Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orlando, Florida
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D load are light load tires, generally 8 ply with weaker sidewalls and slightly softer compound. E load are heavy load tires, generally 10 ply with stiffer sidewalls and harder compound. E load tires are especially important on diesel trucks - vehicles designed to tow heavy loads. Those trucks also start out very heavy 8000 - 9000 lbs.
Once you start mods on your Jeep and add armor, skid plates, roll bars, bigger (heavier) tires, E load tires may become necessary to deal with all the weight; but they may not have as good of performance off-road with sidewall flex as the D load counterpart.
As with all things Jeep, it is often a compromise to decide which load range you run. You can tinker with aspect ratio to help offset sidewall stiffness, but in my experience there are far fewer choices in off-road tires that have E load rating. If your rig is primarily a daily driver, and you've hogged it up with a lot of extra weight, E rated tires will likely help with mpg and last longer, whereas D rated tires will have much more "bounce" going down the road as the sidewalls flex more over little bumps, not helping the characteristic Jeep steering, accelerating tread wear, and uneven tread wear. If you wheel more and see less pavement, all those D rated flaws now seem more appealing and why some folks go to bias ply tires.
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