Tire News & Information

What is Tire E Load Rating?

Last updated 11/04/2022 - Originally published 11/04/2022
Written by SimpleTire

The codes and information on the sidewall of a tire can be confusing and hard to interpret, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how it works.

First, an E-rating can refer to either load rating or speed rating, which also uses an alphabetical code. An E speed rating isn’t too common these days, though, as it would indicate a tire is only good for 80 mph. Instead, E-rating usually indicates the ply rating of a tire; the more plies a tire has, the more robust its load capacity is and the higher inflation it can handle at max load.

An E-rated tire is in the middle of the range with a 10-ply rating; an E1-rated tire can be inflated up to 80 psi, while an E2-rated tire can handle 65 psi max inflation. It’s also worth noting here that these ratings are for light truck tires as most passenger (P) tires have a standard 4-ply rating and light truck (LT) tires can be rated anywhere from six to 14 plies.

How is the E-rating on tires determined?

Here’s where it gets a little bit scientific, so buckle up and hold on.

First off, we should note that ply ratings are an older measurement as modern tire construction and materials mean fewer, stronger plies. For instance, a “C” load range means the equivalent of 6-ply construction, but a modern tire only needs two plies to achieve the same strength and inflation pressure.

There’s a standardized process for determining load ratings, with the tire inflated to its proper pressure at a predetermined temperature. The tire is then subjected to stresses and loads in a laboratory test machine, as part of the process that also determines speed ratings and other performance information. For you as a driver, that essentially means that you’ll need to take the vehicle’s total weight and divide it by four. For instance, if your truck weighs 4500 pounds, your tires should have a minimum load rating of 1125 pounds apiece. That, however, doesn’t account for gross weight including cargo and passengers, so always look for a tire that has “reserve” load capacity so you can safely tow or haul cargo.

What are the benefits of having E-rated tires?

Simply put, an E-rated tire can safely handle heavier loads without deforming or overheating. The right load rating for your vehicle’s tires makes all the difference when it comes to safety and control at highway speeds. An E-rated tire can manage 1520 pounds at 80 psi inflation, for a gross vehicle weight of 6080 lbs, which is a pretty generous load capacity for a passenger or cargo vehicle.

The different E ratings

An E rating is further broken down into ratings that are related to tire size, width, and inflation pressure.


Remember what we said above about ply rating, load capacity and inflation pressure? An E1 tire is rated at 10 ply, and is designed for 80 psi inflation.


An E2 rated tire is designed for 65 psi inflation; remembering that E-rated tires are for light trucks, that lower inflation means good flotation on soft terrain.

What does e ply rating mean on tires?

A “ply” just refers to a layer of rubber and cord, and the more plies a tire has, the more robust its construction and load capacity will be. An E ply rating indicates 10 plies, but as materials, design and construction have improved, that 10-ply-rated tire may only have one or two ply layers that provide the same strength as an old 10-ply bias tire. In other words, the ply rating is a fairly outdated standard but it’s still in use by the industry.

What does load rating e mean on a tire?

First off, let’s not get confused by definitions; load rating and load index are two different standards, with load index being used on P-Metric size tires, while load rating applies to trailer and light truck tires. An E load rating on a tire puts its load range at 1520 pounds, and you can refer to our paragraph above about how to calculate gross vehicle weight and know if an E-rated tire is right for your truck. A good rule of thumb is to just go with what the manufacturer’s recommendations are since tires are as much a part of the design parameters of a vehicle as brakes, suspension, or drivetrain. Tire specifications (not just load rating, but also size and design) are integral to your vehicle’s handling, road manners, safety, ride quality, and more.

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