Besides tire size numbers, the most important numbers printed on the sidewall of a car tire are load index and load range. These two ratings let you know the amount of weight the tires can safely carry at given air pressure. The load index represents numbers, while the Load range represents a letter.
The most common load range ratings on tires are SL and E. In this article, I will be looking at load range SL vs E to see how the two tire ratings compare.
These rating numbers are an important factor to consider when buying new tires. Ideally, you want to buy tires with the same or a higher load rating than your current tires if you are buying replacement ones. This is especially if you use your vehicle to haul cargo or your car is an offroad vehicle. Let’s have a look at the quick comparison Of SL Vs E Load range Tires.
A Quick Comparison Of SL Vs E Tires
Load Range SL
Load Range E
SL tires are great for daily usage in normal road conditions
Consider Load Range E tires for hauling heavy load and towing
Ply rating Of SL rated tires is 4
Ply rating Of E rated tires is 10
SL tires are quieter on the road
Load Range E tires produce good amount sound due to have more rubber in the treads
Provide better fuel efficiency compared to Load Range E tires
Load range E tires are not fuel efficient compare to SL load range tires
Can carry weight of 1,477 pounds at max with SL load range tires
Can carry weight of 3195 pounds at max with E load range tires
You can inflate the SL tire at maximum 36 psi load pressure
You can inflate the E tire at maximum 80 psi load pressure
Most of the SL tires weight around 44 lbs
Most of the SL tires weight around 52 lbs
SL tires are not that durable compared to load range E
E rated tires have better puncture wear resistance, especially for offroad applications
SL rated tires are cheaper than Load Range E tires
E rated tires are pricier than Load Range SL tires
SL tires have thinner and lighter construction for daily drive and fuel efficiency
E rated tires have thicker and tougher construction for off road driving
From the above table you already know a few things about SL and E rated tires. However, before we jump into detailed comparison, we first need to understand the load range and ply rating.
What Is Ply Rating
Ply Rating is the oldest measurement of a tire’s strength and durability. Ply rating indicates how many layers of rubber are used to construct the tire. More ply number means that the tire has more layers of rubber and, therefore, greater load carrying capacity.
Most tires will have a ply rating of 8, meaning they have eight layers of rubber. In addition, some tires will have varying layers of tires on the tread and sidewall.
Light tires used in most regular cars feature four layers of rubber under the tread and only two layers of rubber on the sidewall. As such, they have the 4+2 ply rating.
However, advanced technology enables the construction of tires using fewer ply without sacrificing load capacity. Since the load capacity is the key and tire manufacturers use the tire plies number to indicate tire load capacity, it becomes problematic as they now produce durable tires without using more plies. And to resolve the problem, Load range rating evolved, keeping the ply rating numbers as a measurement number.
What Is Load Range
Load range is a tire rating denoted by an alphabet letter, an upgrade rating system of ply rating. Load range indicates the tire’s toughness and how much air pressure the tire can carry. Load range tells how much load in pounds the tire can sustain at a certain inflation pressure. The higher the number, the greater the load capacity of that tire. For instance, an E Load Range rating would be for tires that are designed for heavier loads, and an SL rating would be designed for lighter loads.
Load Range and Ply Rating Chart
|Load Range||Ply Rating||Max 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 load index:
Load index is a rating of a tire’s load-carrying capacity which is developed mostly focusing on the tire’s overall construction. This measurement is more precise in calculating the carrying capacity of tires than the load range rating. It is expressed as a number between 1 and 150 and indicates the tire’s load-carrying ability in terms of pounds per square inch. A higher load index means the tire can carry more weight and resist deflating more quickly.
For example, if your tire load index number is 126, the load capacity would be 3748 lbs (use the below table to find your tire load capacity). Multiply the weight capacity with 4. In our case, the 126 load index tire can carry 3748 lbs, and the entire car can carry 4×3748= 14,992 lbs.
Carrying Capacity (lbs)
Carrying Capacity (lbs)
Carrying Capacity (lbs)
Overall Analysis Of Load Range SL and E
In this section, we will learn about load range SL and E, their properties, and how you can use them to optimize your load-carrying capacity.
About SL (Standard Load ) Tires
Now that we know what load range rating is, let’s get more specific and look at what load range SL means. The SL in the load range stands for Standard Load (SL). Tires with an SL rating have their maximum load capacity at a pressure of 36 psi (250 kPa), and the ply rating is 4.
Benefits of load range SL tires
SL tires are standard tires that are not ideal for carrying heavy loads. Most tires with an SL tire rating have a load-carrying capacity of 1,477 pounds. However, despite their shortcomings, they do have their benefits.
- These tires are quieter on the road and also drive smoother
- Compared to tires with higher load ratings, so SL rated tires are cheaper
- Tires with an SL rating tend to be better for fuel efficiency compared to other tires
- Overall, these tires are great for daily usage in normal road conditions
Disadvantages of Using SL load range tires
- The load range SL weight capacity is lower compared to that of other tires such as XL, E, and C. Meaning, they are less ideal for hauling heavy loads. You can find more differences between Sl tires, such as load range SL vs XL help you to learn more about SL and other rated tires.
