The Importance of Tire Load Index and the Dangers of Overloading Your Vehicle

You may have heard of the term "load index" on tires. But what does it mean and why is it important for your safety and efficiency?

A load index is a number that indicates the maximum weight that a tire can support when properly inflated. It is usually between 75 and 150 for passenger cars and light trucks, and it is found on the sidewall of the tire, after the tire size information. For example, if your tire size is 185R14C, you may see a load index of 102/100 next to it. This means that the tire can carry up to 1874 lbs (850 kg) for a single tire or 1764 lbs (800 kg) for two tires.

The load index is important because it helps you avoid overloading your tires, which can cause damage, wear, and even blowouts. Overloading your tires can also affect your vehicle's handling, braking, and fuel economy. In addition, overloading your cargo can violate the road safety regulations in the Philippines, which can result in fines or penalties.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW) for light vehicles (Class 1) is 4,500 kg, while for medium vehicles (Class 2) it is 12,000 kg. The GVW is the total weight of the vehicle and its cargo, passengers, and equipment. To calculate the GVW, you need to add up the weight of each axle and multiply it by the number of tires on that axle. For example, if your vehicle has two axles with four tires each, and each axle weighs 2,000 kg, then your GVW is 2,000 x 4 x 2 = 16,000 kg. This means that your vehicle is overloaded and exceeds the limit for Class 2 vehicles.

To avoid overloading your tires and your cargo, you should always check the load index of your tires and compare it with the weight of your vehicle and its contents. You should also check the tire pressure regularly and keep it at the recommended level. By doing so, you can ensure your safety and efficiency on the road, as well as comply with the law.