Are truck tires better than trailer tires?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are truck tires better than trailer tires? We will help you choose the best trailer tires and discuss the differences between truck tires and trailer tires.

Are truck tires better than trailer tires?

Although they have a higher top speed, truck tires are not necessarily better than trailer tires and cannot just be swapped.

Truck tires are designed for maximum performance depending on where or where they are installed and are better for slippery roads and sharp turns. Trailer tires, on the other hand, are designed to withstand lateral and braking forces, as well as variable loads, and are made specifically for a vehicle that is towed. 

To select the best type of tires for a vehicle, you should take into account:

  • The type of vehicle.
  • Identify the need, according to the conditions of use of the vehicle.
  • Average driving speed.
  • Type of construction of the rim, if it is conventional or radial.
  • The kind of terrain you normally travel on.
  • The weight of the load.
  • Know the difference between directional, transmission and semi-trailer tires.
  • Interpret the information that the tires carry.

Can truck tires be used on a trailer?

Although some light truck tires are used for trailers, we do not recommend it. As we mentioned above, trailer tires are specifically made to support a higher load and braking forces. 

Truck tires, on the other hand, are not recommended for utility trailers, or any other type of cargo trailer on that note, as they have a  thinner sidewall and are not designed to withstand too high of a load. 

How to choose the best tires for a trailer 

When speaking about the best tires for a trailer, we have to choose between bias tires and radial tires.

In general, bias tires are preferred for small trailers that don’t do major hauling operations, don’t spend a lot of time on the road, and/or operate fewer hours per year.

Radial tires have a larger footprint than equivalent size bias tires. This makes radials the first choice when maximum traction is preferred, especially in heavy load situations.

What makes a radial a better “road tire” than the bias type?

Radial tires last up to 33% longer than bias tires on pavement. Bias tires tend to “twist” on the pavement and wear out much faster. A radial tire will have a larger threat than a bias tire, this larger tread stabilizes the trailer producing longer tire life on the road. The time a trailer spends on the road has a significant influence on the life of a tire.

The construction, design and materials used for trailer tires are special as they have to meet higher load requirements, duty cycles and special demands. They are made of rubber and contain special chemicals to resist the elements.

The tread depth is slightly shallower than conventional passenger tires. They have more rigid sidewalls, especially in the lower part, avoiding flexion, this reduces the oscillation of the trailer.

Trailers are used for one purpose, the transportation of cargo. One cause of damage to your tire is overloading, it is important to know the capacity of your trailer including the products you transport. An overloaded tire will produce excessive heat on the sidewall and tread, this can lead to accelerated wear or even blowout.

All tires are made to handle specific capacity limits, check the load capacity and pressure limit of your tires, like this, like this; it will avoid any type of inconvenience in its use. In mounting the trailer and passenger vehicle tires, a pneumatic tire mounter is used.

The tires used for passenger vehicles are not recommended for trailers due to their composition in their structure.

What to keep in mind when checking trailer tires?

The towing tires should all be checked, including the spare, before starting the journey. You will find all the specifications of your wheels in the manufacturer’s Technical Data Sheet.

  • Check the pressure, which is given to you by the manufacturer
  • Check that the tread retains the pattern well
  • Check the tire for cracks
  • Check that the wheel is not “expired”

To know the maximum pressure and if the wheel is in its useful life, look at the legend that is on the tire band.

Generally, trailers can be fitted with only one type of wheels, which are those established in the Technical Data Sheet; however, you can also find trailers that allow you to mount other wheels with a greater load or diameter.

Another important piece of information is the year of manufacture. It is recommended to change the wheels every 5 years, even if they are not used … This can be identified by the DOT number.

The DOT number will inform you of the week and the year of manufacture. If you do not see the year of manufacture of the tire, it means that it is very old, and you have to change the wheels to avoid problems.

What to look for when changing trailer wheels?

To change the wheels of your trailer it is important that you look at ALL the points because it is easy to fall on some “wildcard” wheels, which fit almost everything and… oh surprise! fixing the bolts to the trailer is different. In that case, you will have a great wheel, which will not do you any good.

Trailers in our country generally use the 58mm attack for 4 bolts (the attack is the distance between fixing bolts and the number of them). But you can also find the wheels that are 5 holes. These are the most common and their advantage is that they are designed for more load capacity.

The trailer wheels, like those of other vehicles, have a load index and a speed index.

You can always ride the wheels with the highest load and speed, but never the lowest.

Another important piece of data, but little commented on, are the layers of canvas that the tire offers us. They are layers of synthetic fabrics (kevlar, nylon, polyester) that cover the entire carcass.

The canvas layers refer to the rolling resistance of the wheel and are expressed by a number. The most common are 4 or 6 layers. The higher the number, the better the rolling resistance.

The bottom line

As you can see there are many factors to take into account before choosing the right type of tires for your vehicle. Correct maintenance, periodic reviews and above all the accuracy of the model for your trailer will ensure a quiet vacation without scars on the road.

Please let us know if you have additional questions or comments on the content.

FAQ on Are truck tires better than trailer tires?

What is the best brand of tires?

Here are the best brands of tires:

  • Michelin.
  • Continental.
  • General.
  • Pirelli.
  • Nexen.
  • Goodyear.
  • Hankook.
  • Bridgestone.

Which brand is better, Michelin or Pirelli?

The Pirelli work the same as the Michelin, but the touch is more inert and therefore less attractive. The third fastest are the Dunlops. Effective, although not very pleasant: it is best to ignore the squeaks and the soft steering feel and mistreat them to get through all the vertices.

How to know if a tire is of good quality?

To know if a tire is of good quality look at the year of manufacture. The rims have a useful life of about five years, so it is very important that you know when the tire you will buy was manufactured, to find this information, look for a digit of 4 numbers on the rim; the first two indicate the week and the last two the year.

How to know if a Michelin tire is original?

To know if a Michelin tire is original, on the side of the rims, it is possible to find a 4-digit code that indicates in which week of the year the tire was manufactured.


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