Medium-duty tyres and wheels are best used on pickup trucks, for the family SUV, and for pulling weight behind your vehicle. These tyres and wheels will usually be larger, heavier and more able to grip the road despite that heavier weight, and despite the resistance of a trailer behind your vehicle. Note a few terms to learn when choosing medium-duty tyres and wheels so you know you are getting the best option for your vehicle and are happy with your choice for years to come.
Ply rating and load range
Ply rating and load range tell you how much weight the tyre can safely manage. The term "ply rating" can be a bit confusing, however, as tyres today aren't always made in plies the way they once were; many tyres are one long and thick piece of rubber, stamped for tread on the outside. They may also be manufactured with belts on the inside of the rubber to help keep the tyre strong and secure.
When tyres were almost always made in plies, they would have a ply rating to note how much weight the tyre could sustain; the term is sometimes still used today, whether or not the tyre itself is made with actual plies of rubber. Some tyres use the term load range instead of ply rating, even though the two terms both refer to the weight-bearing rating of the tyre.
Steel versus alloy
When choosing new wheels, note that steel rims will be stronger against the bumps and impacts of off-roading and will provide more strength for when you're towing something behind your vehicle. Alloy rims are lighter and not as strong, but their lighter weight might translate into better gas mileage.
When shopping for new tyres and wheels, you may be asked about their application. This refers to what you want to accomplish with the tyres; if you need new tyres for a very heavy vehicle, those tyres might need thicker rubber to withstand that added weight. If you want to go off-roading, the tyres may need a deeper tread to keep you safe in sand and mud. If you want to show off the tyres and wheels on a custom or vintage truck, you may need aluminium wheels that you can polish to a shine. Be sure to note the application to your tyre dealer when shopping so you can choose the best options for your new tyres and wheels.