INFO CENTER Trailer Tire Facts

Trailer Tire Facts

Trailer Tire Applications
  • Trailer tires are designed for use on trailer axle positions only. They are not built to handle the loads applied to, or the traction required by, drive or steering axles.
  • Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.
  • Check inflation when the tires are cool and have not been exposed to the sun.
  • If the tires are hot to the touch from operation, add three psi to the max inflation.
  • Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.
Load Carrying Capacity
  • All tires must be identical in size for the tires to properly manage the weight of the trailer.
  • The combined capacity of the tires must equal or exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the axle.
  • The combined capacity of all of the tires should exceed the loaded trailer weight by 20 percent.
  • If the actual weight is not available, use the trailer GVW. If a tire fails on a tandem axle trailer, you should replace both tires on that side. The remaining tire is likely to have been subjected to excessive loading.
  • If the tires are replaced with tires of larger diameter, the tongue height may need to be adjusted to maintain proper weight distribution.
  • All "ST" tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.
  • As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken.
  • The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases.
  • Time and the elements weaken a trailer tire.
  • In approximately 3 years, roughly one third of the tire's strength is gone.
  • Three to five years is the projected life of a normal trailer tire.
  • Trailer tires are not designed to wear out.
  • The life of a trailer tire is limited by time and duty cycles.
  • The mileage expectation of a trailer tire would be 5,000 to 12,000 miles.
Why Use An "ST" Tire
  • "ST" tires feature materials and construction to meet the higher load requirements and demands of trailering.
  • The polyester cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable "P" or "LT" tire.
  • The steel cords have a larger diameter and greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements.
  • "ST" tire rubber compounds contain more chemicals to resist weather and ozone cracking.
  • The ideal storage is in a cool, dark garage at maximum inflation.
  • Use tire covers to protect the tires from direct sunlight.
  • Use thin plywood sections between the tire and the pavement.
  • For long term storage: Put the trailer on blocks to take the weight off the tires, lower the air pressure and cover tires to protect from direct sunlight.
  • Clean the tires using mild soap and water.
  • Do not use tire-care products containing alcohol or petroleum distillates.
  • Inspect for any cuts, snags, bulges or punctures.
  • Check the inflation before towing and again before the return trip.
Keys to Avoiding Trouble
  • Make sure your rig is equipped with the proper tires.
  • Maintain the tires meticulously.
  • Replace trailer tires every three to four years, whether they look like they're worn out or not.
Trailer Tire Warranty
  • The Carlisle trailer tire warranty applies to the original purchaser for 3 years from the date of purchase or until the tread depth reaches 3/32".
  • OE warranty goes into effect at the time of the trailer purchase.