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Tyres and load ratings - using car tyres on T5?

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a11y View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 Jun 10 at 19:41
Hi
 
I'm really hoping someone can answer this query as I've not found a definitive answer searching online! I've got a reasonable understanding of speed and load ratings but I still have a query relating to load-ratings in particular.
 
I've got a VW Transporter T5 van, T30 variant, i.e. maximum permitted weight of 3000kg. It's actually a camper conversion whose maximum-loaded weight never exceeds 2500kg, but I'm aware legally I must fit tyres with a load rating of the maximum permitted weight of 3000kg.
 
I need 4 new tyres for it in the standard 215/65/16 size with a speed rating of R (104mph) minimum.
 
Q1: Am I limited purely to using commercial van tyres?
 
Q2: Or, could I fit a "normal" car tyre, provided it has a load rating suitable for my 3000kg maximum permitted weight?
 
The reason I ask is that I've found lots of car tyres on the mytyres website, in the required size, with a load rating of 98, equating to 750kg per corner, i.e. 3000kg maximum permitted load, e.g. Falken ZEIX ZE-912 215/65/16 98H @ £66.30 each.
 
Q3: is there any reason why I can't legally and safely use a 98 load-rated tyre on my vehicle with maximum permitted weight of 750kg? i.e. 3000kg total. My current tyres have a 104 load rating, i.e. 900kg per corner or 3600kg maximum permitted weight, which safely exceed the required load rating.
 
 
I'm asking because I'm unsure if I'm making this issue too simplistic (or too complicated!). I'm after the best performing tyres in terms of grip in the dry and wet, and also braking performance: of all the tyre tests I've seen, car tyres out-perform commercial-specific tyres.
 
Many thanks in advance
Ally
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Chaos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 10 at 20:16
Our sportline has 101's on and are designed for 4x4 personally I wouldn't use anything lower I believe the sidewalls are strengthened but I'm sure someone else will clarify
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote simmytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 10 at 20:57
From what i have read on here and other forums you need to allow a % over the load rating,i would stick with 4x4 or mpv tyres,with a rating of 101,camskill do the best price on falkens.I have just got 4 ,255/45/18 falkens load rate 103 for my t30 £91 each.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 10 at 11:37
The Chaos and simytt - thanks for your replies.

I'd emailed mytyres last night for their advice on this too - their reply this morning says I can safely use any tyre (car or commercial) as long as the load rating exceeds the maximum permitted loading for the vehicle. They made no mention of going a percertage over the load rating as simmytt says above, but I've since read that online too: apparently it's to cope with unever loadings on vehicle through loads not being distributed evenly and is mainly a concern with vans carrying heavy loads in the rear.

However, I still think 98 load-rated tyres (750kg/corner) will be sufficient for my personal use as a camper van. It meets the legality aspect so I'm fine there. Our T5 is a camper conversion (soon will be) weighing in at 2462kgs (inc full tank of fuel, full tank of fresh water, 2 gas canisters, and driver) according to the conversion company, so even with all our stuff on board we're not going to come anywhere near 3000kg.

It certainly opens up access to some performance-orientated tyres (which have better ratings for wet grip and braking than any commercial tyre) in 98 load rating which are also cheaper than commercial tyres.

I'm not set on this idea yet, so if anyone has any advice as to why I shouldn't do it, let me know!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mutley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 10 at 13:29
Don't take anyone's word on it - go and weigh the thing yourself - you may weigh than you think. We did.

Also, consider the tricky questions and explainations should you have an accident. Insurance companies will attempt to use that to wriggle out of paying out. Any savings you make will be spent many times over convincing them otherwise. Worse still if anyone gets hurt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big-AL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 10 at 13:37
We are a Falken Tyre centre ..   The  Falken ZE-912 , is a great budget tyre..  
No way would I be happy putting it on a T5, even if it was totaly unladen ...
Everything about the T5 is so heavy !   Alloys, Re-movable seats.. etc
 
Go for something like the STZ     Falken which is made for sports SUV vehicles..   Still grippy , but very strong side wall.. 
 
Dont want to upset your insurance co , should theThumbs Up  worse happen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sampsonr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 10 at 23:09
I have a 2006 California 4WD (3000kg) with same rating - have had Michelins but wear rate pretty high. Now replaced with Goodyear Wrangler HPs M&S (got them from Tanvic) - very happy with performance and wear (235/55/R17  103H)  Had Falkens and I prefer the Wranglers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 10 at 08:35
Originally posted by Mutley Mutley wrote:

Don't take anyone's word on it - go and weigh the thing yourself - you may weigh than you think. We did.

