The load capacity index of a tyre is one of the most important parameters to consider when buying a new set of tyres. It is crucial for the service life of the tyres, but above all for driving safety. In this article, we have included all the most important information concerning this designation.
Before buying new tyres, it is important to verify their performance.
The load capacity index of a tyre is an inconspicuous parameter and is overlooked by many drivers. However, together with the speed index, it is just as important as the size. It does not affect the tyre's ability to be fitted on a rim, but it does play an important role when driving. Therefore, every driver should be familiar with this indicator in order to ensure his or her safety and that of other road users.
1. What is the load capacity index of tyres?
1.1 Load capacity indexes for tyres vs. gross vehicle weight.
2. Load index for car tyres
3. Load index motorbike tyre
4. Load index for light and heavy duty tyres
5. Load capacity indexes - how to choose?
5.1 Consequences of fitting tyres with the wrong load index
6. Popular load capacity indexes for tyres
7. Load capacity index - table
What is the load capacity index of tyres?
The load capacity (load index) of a tyre determines the maximum load a tyre can carry, when travelling at the highest speed allowed. The manufacturer determines the maximum load rating for the tyre, taking into account the more heavily loaded axle of the vehicle. It is therefore not difficult to guess that the larger and heavier the vehicle, the higher the load index should be.
The load capacity index marking is located on the sidewall of the tyre, right next to the speed rating.
Tyre load capacity indexes are expressed by a two- or three-digit number, which can be found on the sidewall of the model. It is located between the size and the speed index designation. For example, on a 205/60 R16 92V tyre, the parameter is 92, which indicates a maximum load capacity of 630 kg. The letter V next to it indicates the speed rating (max. 240 km/h).
As well as knowing what a tyre's load capacity index means, you should also be aware that it always goes hand in hand with a speed index. Both are extremely important for the safety of the car user, so it is worth knowing what they mean in order to choose the right tyres for your car.
The load capacity index and the total weight of your vehicle
Knowing the load capacity index of a tyre, the total weight of your vehicle can be calculated easily.
If a tyre has a load index of 91h, for example, this means that the load on this tyre must not exceed 615 kg. The letter h, on the other hand, is the speed rating, which is 210 km/h.
If you multiply the number of kilos per tyre times four, you will get a value that is slightly higher than the maximum gross vehicle weight of your vehicle.
Load-capacity index of vehicle tyres
The load capacity index for passenger car tyres generally ranges from 88 to 99; higher values are usually used for SUVs, for which reinforced tyres are often used, e.g. marked with the letters XL. The choice of the right parameter depends primarily on the weight of the vehicle in question, but also on the number of passengers. In cars designed to carry five people, it must be higher than in vehicles with only two seats - for the driver and passenger.
When choosing new tyres, go for models with the characteristics indicated by the car manufacturer.
Load capacity index of motorbike tyre
For motorbikes, the load rating of the tyre depends largely on the vehicle itself. Smaller values are used for scooters or small machines up to 125cc. Slightly different values are also used for choppers, sports models, and enduro bikes. This is due to the differences in construction of the different versions of motorbikes, which affect their weight. It is not difficult to guess that the indexes are lower for motorbikes than for cars, usually ranging from around 200 to around 300 kg.
Load capacity index for light and heavy duty tyres
A significantly higher load capacity index is used when it comes to tyres for vans, let alone trucks, than for cars. For "vans", including buses, additional load index designations are used: XL (Extra Load), C (Commercial), and LT (Light Truck). The permissible weights are usually between approx. 800 and approx. 1,500 kg.
Truck tyres use the highest indices, in some cases even reaching 3,000-6,000 kg load capacity each. It is worth mentioning, however, that in both cases there is often a double index, e.g. 115/113, in cases where double or twin wheels are used. The first value is then dedicated to cars with single wheels and the second to vehicles with so-called "twins"
Load capacity index - how to choose?
If you plan to buy replacement tyres in a size other than that recommended by the manufacturer, you should choose the car tyre load capacity index provided in the car's manual. There you will find the exact guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. If you do not have the manual, you should also find the tyre information in other places, e.g.: on the fuel filler flap, on the pillar behind the driver, or the inside of the door on the driver's side.
If you have tyre size 205/55 R16 91T and are planning to fit narrower tyres, e.g. for the summer season, 16-inch tyres - 195/60 89 H - will be a substitute for the specified size.
The summer tyre indexes of the selected model are unfortunately lower than those dedicated to our vehicle, so we cannot fit them.
A good alternative would be a 15 inch tyre - 195/65 R15, which has a load capacity index of 91T. In this case, however, it is necessary to have 15 inch rims and to be able to fit them on the chosen car model.
Consequences of fitting tyres with the wrong load capacity index
Remember that under no circumstances should tyres with a lower load capacity index be fitted than those recommended by the manufacturer. This is against the law and therefore has legal consequences. Above all, however, it affects driving safety. Failure to comply with the recommendations may result in:
- faster tyre wear. Tyres with the wrong load capacity index can wear out more quickly, causing your car maintenance expenses to increase.
- danger when driving. Too much pressure on the tyre can cause it to blow out, which consequently contributes to accidents.
- loss of driving stability and reduced driving comfort.
- liability problems. In the event of a collision or road traffic incident, the insurer may refuse to pay the claim if the car has had tyres fitted that does not comply with the manufacturer's recommendation.
- Loss of warranty. By fitting products with characteristics that do not correspond to those specified by the manufacturer, you will lose the warranty on the tyres you have purchased.
- the risk of a financial penalty. During an inspection, a police officer may issue a fine if the tyres fitted do not comply with the manufacturer's guidelines.
Did you know that?
Modern safety systems fitted to cars, such as traction control and ABS, are closely linked to the tyres that have been specified for use by the manufacturer. Fitting tyres that do not comply with these requirements can therefore entail several problems and a risk to driving safety.
Popular load capacity index for tyres
It is not difficult to guess that the most common indexes are those used on passenger cars. These are the vehicles you encounter most on the streets. The following indexes are among the most commonly used in them:
- Load capacity index 88 – 560 kg
- Load capacity index 91 – 615 kg
- Load capacity index 94 – 670 kg
- Load capacity index 95 – 690 kg
- Load capacity index 98 – 750 kg
Load capacity index - table
You may need tyres with a rare speed rating. However, there are many markings used, which can be confusing. That is why we have prepared a special table in which we list the main indications and the values associated with them.
Load capacity index of tyres- tables
|Load capacity index of tyres (tyre marking)||Load capacity index of tyres expressed in kilograms|