Load and speed ratings are two important specifications that are indicated on every passenger vehicle tire. Load rating refers to the maximum weight capacity that a tire can support, while speed rating indicates the maximum speed that a tire can safely operate at.
Load rating is expressed as a number on the tire's sidewall, followed by a letter that represents the speed rating. For example, a tire with a load rating of 91 and a speed rating of V can carry a maximum load of 1,356 pounds and can safely operate at speeds up to 149 miles per hour.
It is important to select tires with load and speed ratings that are appropriate for the vehicle and its intended use. Overloading a tire beyond its maximum load capacity can cause it to fail and lead to accidents, while operating at speeds beyond the tire's maximum speed rating can also lead to tire failure and loss of control.
From a legal standpoint, tire load and speed ratings are important as they are required by law to be displayed on all passenger vehicle tires sold in Canada and the United States. Vehicle manufacturers are also required to ensure that the tires they install on their vehicles meet or exceed the load and speed rating requirements for that specific vehicle model. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and other penalties.
In summary, load and speed ratings are critical specifications to consider when purchasing passenger vehicle tires, as they ensure safe and reliable operation of the vehicle while complying with legal requirements.