Thanks - I do trust the conversion company though! There's a weighbridge very close to them I believe, so would be easy to check if I wanted to.



Originally posted by Mutley Mutley wrote:

Also, consider the tricky questions and explainations should you have an accident. Insurance companies will attempt to use that to wriggle out of paying out.

Originally posted by Big-AL Big-AL wrote:

 
Dont want to upset your insurance co , should theThumbs Up  worse happen

Thanks folks, but surely there'd be no explanations or upsetting of insurance companies - the tyres can legally be used on vans (they're rated accordingly).

I'm playing devil's advocate here, not intentionally being awkward and I am taking all advice on board! I won't be going for 98 load rated tyres after all your advice. I'm grateful for Big-AL's suggestion of sports SUV tyres - they're something I'll be investigating as an alternative to buying commercial van tyres. Perhaps looking for something with a 102 load rating if it's going to be grippier/better performing than a commercial tyre.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big-AL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 10 at 11:55
Its not untill you try to pick up a  T5 Alloy Wheel and tyre...     It brings it home to you just how much heavier it is than  a wheel and tyre same size  of say?   a   "  Mondeo Estate ! "
 
Go into your local tyre shop and pinch the side wall of a car tyre , then a  SUV  / Heavy load rated ,and  compare .....  your be happy you went for the thicker rating Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriscroft Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 10 at 22:02
Do not divide your gross weight by 4 and think that eqautes to your max axel loads, it doesn't.
If you check the data you will find the axel loads are not equal, I think that load index 100 is the minimum you need for a T30, so that the tyre loads(max) are greater than the axel loads(max).
Of course this asumes that your loading is uniform (left-right).
 
I have michelin latitude Cross tyres 235 65 16 they are absolutly brilliant especially off road and in snow/ice. Wear rates are great as well looking like 25k+ miles on front, and more on back (I change my tyres at minimum 3mm tread) there its lots of research to show why. Also i drive like I've stolen it, even after 100k miles the T5 still makes me smileSmile
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mistadave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 10 at 21:08
As Chriscroft says, you MUST look at the axle weights:

For a T5 front is 1525kg and rear is 1625kg, and you can't simply divide those by two either, you have to allow for one side to be loaded more than the other (although i have no idea to what extent).

Even based on just dividing them by 2 the lowest rating you can put on the front is 99 and rear is 101, probably add another number or two to allow for uneven load. Although this probably is overkill, insurance won't think so, and consider that if you have to swerve in an emergency the van may go tripod style, and most of the weight of the van will be on one tyre. If it blows your screwed - worth risking?

People have mentioned in the past how squirmy vans have felt with under rated tyres on them, especially on a 16 inch rim. Tthe right tyres have far stiffer sidewalls to help.

I use kumho KU31 which seems to be some miracle tyre in every aspect except for mud, and they have a 103 loads rating although im not sure if they do it in your size.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ex-car bloke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 10 at 21:29
It's not just about static loads either, it's about dynamic loading.  Imagine the real weight on say a left hand rear tyre when you drive fully-loaded at high speed over a big hole in the road. 
 
It might only be momentary when you load tyres like this but there is no way that I would consider under-rated tyres because it's at these moments that you need the load rating that car tyres just can't cope with. 
 
I'm all for saving money but when it comes to tyres I'd rather pay extra and be over-specified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 10 at 09:47
Thanks, for the comments/advice folks, really useful stuff Thumbs Up

Despite my intended use (a camper conversion), there's still the chance of uneven loadings - the dynamic loading mentioned by ECB above. I've had advice - found online but backed up by a tyre fitter I trust -  that it's standard practice for tyres to be load-rated 10-25% over the actual maximum permitted weight of the vehicle, which explains why the standard van tyres on the T5 are rated at >900kg per corner.

So basically, my idea of 98-rated (750kg per corner) tyres is out the window Big Grin. I'm now looking at tyres designed for SUVs/etc which have at least a 103 load rating, as they generally perform much better than commercial-specific tyres in performance tests.

