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Load index for tyres

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Tyre load rating: why it is important

The tyre load rating is a parameter that determines the maximum weight the tyre can withstand at a certain car speed and the rated inflation pressure. It is indicated by a number which corresponds to a certain weight in kg. This rating is closely related to the speed rating: if you go over the speed limit defined by the tyre marking, then the load that can be withstood by the tyre decreases. Also, this parameter depends on the tyre size.

Interpretation of the tyre load rating

This parameter is calculated in the following way. The kerb weight of the car is added with the average weight of the driver and of the maximum number of passengers, plus the weight of the cargo or luggage in accordance with the vehicle loading capacity. The obtained value is added with a 30–40% margin and then divided by the number of wheels which is 4 in case of a passenger car. This value is an estimated weight of the load that has to be withstood by one tyre. When choosing the tyre load rating you should round this figure upward.

As a rule, passenger and light commercial vehicles are equipped with tyres having the following ratings:

  • Mini – 50–67;
  • Small – 68–75;
  • Medium – 75–87;
  • Minivans and crossovers – 87–99;
  • LCVs and SUVs – 99–120.

These numbers can be converted into kilograms according to the following table:

Rating Kg Rating Kg Rating Kg
501907437598750
511957538799775
5220076400100800
5320677412101825
5421278425102850
5521879437103875
5622480450104900
5723081462105925
5823682475106950
5924383487107975
60250845001081000
61257855151091030
62265865301101060
63272875451111090
64280885601121120
65290895801131150
66300906001141180
67307916151151215
68315926301161250
69325936501171285
70335946701181320
71345956901191360
72355967101201400
7336597730

Tips for choosing tyres by the load rating

  1. Be sure to buy tyres with the load rating not below than that of your standard tyres. Otherwise, the steerability of your vehicle can be significantly impaired. Moreover, the tyres will wear out faster. On the other hand, an excessively high rating can cause premature wear of the chassis components.
  2. Pay attention to the speed rating: it is related to the load rating. For high-speed driving it’s better to buy tyres with higher speed and load limits.
  3. As a rule, the tyre capacity is related to its size. For instance, standard 205/55 R16 products can withstand 615 kg each, while the 215/60 R16 are meant for 690 kg. If you want to install tyres of the same size but with higher ratings, check out the products with the XL (Extra Load) or RF (Reinforced) marking. They have reinforced sidewalls and a stronger carcass, and can be made from a different rubber composition. Usually, such tyres are perfect for rough roads and for being installed on SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
  4. If you are going to equip your car with tyres of a different size than standard, you can use a special online calculator that helps to easily determine the tyre load rating so that you could be sure that they comply with the specifications of your vehicle.

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