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Anyone know much about trailer tires?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lintmann, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Blacklisted
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 82


    Bearing buddys replace the dustcap and they have a grease zerk so you can keep grease in the wheel bearings. There is a spring that keeps tension/compacts the grease into the bearings. Mostly used on boat trailers but you can use them on any trailer.

    Bearing Buddy

    And for the ST vs LT, one of the other forums I'm on prefers the LT on a 16" rim for alot of the toy haulers. On my toy hauler I have the Maxxis ST and am very happy with them. They came on the trailer when we bought it. It's been 4 years and holding up great.
  2. Blacklisted thanks i like that idea i may add that to my wish list for my trailer.
  3. Be careful with them, especially on axles with brakes. A common error is to pump too mush grease in. This pushes the grease out past the inner seal and, well you can imagine how well that works with brake shoes...

    AVOID the Interco LT tires! They are made in India now. I bought a brand new pair, and both of them alligatored like recaps after less than 300 miles. Switched to Specialty Tire LTs (same load rating) and no more problems.
  4. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 697

    Stock Racer

    All the import tires out there suck. I know a few guys that tow a lot (I only go about 200 miles each way max) and they tell me their problems were over when they switched to 16" wheels. They also say trailer tires ONLY for a trailer and keep them at max inflation.

  5. good point on the axles with brakes.....what about the harbor freight bearing buddies anybody using them?
  6. Blacklisted
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 82


    I wouldn't trust the HF ones. Go with the "bearing buddy" brand or another will known brand. They aren't that expensive. You just need to know what diameter your caps are and get the right size. If you have a boat shop or a trailer supply you should be able to find t hem local. If not try amazon, I've had good luck with them and normaly cheaper than most places.
  7. is it only the diameter or is there a thread pitch also? does this screw in or get tapped in. seems likeon my cars i have had both types of grease caps, thks bob
  8. After 35 years in the tire business, I'll chime in, with some facts and untruths.

    As was said: LT= Light Truck and ST= Special Trailer

    Your tire size and choice of type is dependent on your existing wheel diameter. If 16", then by all means go with a radial LT tire. 15" limits choices unless you stick with a radial ST. DO NOT use a standard load passenger tire on a car hauler. Goodyear still makes 15" Marathons in Canada, after closing Union City, TN production. I have them on my trailer.

    The 15" ST tires are basically an auto tire base using heavier body plies to achieve heavier capacity. 16" LT tires are heavier body ply and belt packages and different compounding.

    Your choice of Load Range in radials (forget about "plies", that's old days bias ply spec) should be determined by the GVR of your trailer. Any dealer will have a tire load range and carrying capacity/inflation table. Pick a load range slightly higher than your GVR.

    Radials have lower rolling resistance, less heat build-up and give better fuel economy to the tow vehicle. They do have a more flexible sidewall with only one body ply, but most have a scrub ring molded in.

    The LR G 16" LT tire requires a special wheel for the required higher inflation pressure, and only two companies make them. Be aware; a regular rim may crack.

    Under inflation, heat buildup and impacts will cause ANY tire to fail from tread separation. More pressure over the max rating WILL NOT add to the carrying capacity of the tire, only let it run slightly cooler.

    Maintain the air pressure!!
    Use metal valve stems and valve caps!!
    Stay off curbs!!
    Check the trailer axle alignment!!

    Or expect poor performance and possible failures.

    Buy the extra road hazard warranty to cover YOU running over something!

    Signing off......
  9. I believe most press in, as they are designed to replace the stock cap in some applications. The ones I'm familiar with are a pretty tight press fit!
  10. ceegrey
    Joined: Sep 26, 2008
    Posts: 93


    Towed many trailers for a lot of years and have found a good quality Light Truck tyer will do the job far better than any alternative, especially over long distances to weight.
  11. how do you check trailer axle alignment? and what makes it change over time
  12. Springs sagging, hangers getting bent, axles bending... I've pretty much lived through all of those.

    One easy way to tell if a tandem trailer is misaligned is to put the tongue jack on a floor jack and try to move the tongue left and right. If it moves one way much easier than the other, the axles are misaligned to one another. This is the cause of many blown tires, as the tire is running in a constant state of scrub and overheats.

  13. I too have a lot of experience with tires however I never could get a straight answer about the difference between trailer tires and motor vehicle tires.

    I too have also wondered why a "LT" load range "E" tire will handle tonnage on my diesel Super Duty but supposively isn't good enough for a trailer.

    I think this clears up a lot of those "'ol wives tails".

    Thanks "hotrodA"! :cool:

    Now I've got one related question for you:

    Is it safe to run Cragar SS's on your trailer???