I'm not so bothered about saving money overall, I'm just more interested with getting the best tyre for my money in terms of performance. Anyone who knows me know I don't skrimp on the important things, i.e. tyres! I have noticed that 18" tyres in 235/50/18 aren't much more than 215/65/16, but that would involve buying alloys which I'm not bothered about...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriscroft Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 10 at 21:36

I donot believe the extra factor of safety some talk about because of dynamic loading.

The mode of failure for a tyre in these circumstances is excessive heat build up. This happens through load/speed/inflation pressure/ambient temperatures. Dynamic loads under normal driving conditions are instantanious and short lived, with plenty of time for the tyre to recover its normal opperating temperature. Therefore it will not impead the safe use of the tyre.
 
VW agree with me, if I look at the sticker inside the drives door jamb on my velle (T30) it gives an inflation pressures for a 100 load index tyre, and that rating only just meets the static load condition.
 
As i,ve mentioned before unlesss you live in death valley, drive at 120 miles per hour fully loaded hour after hour, the heat build up from dynamic loading should not cause a problem.
 
I am convinced its over engineering gone mad to allow all these extra ratings, particularly living in europe.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ex-car bloke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 10 at 22:16
Originally posted by chriscroft chriscroft wrote:

I donot believe the extra factor of safety some talk about because of dynamic loading.

The mode of failure for a tyre in these circumstances is excessive heat build up.
 
I'm sorry, but I don't believe the mode of failure of a tyre on a 3 tonne fully-laden van hitting a pothole at 60mph is purely down to excessive heat build up any more than I believe that a man being punched by David Haye will be knocked out due to the heat of the friction of his glove. LOL
 
If you're an engineer working for Michelin then I bow to your superior knowledge and will admit to being wrong, but surely a load rated tyre is built to withstand mechanical stresses as well as thermal ones?
 
Everyone is free to deny global warming, the existence of God or whether load rated tyres are a big marketing trick or not. 
 
But the way I see it is that if I'm going to be hurtling around in my van with my wife and child on board and I can buy high load-rated tyres for more or less the same price as lower load rated tyres, I'll have the higher rated version (which is the rating of the tyre that was on the van from the VW factory, whatever the door jamb says), thanks very much.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big-AL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 10 at 23:08
Originally posted by chriscroft chriscroft wrote:

I.

 
I am convinced its over engineering gone mad to allow all these extra ratings, particularly living in europe.
 
Everything about a T5 is over engineered  / bloody heavy .. !!   
  If a Thick ply / High load rate tyre, gave crap handling , and bad road noise etc ..  I could understand  what your saying ..
 
But a High Load rate SUV tyre like the Falken STz is  great ..       Why risk a  Family car tyre on a heavy van  ? ShockedShocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 10 at 11:38
Big-AL, do you have access to check for the availability of Falken STZ tyres in 215/65/16 with a T5-relavant load rating? I can't seem to find them in the usual places online and I suspect they're just not available in the size I need.

There's plenty of other SUV-type tyres in 215/65/16 with 102/103 load ratings from the likes of Pirelli, Bridgestone and Continental plus a couple of "lesser" brands, so I've got plenty of options. There's just a lack of reviews on this type of tyre online though which isn't helping. I'm seriously impressed with the Falken FK452's on my Z4 though, so would be tempted with more SUV Falkens on the van...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote simon payne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 10 at 14:08
Make sure once you've selected the tyre you want to check as many tyre fitters as possible.  I've just had 4 new Michelin Agilis Tyres on my T5, and the cheapest deal I could find was by buying them on-line at Kwik Fit. I had to pay in advance and they were fitted two days later in my local depot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote a11y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jun 10 at 14:18
Good advice, but personall I'm a bit spoilt for choice. I used a mobile tyre fitter when replacing the runflat tyres on my car (very difficult job on 18" wheels with a very stiff-walled 35-profile) and he's already said he'll try to match any online price I find for tyres.

But my father-in-law also has access to a mate's workshop complete with tyre fitting and a balancing machine...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriscroft Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 10 at 20:57
As i say if I'm wrong then so are VW with regard to their tyre specifiactions.
 
If you believe that VW are wrong then why aren't there 100,000 americans taking them on in a huge class action (remeber toyota????)
 
I am right, so are VW, you are wrong end of storyWink
 
Do you honestly believe that VW could engineer such a fantastic vehicle as the T5, 100% correct in every detail and fcuk up on tyre specs????????        ohhhh,  I now see were you are coming fromLOLLOL
 
Bow to my superior knowledge.Thumbs Down
 
 
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