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Van tyre load index: how to read a van tyre size?

Tips & Advice for Car, SUV & Van tyres

The van tyre size is crucial when it comes to changing your tyres. But where is it and how do you interpret it? This article sheds light on these essential aspects to guide you in the right choice of tyres.

Where can you find the dimensions of a van tyre?

It is very simple. The van tyre size is always indicated on its sidewall. So when you need to change your tyres, all you have to do is bend down for a moment and read the numbers and letters on the side of your tyres.

You will notice that it looks like this:

225/65 R 16 C 112/110 R

But what does this code mean? It is a collection of useful information that defines the size of the tyre. To help you understand it, we will break it down point by point:

  • The first number (225 in this example) indicates the width of the tyre in millimetres
  • The second number (65) defines the height to width ratio of the section
  • The letter R simply means that the tyre has a Radial structure
  • The next number (16 in our example) is the diameter in inches

And the letter that follows provides additional information: “C”, in our example, indicates that the tyre is reinforced, i.e. that it is capable of supporting heavier loads than a conventional passenger vehicle and is therefore suitable for vans and light commercial vehicles. (To find out more, read our article on reinforced tyres).

  • 112/110 is the load rating (112 for single axle and 110 for dual axle).
  • R is the speed rating.

In addition to the van tyre size, there are other essential codes for choosing your tyres, such as the load and speed rating.

What is the van tyre load rating?

The van tyre load rating refers to a chart in which a corresponding load is given. This is the maximum load the tyre can carry.

The load rating chart shows the maximum load for each rating.

On your tyre, the load rating is indicated by a number followed by a letter. This letter represents the speed rating (which we will examine below).

Example : 112/110 R

Here 112/110 is the load rating. It corresponds to a maximum load capacity of 1120 kg for single axle and 1060 kg per tyre for dual.

Der Tragfähigkeitsindex eines Leicht-LKW-Reifens entspricht seiner maximalen Tragfähigkeit

What is the van tyre speed rating?

Your tyres do not only have a load limit. They also have a speed limit, i.e. a maximum speed up to which the tyre is capable of rolling with its maximum load. Of course, the speed rating is indicative and should not take precedence over the speed limit when driving on roads or motorways.

The speed rating of your tyre is symbolised by a letter of the alphabet.

Using the example above (112/110 R), the letter R defines the speed rating of the tyre. By referring to the speed rating table, we learn that this letter corresponds to a maximum speed of 170 km/h.

The speed rating chart shows the maximum speed for each rating.

The case of the double marking

While the generalities described above apply to most tyres, van tyres sometimes have a distinctive feature: an additional marking with a higher speed capacity combined with a reduced load capacity.

For example, for some dimensions, a double marking similar to this one appears, sometimes with a singular point in brackets:

205/65 R 16C 107/105T (103H)

Note that the speed rating is appended to the second number but refers to both load indices.

The double load rating, it is interpreted as follows:

  • 107: corresponds to a maximum load rating for a mounting on a single axle (here: 975 kg per tyre)
  • 105: corresponds to a maximum load rating for a mounting on a dual axle (here : 925 kg per tyre)

And a singular point can also be included (103H in our example). It is a complementary marking with a higher speed rating and a lower load rating.

Here, 103H indicates a load capacity of 875kg per tyre.

Now you know how to choose the right size tyres with the right load and speed rating for your commercial vehicle.

In our article "What are the best van tyres for your commercial vehicle?" you will also find additional information on how to choose your van tyre.

Did you also know that there is a European label that allows you to refine your choice of tyres? Take the time to read the following to help you make the right choice.

Choosing better thanks to European labelling

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Since 2012, the European Commission has introduced tyre labelling, a measure that has been reinforced in May 2021 and which lets the consumer know how a tyre has been rated on three aspects:

  • its energy efficiency
  • its wet grip
  • its external rolling noise

These aspects, rated by a letter from A to E, are symbolised on the label by pictograms, making it easy to understand at a glance how the tyre performs in each of these areas.

In the example shown here, the label indicates that our Michelin tyre is rated B for energy efficiency, B for wet grip and A for external rolling noise. These are valuable indications for you, the consumer, when making your choice of tyre.

You now have all the information you need to choose the best van tyres. You can use our Tyre selector to find the van tyres in the right sizes that will give the best performance:

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