Not all tires are created equal. Especially when it comes to carrying a load. There are tires built for light loads and others built for bulk. But, don’t worry. You don’t have to wonder if your tires can pull their weight. The answer to your loaded question is right there on the side of your tires.
The tire load index, or load rating, specifies how much weight a tire can carry. Tire load indexes range between 71 and 105 for passenger cars and light trucks. The higher the index, the greater the load-carrying capacity.
All tires have a series of letters and numbers on the side of the tire. These indicate different characteristics of the tire, including the size, construction, service type and more. The tire’s load index are the last 2-3 numbers before the final letter (which indicates the tire's speed rating).
Using the example P225/65 R17 102H, the load index is 102. You can then review the chart below to understand what top weight capacity this tire can safely handle (102 = 1,874 lbs).
Load index offers a more precise measurement of how much weight a tire can actually carry, while load range is a less-precise measurement and refers more to how the tire is constructed. A tire’s load range tells you how many layers the tire is reinforced with and its maximum air pressure. Load range is oftentimes not listed on the sidewall of passenger car tires, as they're constructed to carry a standard load. On light truck tires, however, you may see a load range between B and F, with F-range tires being constructed with the most layers and highest maximum air pressure.
There are lots of tire options available today, but getting the right tire for your vehicle doesn’t have to be confusing. The experts at Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers will be more than happy to help you determine exactly which tires you need, and help you find the best deal on them as well!