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Speed Rating and Off-Road Rubber


David Wilson, director and lead instructor at Adventure 4WD

David Wilson, director and lead instructor at Adventure 4WD has been a 4WD trainer since a time before the internet. He lives and breathes life off the beaten track and is passionate about sharing his knowledge. We want to help Dave spread the word, so every Wednesday; Toyo Tires will be sharing one of his snack sized 4WD tyre tips.


Speed rating: What that little letter might mean for off-road performance

Last week I had you looking at the sidewall numbers for your load rating. While you were there, did you notice the alphas at the end?

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Plenty of standard 4WD tyres come with “S” or even “H” ratings telling us they can travel at a maximum speed of 180 and 210km/h, respectively.

That’s seriously in excess of Australia’s permitted maximum speeds and suggests that those tyres were designed focussed on road situations.

State regulations allow tyres fitted to 4WDs with a lower speed rating than that shown on the tyre placard where a driver might need a specialist fitment.

You might find your vehicle handbook or placard will offer an “L” rating of 120km/h being the minimum permissible speed rating, still plenty fast enough for our highways and allowing better choices for snow and ice and anything in-between.

Thankfully Toyo’s Open Country A/TII range offer the best of both worlds, speed ratings to satisfy every jurisdiction, vehicle type and toughness that is beyond compare.

Check out Toyo Tires guide to load and speed ratings here.