Trailer Tire Guide
January 28, 2023
Trailer tires are an essential component of any trailer, whether it’s a small utility trailer or a large commercial one. Trailer tires are responsible for supporting the weight of the trailer and its cargo, as well as providing the necessary traction and stability while in moving. In this article, we will take a closer look at trailer tires, including the different types, sizes, maintenance, and safety tips.
Types of Trailer Tires
Trailer tires come in a variety of types, each designed for specific use cases. The most common types of trailer tires are:
- Radial Tires: These tires are designed for highway use and are the most common type of trailer tire. They provide a smooth ride, good traction and long tread life.
- Bias-Ply Tires: These tires are designed for off-road use and are less common than radial tires. They are typically cheaper than radial tires, but they wear faster and often times provide a rougher ride.
- Specialty Tires: These tires are designed for specific cases, such as boat trailers or heavy-duty commercial trailers. They are usually more expensive than radial or bias-ply tires, but they offer enhanced durability and performance.
Trailer Tire Sizes
The most common wheel sizes for trailer tires are going to be 15 and 16 inches. For this size wheel, the most common tire sizes include: ST205/75R15, ST225/75R15, ST235/80R16 and ST235/85R16. These sizes increase in both diameter and width and as they get larger the ply rating of the tire also increases. The tire options in 15 inch will range from 6 ply to 12 ply. The tire options for 16 inch will range from 10 ply and go up to 14 ply for extra heavy duty applications.
Wheel sizes are not limited to 15 and 16 inches. There are plenty of applications for smaller wheels such as 13 and 14 inches for smaller trailers such as boat trailers and light duty equipment trailers. The most common tire sizes for 13 and 14 inch trailer wheels include: ST175/80R13, ST185/80R13, ST205/75R14 and ST215/785R14. There are also many applications out there for trailer wheels smaller than 13 inches ranging as small as 8 inches through 12 inches. We also have heavy duty trailers that will have 17.5 and 19.5 inch wheels and commercial trailers that will have 22.5 and 24.5 inch wheels.
Trailer Tire Maintenance
Proper maintenance of trailer tires is essential to ensure they last as long as possible and perform well. Here are a few tips for maintaining trailer tires:
- Balance your trailer tires: Balancing trailer tires will improve the ride and control of the trailer at higher speeds and the life of the tires. Out-of-balance tires can also cause increase wear in wheel bearing, suspension and other components of the trailer.
- Check tire pressure regularly: Underinflated tires can cause uneven wear and can also be dangerous while driving.
- Inspect tires for wear and damage: Look for signs of tread wear, cuts or punctures. If you notice any of these, have the tire inspected by a professional.
- Rotate tires: Rotating your trailer tires can help ensure even wear and prolong the life of the tires.
- Store tires properly: When not in use, store your trailer tires in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from heat and UV rays.
Safety Tips for Trailer Tires
Trailer tires, like all tires, are subject to wear and tear. Proper maintenance and safety precautions can help keep your trailer tires in good condition, and ensure your safety while on the road. Here are a few safety tips for trailer tires:
- Always check tire pressure before hitting the road.
- Inspect tires for wear and damage before each trip.
- Don’t overload your trailer.
- Avoid over-inflation or under-inflation of tires.
- Avoid high speeds while towing a trailer, as they can lead to tire failure.
In conclusion, trailer tires are an essential component of any trailer. They are responsible for supporting the weight of the trailer and its cargo, as well as providing the necessary traction and stability while in motion. Regular maintenance and proper use are essential to ensure the longevity of your trailer tires and to keep you safe while on the road.