    I'm not talking about a big enclosed trailer. I have a full diamond plate steel deck, dual axle, open trailer and would like to run SS's on it. I know they use to do it back in the day. But then a lot of things were done "back in the day" and later found to be really stupid when it comes to safety.

    If necessary or a must per the rules, I can start a new thread regarding my question. I just thought that it was related. Just let me know!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

  14. i like that and i will eyeball everything and try that, thks bob

  16. To add to the already good advice, I'll give you the long version.

    Don't back the trailer up and then check. Pull it forward with brake on to load the suspension, as in real life with a load.

    Check the front axle for square in the frame. Triangulate three points down to some tape on the floor, two from the same points on the spring plates to one from the hitch. Ideal would be +/- 1/8"

    Check parallelism from the rear axle to the front from common points on the two axles (spring centers, dust caps, rim edges, etc.)

    Check the toe setting with paint and scribe or a simple toe gauge. 1/16" toe IN for radials. Excessive toe, either in or out, is the fastest wearing alignment angle.

    Camber is not a real issue unless you suspect a bent axle from overload.
    Check with an angle finder off the hub. 1/8-1/4* positive (out at the top)
    Axle bends are tough (on tube axles) but can be done. Most overload bends are from the spring out to the spindle.

    Check the wheel bearings for excessive clearance; lets the tire toe out for fast wear.

    ANYTHING worn can allow misalignment; check the cheap plastic bushings in the spring eyes and the equalizers. Also check the equalizer pivots for slop. When you stack the worn clearances, you can be out.

    Pull behind trailers are pretty simple, like semi trailers, and I've aligned hundreds and got 200K miles on semi's.:D
  17. The load range letters replaced the ply designations. Those of us older than 35 know both:

    A is 2-ply
    B is 4-ply
    C is 6-ply
    D is 8-ply
    E is 10-ply
    ...and so on.
  18. It is NEVER a good idea to run car "mags" on a dual-axle trailer!!! The tire flex involved when turning, induces lateral stress to that wheel it was never designed to endure. You WILL break a wheel center, eventually. There are aluminum wheels built specifically for trailer use - find them and use them.

    You can use the Cragar or similar wheel on a single-axle without issues - just watch the curbs - because you will break one, if you are not careful.
  19. weldtoride
    Joined: Jun 14, 2008
    Posts: 259


  20. houston54
    Joined: Jul 9, 2006
    Posts: 142


    Some car haulers are spec'd to use LT series tires. I was looking over a Haulmark 28 footer last weekend and noticed the spec plate on the side listed LT225 load range F as the standard tire.

    I am running some of the imported crap tires on my 18 foot flat bed. I have had them on for almost 2 years and have noticed they are cracking already. I will run them around town that way but for a long trip they will be replaced.
  21. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    For what it is worth, I have been running a lot of fairly heavily loaded "small" trailers, (most between 20' and 48') for about 25 years now, and have ALWAYS run LT tires.

    In my experience they are cheaper, more available, (try finding an ST when you blow one out on the side of the road) and BETTER than their "ST" counterparts.

    In my opinion, common sense + experience insists on LT tires for trailers.
  22. Blacklisted
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 82


    My experience with trailer tires has been that you will see environmental wear (cracking etc.) before you will wear them out. I probably put around 3,000 miles a year on our toy hauler and the tread looks like new, tires have been on for 3-4 yrs. On my boat trailer it doesn't see that many miles and I had to replace the tires because of cracking. I now keep tire covers on my trailers to keep the cracking to a minimum. I think it's helping keep the sun from beating the tires to death. Just something else to think about when your not using your trailers.
  23. Captain Chaos
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 596

    Captain Chaos
    from Missery

    I've gone through similer problems on my 24 ft enclosed this summer, blown tires and broken spring, my research showed lot of trailers tires are not good, carlisle and goodyear being the most complained about , I also found a site that tells the actual manufactuer and country of origin, most out of china now : ( so I'm going with Akuret on mine, made by Yokahama , load range D because I cant get an E in my size , not happy w this Pace but thats another bitch thread
  24. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 752


    I know most guys who tow trailers are already aware of this but it is worth repeating.

    Whenever I am on the road towing my trailer and stop at a rest area or wherever, I ALWAYS walk around the rig and touch the tires to see if I have a hot tire. A hot tire means it is running low on air pressure. With stiff sidewall trailer tires it is sometimes hard to tell if a tire is low because they just will not sag until it is too late.

    I even use this touching practice whenever I am on the road in a passenger car. It only takes a few seconds to walk around your vehicle and touch the tires. Properly inflated tires work well on anything.
    frdsuperduty likes this.

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