SL vs E1 Ply: The Difference Between Load Range E and SL

The tire industry has become sophisticated. In the old days, all you had to worry about was buying a tire that fit your rims. Today, the story is different. There are tires for trucks, cars, and trailers and each one may have a different load rating, speed rating, and so on. There is so much writing on the tire that you don’t know if you are getting a tire or a book.

The load difference between these two tire options is vast. The SL has a load rating of 1477 pounds while the E1 has a load rating of approx. 3200 pounds. The ride may be softer with the SL but you won’t be able to carry much weight with that option on your trailer or truck.

To learn more about the difference between these two tire ratings, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you can have the best information possible before you buy. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help you.

What Does The SL Load Range Mean?


While the codes seem confusing and difficult to understand, once you learn what the letters mean, the code becomes very simple and easy to understand. The SL letters stand for standard load.

That means they are not towing anything heavy or carrying a lot of cargo. Their maximum load limit can only be reached when you put the maximum 35 psi inside the tires.

The tires with the SL code are reserved for passenger cars that do not carry heavy loads. You may find SL tires on some pick-up trucks and SUVs, but if you see them on those vehicles, that means you cannot go past their cargo load rating.

If you need to haul heavier items, you may want to upgrade to XL or extra load tires. The tire industry is not like the old days when you just got regular tires no matter what vehicle you were driving.

Today, you need to know a lot more about those letters and numbers put on the side of the tires. There are quite a few codes and definitions you need to learn before you get the right tires for your vehicle.

What is Load Range E1?

The whole tire industry has gotten very complicated. There is not only the LT, SL, ST, and E-rated tires that you have to learn about but you also have to learn about the E1 and E2 and their differences.

Of course, the E will still refer to the load range chart, the E series is equivalent to a 10-ply tire and can handle 80 psi max. When you see the E on the side of your tire, that means its 1 or 2-ply construction has the strength of a 10-ply tire. It does not mean there are 10 layers of rubber on the tire.

That is just the basics to provide a bit of foundation for the difference between E1 and E2 tires. The E1 tire has a lower footprint than 305 mm and to perform to its fullest potential it needs 80 psi inside.

The E2 has a greater than 305 footprint but it only needs 65 psi to perform properly. This tire is better for off-road action than towing. The E1 is better for towing and load-bearing.

Just one note, we reported that the E series tire can carry about 3200 pounds. We have come across other information stating it can only carry 1500 pounds. Double-check to see which figure is correct.

Difference Between Load Range E And SL


The major difference between the two would be in their ply rating. The SL only has a rating of 4 ply while the E series has a ply rating of 10. That is a very big difference as the E series is not supposed to be put on your car.

Then the SL is made for daily use, driving to and from work, going to the store, doing other errands, and so on. The E series tire is rated for heavy hauling and towing loads. It is a stiffer ride than the SL.

Next, you should get better gas mileage running SL tires than you would with the E tires. Whether that is due to the 36 psi to 80 psi comparison or the loads they can carry is up for debate.

As for weight, the SL is lighter at 44 pounds compared to the 52 that the E tires weigh. Plus, the E series is a more durable tire due to its heavy-duty construction. The E tire should last longer than the SL option.

Finally, the SL tires will be cheaper and thinner than the E tires. But cheaper does not mean they will work on all vehicles. You will have to pay the higher prices for the right tires for your truck and towing needs.

SL vs E1 Load Range

To understand the difference you need to understand how the term load range applies in this situation. When you read the words load range, you are being told how tough the tire is and how much air pressure that tire can hold.

It is not telling you how much weight you can put on the tire. For exam[le the E-rated tire is as tough as a normal 10-ply tire would be. The SL-rated tire only is as tough as 4-ply tires. The word plys refers to the number of layers of rubber there is on a tire.

However, modern tires are not given that number of layers. The rubber they are given just has the strength of those layers. For air pressure, the E-rated tire can hold 80 psi if it is an E1. An E2 can only hold 65 psi.

The SL tire can only hold 35 psi giving it a lower load range than the E series of tires.

D1 vs E1 Load Range


You already know the load range of the E1 tire. However, because of the letter rating system, which goes from B to F, there is not much difference between a D and an E-rated tire.

The E tire is better than the D because it handles more weight. Plus, it is better due to its 10-ply rating compared to the D tire’s 8-ply rating. Then the E tire can have 80 psi inside while the D tire can only hold 65 psi.

Keep in mind that if you upgrade from a D to an E tire, you may not be able to put more weight in your truck’s bed or tow a heavier trailer. While the tire can handle more weight, your load limits are restricted by the maximum load capacities your truck came with.

Better tires do not increase your truck’s maximum weight capacities.

E1 Ply Rating

There are charts all over the internet telling you the differences between the B to F tire load ratings. That means that if you do not remember what we are about to say, you can look it up easily and remind yourself.

The E1 ply rating is 10 and as we explained earlier that rating equals strength not layers. The word ply usually means a layer of rubber on a tire but things change as technology has found a way to provide more strength without using more rubber.

So when you see the letter E or the E1 or E2 on the side of your tire, the rubber on that tire equals the strength of 10 rubber layers. You may only get one or two layers but they are so strong you do not have to worry about a puncture or blow out.

Do I Really Need Load Range E Tires?


This depends. If you are an inexperienced driver, it is best to stick with the type of tires that came with your truck. That way you know you have the perfect tire for all duties your truck has to do.

Unless you are hauling or towing heavy loads, you really do not need to move up to the E-rated tires. There is not much difference to be gained by going from a D to an E and you will have to do the math to see if you really do need to upgrade.

Then you have to factor in the cost. The E-rated tire will be more expensive than the lower-rated ones. By at least 10 to 20% more.

Some Final Words

Getting the right tire for your towing and hauling needs has become more complicated. Not only do you need to know the tire and rim size, but you also need to know the load range and speed rating of any tire you buy.

Plus, you need to know which vehicle those tires are made for. Tire buying is not simple anymore and you have to know a lot more about the tires before buying a new set.

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