Load Range D vs E: What Do These Ratings Mean and Which is Best for You?

If you are in the market for new trailer tires, you will quickly discover that load range D and load range E tires are the most recommended. This is because of their high-quality build and reliability. However, knowing the difference between these two types of tires is important. In this article, we’ll help you understand these differences in load Range D Vs E so that you can choose the most appropriate tire for your vehicle.

Load Range D Vs Load Range E

What is the load range of a tire?

Load range refers to the weight-carrying capacity of a tire at the maximum permissible pressure. Light truck tires have three main types of load range classification depending on tire load capacity—class C, D, and E. The progression of the alphabet signifies an increase in the maximum pressure limit and tire load-carrying capacity. Therefore a tire with a load range rated E has a higher load-carrying capacity than one rated C.

What is a load range D tire?

A tire with a load range rated D has the following properties:

  • It has an equivalent rating of 8 ply
  • It has a maximum inflatable pressure of 65 psi or 450 kPa
  • It has a maximum load-carrying capacity of 1220 lbs
  • D-rated tires wear out faster when overloaded or used in demanding off-road conditions. 

What is a load range E tire?

Load range tires have the following qualities:

  • They are 10 ply rated
  • They have a maximum pressure of 80 psi or 550 kPa
  • Their maximum load-carrying capacity is 1520 lbs
  • When used in a similar fashion, E-rated tires will last longer than D-rated tires.

A Quick Comparison Of Load Range D and E Tires

Load Range DLoad Range E
Ply Rating810
Can Handle1,220 lbs at 65 PSI1,520 lbs at 65 PSI
For TowingNot good as Load Range EBetter For Towing
Tread DepthLoad range D tires have shallower tread depthLoad range E tires have a Deeper tread depth
Driving ExperienceSmooth DrivingDriver may feel stiffer
Suitable InDriving dry paved roadsDriving muddy, wet, or icy roads
WeightBetween 26 and 35 poundsBetween 40 and46 pounds
Fuel ConsumptionLow fuel consumptionIncreased fuel consumption
QuietnessQuieterNoisy
PriceCheaper than Load Range EPricier than Load Range D

load Range D Vs E: In-depth Comparison Based On Specs

Vehicle weight and load

Load range D tires are designed to carry loads of up to 1220 lbs. With a ply rating of 8, they do not have a lot of reinforcement. 

They are suitable for small trailers and RVs that carry little to no loads and paved surface use.  

Load range E tires are much stronger with thicker walls. Their ply rating is 10, meaning they can carry a much bigger load of up to 1520 lbs.

They can withstand much more abuse, including off-road driving, and are suitable for bigger or loaded trailers and RVs.

Budget

If you are on a tight budget, load range D tires are cheaper since less material is used in their construction. However, you should never sacrifice safety and performance for a budget. 

If your vehicle hauls heavy loads, is used off-road, or tows a trailer, ensure you use load range E tires.

Speed rating

Load range D tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph at the recommended tire pressure, while load range E tires have a maximum speed rating of 75 mph. 

Towing

Whereas load range D tires are adequate for towing, there are more suitable options. For towing, it is recommended to go for load range E tires.

With a 10 ply rating, they are stronger and able to handle the extra strain of towing more safely.

Treadwear and overall life of the tire

When used similarly, load range E tires will last longer than load range D tires. The 10-ply reinforced sidewalls on E-rated tires help the tire retain its shape and stability over a longer period.

Driving surface

Load range D tires have shallower tread depth. Their tread size is adequate for driving on dry paved roads. However, if you drive on muddy, wet, or icy roads, load range E tires will give you a better performance. Their deeper treads provide more traction resulting in better handling on such challenging surfaces. The deeper treads also provide more grip resulting in better breaking, making them safer for towing than D-rated tires.

Fuel consumption. 

Load range D tires weigh between 26 and 35 pounds, while E-rated tires weigh between 40 and 46 pounds. Since they are lighter, the D-rated tires lead to better fuel consumption.

Load range E tires are heavier and lead to increased fuel consumption due to the extra load on the engine. If low fuel consumption is important to you and your vehicle allows it, you should use D rated tires. 

However, you should not compromise fuel efficiency over safety by using tires rated D when you should have been using tires rated E. 

Comfort and ride noise.

On well-paved roads, D-rated tires will give a smoother and quieter ride. This is because the less material used in their construction results in a softer and lighter tire. 

On the other hand, the reinforcement in load range E tires makes them comfortable on off-road and unpaved surfaces.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Load Range D and E Tires

Pros of load range D tires:

  • More fuel efficient
  • Cheaper
  • Comfortable and smoother ride

Cons of load range D tires:

  • Cannot carry heavy loads
  • Not suitable for towing
  • Have a shorter lifespan
  • Not ideal for off-road driving

Pros of load range E tires:

  • Carrying heavier loads
  • Driving on icy, wet, and slippery roads
  • Driving in unpaved off-road conditions
  • For towing and hauling
  • They last longer
  • They are more common and easier to find the size you need
  • They are suitable for towing

Cons of load range D tires:

  • They are more expensive than load range D tires. 
  • They are heavier and might lead to increased fuel consumption
  • They can be noisy, especially on unpaved surfaces

Your safety on the road is paramount. Choosing the correct type of tires, depending on your vehicle and use, is very important. It is also essential to know the right time to change your tires.

Load Range and Ply Rating Chart

Load RangePly RatingMax Load Carrying Air Pressure
Standard Load (SL)4@ 36 PSI
Extra Load (XL)4@ 42 PSI
C16@ 50 PSI
C26@ 35 PSI
D18@ 65 PSI
D28@ 50 PSI
E110@ 80 PSI
E210@ 65 PSI
F112@ 95 PSI
G14@ 110 PSI

How do you know it’s time to change your tires?

  • If ¾ of your treads are worn out.  
  • If major cracks are visible on the rubber. This could be a sign of a major weakness in the tire.
  • If your tires are more than 6 years old. Rubber degrades over time
  • if your tire has been deformed after an accident, such as hitting a curb or after driving with the tire flat. 
  • After three to five puncture repairs, you should consider replacing the tire, especially if it carries heavy loads.
  • If you need help deciding whether to change your tire, go for the safer option and change the tire. 

Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Rifen

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