Load Range Vs. Load Index

Load Range Vs. Load Index – What Do They Mean?

When looking for new tires, you may come across the terms load range and load index. What do they mean? What information do they tell you about the tire? Here’s what you should know about load range vs. load index.

Ply Rating and Load Range

Load range describes how much weight a tire can carry and is based on an older measurement called ply rating. Tires are made from rubber and cord layers called plies. In the past, more plies gave a tire a higher load-carrying capacity, so the number of plies was listed on the tire to show how much weight it could handle.

Now, tires are made from fewer, stronger plies, so the load range has replaced the ply rating. Load range defines a tire’s toughness and maximum allowable air pressure and is represented by a letter listed on the side of your tire. Tires with a higher load range can handle heavier loads.

As an example, a C load range indicates a tire that is made with one or two plies that have the equivalent strength of 6 plies. Many load ranges are separated into two categories to further explain their maximum load-carrying tire pressure. For example, C1 and C2 are both 6-ply rated. However, C1 has a maximum air pressure of 50 PSI, while C2 has a maximum air pressure of 35 PSI.

Tires on smaller vehicles like coupes, sedans, minivans, and crossovers usually aren’t marked with a load rating because they have a standard 4-ply rating and don’t need higher load-carrying capabilities. However, they may be marked as Extra Load (XL or Reinforced) or Standard Load (SL). While both have a 4-ply rating, the Extra Load can support an additional load at up to 42 PSI. The Standard Load is 36 PSI.

You should have one of the tire experts at Action Gator Tire ensure your tires are properly rated to support the weight of your vehicle.

This chart notes load ranges with their ply ratings and max load carrying air pressure.

Load Range and Ply Rating
Load RangePly RatingMax Load Carrying Air Pressure
Standard Load (SL)436 PSI
Extra Load (XL)442 PSI
C1650 PSI
C2635 PSI
D1865 PSI
D2850 PSI
E11080 PSI
E21065 PSI
F11295 PSI
G14110 PSI

Load Carrying Capacity and Load Index

Load index is a number on the tire’s sidewall that explicitly indicates the maximum load a tire can carry. Since the load range focuses mostly on a tire’s construction, the load index is a more precise method of measurement.

The load index number represents a tire’s carrying capacity when inflated to its maximum load sustaining pressure and further explains the tire load range measurement by adding more specifics to the rating. Most cars and light trucks have load index values ranging from 70-124.

You can use this chart to find your tire’s load-bearing capacity.

Load Index and Carrying Capacity
Load IndexCarrying Capacity (lbs)Load IndexCarrying Capacity (lbs)Load IndexCarrying Capacity (lbs)
099504191001764
1102514301011819
2105524411021874
3107534541031929
4110544671041984
5114554811052039
6117564941062094
7120575071072149
8123585201082205
9128595361092271
10132605511102337
11136615671112403
12139625841122469
13143636001132535
14148646171142601
15152656391152679
16157666391162756
17161676771172833
18165686941182910
19171697161192998
20176707391203086
21182717611213197
22187727831223307
23193738051233417
24198748271243527
25204758521253638
26209768821263748
27215779081273858
28220789371283968
29227799631294079
30234809921304189
312408110191314289
322478210471324409
332548310741334541
342608411021344674
352678511351354806
362768611681364938
372828712011375071
382918812351385203
393008912791395357
403099013231405512
413209113561415677
423319213891425842
433429314331436008
443539414771446173
453649515211456393
463759615651466614
473869716091476779
483979816531486844
494089917091497165
1507385

Get New Tires in Central Florida

Need new tires? Action Gator Tire has 25 locations around Central Florida to help you get the tires you need for your vehicle. From Oxford to Lakeland to Sanford and all around the Orlando area, you’ll find a convenient Action Gator Tire location with friendly experts to help you choose the right tires for your budget, vehicle, and driving style. Contact your nearest location to schedule an appointment today!