Tyres are manufactured under specific criteria that define what they can safely do. Tyres are made to withstand certain things when they are on the road, mounted on your car. And how much load they can carry is one aspect of that. The majority of tyres carry coded markings on them, which correspond to their load carrying capacity. The load capacity of a tyre determines what weight each tyre is able to carry. It is necessary that you check with your vehicle’s manufacturer what kind of tyres should you mount on your car.
The load rating is generally found after the diameter reading and before the speed rating on the sidewall marking. Take a look at the image below. We are using an example of 15 inch tyre made by General Tyre & Rubber Company since it is an OEM tyre for our local Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic:
195/65 R15 91H
‘91’ is the load index and ‘H‘ is the speed rating. Take a look at the chart below to find how much weight in kilograms each tyre is capable of holding. 91 load index corresponds to 615 kg of weight. It means each tyre on your locally assembled Civic or Corolla can bear 615 kilograms safely. And it is not just about load carrying capability. Maybe in a static vehicle, you can put far more load than just 615 kg. But when factors like speed of the vehicle, air pressure in tyres, condition of the surface you are traveling on, and temperature etc., are put into play, you need to be assured about how much beating the tyre is capable of getting. 4×615 equals to 2460. It means all four tyres of your car can lift upto 2460 kilos of weight, combined.
We often see cars, especially public transport vehicles, carrying so many people that you fear for the lives of the passengers on board. You can see that the tyres are touching their limits. Everything has a limit, and we definitely try to test those limits. But problem here is that by testing your tyre’s limits, you are not only playing with your and your passenger’s lives, but also with other motorists on the road.