IMHO the only reason to use an E rated tire on a light rig is if the sidewall has given you trouble. For ride and flex a C rated would be better if the sidewall is good enough. I have tore holes in sidewalls on C's in the rocks but they were only two ply IIRC. OTOH, I've never ruined an E, and only once a D and I'm sure it was a defect.
I have e rated Toyos r/t 35's and they ride great I have had c,d and e and all ride great on my jkur. C were stock and Cooper at3's d were ko2's and 3 sets of e rated Toyos all in the last 3 years. I switch between the ko2 and the Toyos all the time as both mounted on rims and saves wear and tear on Toyos but ride is the same.
higher load range tires are SLIGHTLY stronger tires that allow you to run much higher air pressures then a c rated tire. Doesn't mean you have to run that high of pressure and if aired up to what a normal c rated tire (25-35psi) aren't all that much rougher riding. Added benefit is the extra strength is usually in the sidewalls so cuts and belt separation are less likely to happen.
ill add this. I went from c rated tires to e rated on my 2016 Silverado 4x4. Now I know its a bigger heavier vehicle but the ride is just as good with 30psi in them and they handle corners and groves in the road MUCH better. To me theres just to much flex in a c rated tire especially if your talking 33 inch or bigger.
i shall throw in the 35" Cooper STT that I had a few years back was E-rated and it was my inexperience thinking the rock type in Tennessee and midsouth would require that much sidewall. It was overkill ; the only reason I was able to flex those at around 10psi was that they were 16s and thus more rubber between wheel and earth but that they were nicely broken in. It took a long time and it was due to the incredible thickness of the sidewall that is pretty much for towing on LTs.
But, the biggest thing about the E-Rated that is burdensome is the additional weight. It makes them so much heavier when you go up to that level of rating.
I run D rated 37s and they are sometimes too sidewalled (they are 17s), but my terrain option kind of demands the extra wall fortitude.
I agree with the recommendation that C-rated is enough unless you are in very sharp , jagged rocks much of the time.
I previously ran the same tires as Jeffrey mentioned, only in the 325/65/18 flavor (35x13.5) E rated, they flex decently at around 10 psi. I think I ran 26 psi on the road and they were fine. They had about 55k miles on them when I sold them, and still had approximately 35% tread left.
I'm currently running 37x13.50x17 nitto mud grapplers, again, E rated. They flex great at 8-10 psi and are pretty soft at 24psi on the street.
E rated tires should have a fairly higher tread life on them, compared to C rated.
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