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Learn About Tyre Tread Patterns and Their Differences

Learn About Tyre Tread Patterns and Their Differences


It is important to choose the right tyre for the job. Each manufacturer will produce its own range of unique tyre patterns, but most of these fall into broad categories based on the application. Below we have a summary of common pattern types for agricultural, construction, industrial and OTR machines.

Tractor & Construction Drive

R1 & R1W Agricultural Tractor Tyres

Also known as "Tractive", "Tractor Pattern" and "Open Centre". These tyres are found on farm machinery including tractors, backhoe loaders and telehandlers. R1W tyres (also called R1 ) have a slightly deeper tread and a wider contact area, offering better performance on the road and in wet conditions.

R2 Agricultural (Deep Tread) Tractor Tyres

Also known as "Rice & Cane", "Paddle" or "Spade" tyres, the R2 pattern has a very deep tread and is designed for extremely wet or sticky soil.

R3 Industrial (Flotation) Tractor Tyres

Also known as "Diamond", "Grassland" or "Turf". These tyres are used to minimise ground disturbance on soft surfaces such as grass and sand. Because there is very little traction, these tyres are also comfortable and long-lasting when used on the road.

R4 Industrial (Wide Lug) Tractor Tyres

Also known as "Industrial" or "ATU" (All Traction Utility), these tyres have the tractive lugs of an R1 tyre but with an area of overlap in the centre. These tyres are designed to balance traction with road and hard-surface performance.

Tractor Front

F2 & F2M Agricultural Tractor Front

Also known as "Rib" tyres, these are found on the front axle of two-wheel-drive tractors and on some agricultural implements in 3, 4 or 5-rib versions. These tyres are often available with notches or lugs in the outer ribs to improve grip and self-cleaning.

F3 Industrial Tractor Front

These tyres are flatter than traditional rib tyres and are optimised for road and hard-surface performance. They may sometimes have shoulder lugs or zig-zag ribs, and can often be similar to I-1 Implement tyres.

Farm Trailer & Implement

I-1 Implement

Also known as "Multi-Rib" tyres, these are found on a huge range of farm implements and trailers. They are designed to be good all-round tyres which offer high flotation and load capacity at lower pressures.

Traction Implement

These tyres are similar to R1 or R4 tractor tyres, but are designed for use on the drive wheels of agricultural and industrial implements.

Flotation Implement

These tyres are typically built to minimise soil disturbance and to carry high loads at low pressures. They are found on a range of farm trailers and implements.

Flotation Transport

These tyres are designed for stability and road performance without sacrificing flotation and grip in the field. They are often suitable for higher speeds than other farm trailer tyres.

OTR Tyres

E1/G1 Rib

E1 and G1 tyres have a ribbed pattern, and can be found on the free-rolling steer and trailer axles of quarry, mining and road-building machinery.

E2/G2/L2 Traction

E2, G2 and L2 tyres are designed for traction, offering stability and excellent grip on loose ground.

E3/G3/L3 Rock

E3, G3 and L3 tyres are designed to eject stones from the tread and minimise damage from rough or sharp terrain.

E4/G4/L4 Rock (Deep Tread)

E4, G4 and L4 tyres are similar to E3, G3 and L3 but with a 1.5 times deeper tread. This makes the tyre harder to damage and increases service life.

L5 Rock (Extra Deep Tread)

L5 tyres have a tread depth 2.5 times deeper than the L3 pattern for exceptional durability and longevity.

E7 Flotation

E7 tyres have shallow rib treads for use on soft or sandy soil. These tyres are also used on road-surfacing machines.

L3S Smooth

L3S tyres are completely smooth tyres for use on loaders and dozers, offering very high stability and a long service life.

11 Oct 2017 12:49:06

L4S Smooth (Deep Tread)

L4S tyres are completely smooth with a deep tread area, with 1.5 times as much tread as the L3S.

11 Oct 2017 12:49:06

L5S Smooth (Extra Deep Tread)

L5S tyres are completely smooth with an extra deep tread area, offering 2.5 times as much tread as the L3S for maximum durability and service life.

11 Oct 2017 12:49:06

C1 & C2 Smooth

C1 tyres are completely smooth and designed for compactor service, whereas C2 tyres have grooves to improve grip.

By Big Tyres Team 1 September 2014
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