"Part of this is that the all-terrain tires in the LT category are coming with better mileage warranties than in the past. The all-terrain tires also have a considerably better ride than they did 20 years ago. Since we are in the Northwest, people want a tread pattern that can be run year-round. People want quality and value, Tier 2 tires."
Mr. Davis shared a similar sentiment.
"Most (customers) are asking for upsize tires over the factory size and in all-terrain patterns that will balance and deliver mileage to boot," he said.
Other dealers find that consumers search for all-around quality.
"Customers in the retail sector that we service are looking for name brand, high mileage, low noise with good traction," said Mr. Riebel.
On the commercial end, price is more of a factor, explained Mr. Antony. The majority of Redco's light truck customers are commercial.
"Typically, price is the top concern for these customers," he said. "Our retail customers tend to look for the best value, not the least expensive tire, unlike our commercial accounts."
With an increase in size options in the light truck tire market, proximity to warehousing can be imperative.
"Inventory can be almost impossible when it comes to having every size," Mr. Riebel said.
"In our market, we have the good fortune of having three major warehouses as well as inventory that we keep on hand.