Load range and load index are terms you are bound to come across when purchasing new tires; they indicate how tire ply rating works.
In this article, we shall be breaking down these seemingly complex terms for a better understanding for you.
When it comes to passenger and commercial tires, there is something called ‘load capacity.
The load capacity refers to the overall weight of the load that the vehicle is capable of safely conveying from point A to B. The overall weight, in this instance, does not include the weight of the car, just the load itself.
This load capacity is further divided into two segments, SL and E, and we will discuss the difference between Load Range SL vs E shortly in this article.
Load Range SL Vs E – Features Breakdown
|Load Range SL||Road Range E|
|Specially designed for short journeys or day-to-day rides||Built for vehicles that carry heavy loads and can serve for regular rides|
|The Air pressure capability of the tires can be increased||Already built with stronger air pressure holding capacities|
|Carrying capacity of up to 1,477 pounds of weight||Overall carrying capacity is set at 3,195 pounds|
|Weighs about 44 pounds||Weighs approximately 52 pounds|
|No set damage restriction function. As a result, the tires are prone to wear and tear||Built with quality adhesion properties that make them very durable and have longer rubber life|
|Has its load pressure set at a standard 35 psi||Overall load pressure standard rate of 80 psi|
|SL tires make less noise on the road||E tires make more noise because they have more rubber in the treads|
|Ply rating of 4||Ply rating up to 10|
|SL-rated tired are more affordable||E-rated tires are more expensive|
See Also: Firestone Vs Michelin Tires
Load Range SL Vs Load Range E – In-Depth Analysis
Tires are basically categorized into two, and they are the SL and E. This categorization is done primarily based on load capacity.
Load Range/Ply Rating Analysis
We really cannot analyze the term load Range without understanding, first of all, what a ply rating is. Ply rating used to be the unit of measurement for calculating load Range. The ply rating gives the accurate amount of weight a tire is capable of supporting.
This is how it worked; tires have several plies, usually made of rubber and cord layers, otherwise known as plies.
The more plies a tire has, the higher the load capacity; when the load capacity is high, it ultimately means the tire can carry a large weight. If a tire has very few plies, it means the load capacity is deficient.
However, load ranges are now used instead of ply ratings. The change became necessary as tires have lesser and stronger plies.
How do you define a tire’s load Range?
It is typical to define a tire load Range using certain yardsticks like its durability and the overall pressure it can handle.
This load range can be detected by a letter found on its side wall. The higher the load rating of the tire, the higher its capacity to carry hefty goods.
Load Range and Ply Rating Chart
|Load Range||Ply Rating||Maximum Load Carrying Air Pressure|
|Standard load (SL)||4||@ 36 PSI|
|Extra load (XL)||4||@ 42 PSI|
|C1||6||@ 50 PSI|
|C2||6||@ 35 PSI|
|D1||8||@ 65 PSI|
|D2||8||@ 50 PSI|
|E1||10||@ 80 PSI|
|E2||10||@ 65 PSI|
|F1||12||@ 95 PSI|
|G||14||@ 110 PSI|
What is Standard Load? Overview of the SL tires
Ideally, a standard load tire would have a load index that clearly states that the load capacity is essential for tire size.
These tires are designed majorly for vehicles that are used on a day-to-day basis. They do not have any form of reinforcement on the inside and have a set overall load pressure amount for the standard tires which is 35psi.
They are passenger tires that are very easy to come by and can be identified with either the SL inscription or no markings on their sidewall whatsoever.
What is Load Range? E Tires Overview
The Load Range E tires are specially designed for heavy-duty machines and big trucks that constantly convey heavy goods. What this means is that if you are not in the business of loading heavy goods, you really do not need load Range E tires.
The E stands for a very high load range, and the tires are usually characterized by a weight that is usually very heavy, and the complexity is noticed in how hard it is to drive.
The load range E is not exactly fuel efficient and not exactly cheap too. In fact, they are pretty expensive.
Comparisons of the SL and E Tires
For both the SL and E tires, key yardsticks such as their durability and life expectancy, application and driving capabilities would be used to draft an in-depth comparison between them.
1. Durability & Life Expectancy
The SL tires are known to lack internal reinforcements and, as a result, get damaged very easily. Knowing this, it is safe to say that the SL tires are framed weakly and have no solid structure.
To get your money’s worth out of it, you must be careful of the kind of roads you drive on. Going into damaged roads with portholes will see you need a tire replacement soon.
The E tires, on the other hand, even though seen to be more durable than the SL, also have their own peculiar issues that affect their life expectancy.
Its increased weight adversely affects the mileage, and soon, the tires tend to bow to the pressure exerted on them and then wear out.
Its rubber, which is very thick and heavy, heats up faster.
On the whole, though, E tires are proven to be more durable than the SL tires.
SL tires are not built to carry hefty goods. They are basically passenger vehicles meant for regular driving. This is why you find the bulk of passenger tires available in the market without the SL or any other inscription.
The E tires, on the other hand, can take on heavy goods conveniently. Everything about the tires’ makeup made it capable of carrying heavy goods and withstanding damaged roads.
3. Driving Capabilities
Going to work, grocery shopping or just nearby visits? The SL tires can comfortably handle all that. It was designed for short distances and lesser loads.
You would have your tires last for much longer when you know their limitations and stay within their capabilities.
The E tires, on the other hand, can take on heavy-duty tasks. If you are not in the business of conveying heavy goods, the E tires are definitely not for you.
You would find the E tires too heavy for a half-ton truck spotting an EPA rating of 5 tons.
The EPA is a rating assigned to the vehicle by the tire label. The rating can be from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating worst and 10, best.
Load Range SL or E: Which is Better?
Deciding which is the right one to go for between Load Range SL vs E should not be so difficult. This is because the ultimate deciding factor lies with the type of vehicle you have.
As a regular driver who drives short distances daily, it’s obvious that the SL is what you need.
On the other hand, if you have a truck and are in the business of constantly transporting heavy goods and materials, the E tires would serve you better.
If your vehicle has the ability to move at a very high speed, you also need the right kind of support the E tires offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need load range E tires?
Yes, we highly recommend the Load Range E tire. There is also a lot of value to running a Load Range E tire on a lightweight off-road vehicle.
Is Load Range E good?
E-rated tires talk about the load rating of tires, meaning how much pressure the tires can handle at maximum load. E-rating means that the tires can handle between 60 to 85 PSI. This rating, however, is used specifically for Light Truck tires; passenger-type tires use a simpler XL (Extra Load) rating and SL (Standard Load).
Is 10 ply or 12 ply better?
In most cases, 10-ply tires are all you need; they are cheaper, more comfortable, use less fuel, and perform much better. On the contrary, 12-ply tires last longer, are much better with hauling and towing, and more capable of tackling challenging terrains.
Are 10 Ply tires good for off-road?
Yes, 10-ply tires are designed to carry more load more often, and they are better with off-roading, especially for rock-climbing purposes. 10-ply tires are mainly used for heavy-duty trailers, or trucks haul heavy materials daily.
How much weight can a Load Range E trailer tire carry?
E range tires are primarily designed for hauling heavy-duty trailers and trucks, such as dump trailers and equipment trailers. With 80 psi tire pressure, E-rated tires can support a load capacity of anywhere from 2,900 to 3,400 pounds per tire.
Are you on the verge of getting a new tire? Just before you do, there are certain terms that you must familiarize yourself with and certain information that you must be aware of in order to make the right choice.
Between the load range SL and E, none really is better; they both have their own unique functions and serve different interests. The onus lies in figuring out which will serve you better and go for it.