- They are less durable than other load range-rated tires.
- They are less capable when it comes to off-road driving.
Do SL Tires Last Long?
Don’t expect SL-rated tires to last as long as E or XL-rated tires. These tires do not have reinforcements in their inner walls. As such, they can get damaged easily. In addition, their lifespan will be significantly shorter if you use them on rough roads.
So if you want your SL tires to last, be careful of the types of roads you drive them on. These are not ideal for offroading or regularly driving on roads full of potholes.
Driving capabilities of the tires
The SL-rated tires drive quieter and smoother than other tires. This is because they are usually smaller and lighter. As a result, the engine does not need as much power to rotate them. This translates to them being better for fuel efficiency.
Towing capabilities of SL tires
These tires are designed for minimal towing applications. They are not ideal for towing heavy loads. Generally, these are intended for standard applications.
Who And When You Need load range SL tires
So when do I need load range SL tires? SL tires are designed for passenger vehicles and are the default tires on most vehicles. So if you mainly drive on tarmacked roads and rarely go off-road, SL tires will be a good fit as a daily driver. However, SL tires are not made for heavy hauling or towing.
Let’s Learn About Load Range E Tires
Tires with a load rating of E are used on light trucks and have a higher load capacity than SL tires. So what is load rating E? Loading rating E tires typically have a ply rating of 10 and a maximum load pressure of 80 psi. Again, these tires are usually used on light trucks.
Benefits of Load Range E Tires
Load rating E tires have several benefits that make them a better choice for light trucks than SL rated tires.
- These tires usually have better puncture wear resistance, especially for offroad applications
- Compared to other load rated tires such as C, E tires are much more readily available
- E load rated tires have thicker and tougher construction, meaning you can carry heavier loads with them
- They are more durable than SL rated tires regardless of the kind of terrain you drive them on
The Disadvantages of E Load Tires
As with any other tires, “E” load rated tires are not without their disadvantages
- Due to them being heavier, they require more power to rotate, which translates to less fuel efficiency
- Also, due to their weight driving them in normal driving conditions such as on a higher can feel a bit stiffer. Where load range D is applicable to use. Load range D is not tough but may give you comfort in daily driving. You learn more from here, the differences between load range D vs E.
How Long Do E Rated Tires Last
These tires are built to be robust and withstand harsh driving conditions. As such, they will last much longer than SL-rated tires. They are more reinforced as well, which means they are better suited for offroad driving.
Driving Capabilities of E Tires
Due to their weight and size, these tires feel much stiffer than other tires, such as SL tires. Thus their handling on the highway may not be as smooth. Also, the pressure on the drive train to rotate these tires is slightly higher, resulting in stiffer gear handling.
Towing Capabilities of E Rated Tires
These tires are specially designed to withstand heavier loads. Thus are suited to towing heavy loads of cargo.
How much weight can a Load Range E tire carry?
We tested the Load Range E BFGoodrich tire (manufactured by Michelin) is rated at 3,195 lb at 80 psi and weighs 52 pounds. Compared to SL-rated tires, E-rated tires usually have better puncture wear resistance, especially for offroad applications.
Who And When You Need load range E tires
So When do I need load range e tires? If you want tires for offroad driving and carrying extra load, then e-rated tires will be a good fit for your SUV. However, they will not be ideal for everyday driving on highways due to their stiff handling, which will lead you to extra rotational weight, killing fuel efficiency. On the other hand, since E tires seem overkill, these tires are ideal for 3/4 ton truck or if you plan on towing heavier loads.
Load range SL vs E Tires: which one to choose
So which load rates tires should you choose between load range SL vs. E tires? Well, it depends on your needs. If you want tires for offroad driving and hauling heavy cargo, go with e-rated tires. However, if you wish to drive from point A to B, SL tires will do. This is especially if you do not have any offroading needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I pick C or E load rated tires?
E load-rated tires have a thicker and tougher sidewall than C-rated tires with a softer sidewall. As a result, C-rated tires handle much smoother on and off-road. E-rated tires will be a good fit if you specifically need tires for towing or carrying heavy cargo.
Should I buy load range e tires?
It depends on your needs; if you want tires for hauling or towing heavy cargo, it will be good to opt for load range e tires.
What Is The Ply Rating Of SL Tires?
Sl tires have a ply rating of 4, and the maximum air load pressure is 36 PSI. This means they have four layers of rubber on the tread area and the sidewalls.
What Is The Ply Rating Of E Tires?
E-rated tires have a ply rating of 10 and the maximum air load pressure is 80 PSI. This means they have more layers of rubber than load range SL tires, and also tougher sidewalls for better handling in off-road conditions.
When choosing between load range SL vs. E, your needs and driving matter. If you want tires for hauling heavy cargo, go with e-rated tires. However, the lighter sl tires will make more driving and financial sense for everyday driving.
Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Rifen