Every tyre has an assigned value known as a ‘load rating’ or ‘load index. Put simply, the higher the load rating your tyre has, the more load-carrying capacity it has.
As you can imagine, this is an important figure to understand – as you don’t want tyres on your vehicle that can’t cope with the weight that they carry.
In this quick guide, we’ll explain how to find a tyre load rating, the difference between load index and speed rating, and how a good tyre workshop will help to make sure you have the right tyres and load capacity for your requirements.
What is the load rating?
The load rating, also known as the load index, is a number between 0 and 279 that indicates the heaviest load that your vehicle’s tyres can support when travelling at maximum speed.
These ratings exist to make sure we don’t exceed the maximum weight that a tyre sidewall is capable of handling. If a load index is exceeded, you stand a much greater chance of a tyre failure – which means a dangerous ‘blow out’ if you’re moving at speed.
Most passenger vehicles require a tyre with a load index of between 62 – 126. Numbers higher than this are generally intended for commercial and industrial vehicles.
Where will I find a tyre load index?
Like tyre speed ratings, a tyres load index number can be found on the sidewall . Usually the figures on the sidewall of the tyre will look like this:
In this example, the tyre has a load rating of 94 which means the tyre can hold 670kgs of weight when properly inflated.
It’s important to know that a maximum load rating only applies if the tyre is properly inflated. This makes sure the air in the tyre helps to carry the weight – rather relying on rubber alone.
This is probably obvious – but it’s important to keep in mind. Some people adjust the air pressure in their tyres without realising that they could be compromising on safety by doing so.
Not sure what load rating you need?
Don’t worry if you’re not certain what load rating you require for your vehicle. All tyre workshops will have access to a tyre load index chart or load index table that gives all the necessary information about which new tyres will work with your vehicle.
These tables consider the total load capacity of a vehicle too. Adding people and luggage to a vehicle can significantly increase the overall weight – so it’s important that they make sure they’re not offering a tyre with a lower load index than is actually required.
How can you make sure your new tyres carry the correct tyre load ratings?
While it’s fairly easy to consult a load index chart – most people prefer to rely on a trustworthy tyre retailer to make sure they’re buying the right tyres.
This is where Auto Hero can help. Our network of Australian tyre partners is made up of highly-rater and trusted retailers who are motivated and hungry for your business. This means they’re always on hand to offer advice and great prices on tyres that are suitable for your vehicle.
To find the right tyres for you, just give us a few details about your location and your vehicle, then we’ll find quotes from retailers near you. We’ll even include quotes from mobile tyre suppliers, company’s that will come to your home or workplace to minimise disruption to you day!
Matt is the founder of Autohero.com.au and has been hooked on cars and repairs ever since childhood. A veteran in automotive since leaving school, Matt has completed his trade as a panel beater and is across all things with wheels.
His first car was a 1967 FORD XR Wagon followed by a string of collectable Holden’s.
Have a question for Matt? Leave a comment below.