The TRA letter code is an alternative load/speed rating code to the ETRTO and Metric code of numbers and letters (such as 98 H).
Euro-specification tyres are more commonly used in Australia today. The American market sees a larger percentage of TRA-specced tyres.

However, there is an increasing trend for tyres to be used on light trucks and utes that are essentially just heavier-rated passenger tyres.
These tyres will have a higher load index, but will often have a lower speed rating.

Unfortunately, there are at least 6 styles (and up to 8 styles) of tyre marking either currently in use, or used in recent times.

Here's some useful tyre marking information on light truck tyres;

Light truck tyre designations

Here are the tyre load and speed indicator codes;

Load & Speed indicators

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 595302

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:59

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:59
Thanks Ron,
Going back in the forum in this site, the 2008 comment on LT's I felt gave some good guidance.
Some of the roads are going to be pretty rough and stony so LT's are going to be the better choice I think.
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FollowupID: 864084

Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 13:19

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 13:19
Bruce, the Bridgestone Dueler A/T D697 is available in 215/65R16C and is an All-Terrain tyre specifically designed for smaller 4WD operation in the Outback.

The D697 has a load/speed index of 106S, which should be more than adequate.

You can find the details in the link below.

Tyres4U

Cheers, Ron.
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FollowupID: 864095

Reply By: garrycol - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:52

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 00:52
Light Truck tyres will have the designation "LT" moulded somewhere on the tyre and many tyre size descriptors will LT included in them.
AnswerID: 595303

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:12

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:12
Thanks Garrycol,
One of the tyres by Bridgestone D697's is the right size but are designated
215/65R16C. Am I right to think that "C" is also a light truck tyre?
If so why is it called "C' and not "LT"?
Just rung Bridgestone and "C" means commercial, still a robust tyre but with lesser load rating.
With another car I have had, we ran 185R14C Maxxis MT and no issues with punctures in over 20,000klm of bush touring.
Might go with these Bridgestones.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:24

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:24
I have no idea what the C means but if it doesn't have LT on the sidewall it is not of light truck construction.

Rons post above seems to cover the issue of LT pretty well.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 13:28

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 13:28
If you read my previous post above carefully, you will see I have written ......

"The Euro-rating light truck tyres will carry a "C" designation in the tyre specification (typically, 215/65R16C) ..."

The Bridgestone advice is correct - "C" after the size is "Commercial" rating under the European tyre specification - and is the equivalent of "LT" under the American TRA tyre specification system.

"C" specification tyres are designed for light trucks and vans.

The Europeans do not use "LT" specification on tyres, that is purely a U.S. tyre system rating.

Cheers, Ron.
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FollowupID: 864096

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 16:21

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 16:21
Well there you go - as I said Ron's post above covers all the good goss on LT tyres. :-)
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FollowupID: 864102

Reply By: gbc - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 06:17

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 06:17
The short answer for your car is that you wil see a much greater advantage for your car by changing to p rated AT than you would from going from a P rated to a LT rated AT.
Yoko does a P rated AT in the geo 12 which would be ideal. I had the same construction tyre (265 70 16 doesn't come LT) on the Colorado which did central oz and the desert without a problem. They will be much more comfortable and perform better on your car than an over specced hard as nails LT. Ply rating have been under a 'deemed to be equivalent' regime for years now and underneath they are all much more similar than they ever were.
AnswerID: 595306

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:15

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:15
Thanks gbc,
The other choice seems to be the "C" rated D697 in this size, which is about half way between the geo12 and a full LT.
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FollowupID: 864087

Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 12:00

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 12:00
brucek, AFAIC there are two reasons to go from PC to LT: to have a higher load rating and to have a stiffer sidewall that's less prone to staking when you've aired down a bit.

I had an 08 MY Forester and yes the original Geolandars were pretty ordinary and wore fairly quickly. But you can nonetheless do a lot of dirt driving (corro, gibber etc) if you air down, keep to no more than 80 kmh and take care where the rocks are bigger.

In my state to go to AT LTs required a slightly larger tyre, 20mm diam bigger than stock, when legally a 15mm increase was the max. I was happy to live with that and used both D697s in LTs and Geolander AT/Ss. The Geos got a lot of driving in the snow and worked well at that with a surprising amount of grip on wet bitumen. The D697s got a lot of driving outback and performed well on gravel and in sand, with a load in the back and towing a camper trailer. I'd be happy to buy those again.

HTH.
AnswerID: 595319

Follow Up By: Member - brucek - Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:23

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 12:23
Thanks Sigmund,
Actually we can get 216/65R16C in Bridgestone which is exactly right and one of the proper tyre choices for this Forester.
The door plaque says 225/55R17 which are 6mm less diameter.
We bought this car because it had 16" wheels and not 17" to give us more rubber in the walls.
It seems that the previous owner may have had the same idea.
This came from Orange in NSW.
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FollowupID: 864089

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