How to Read a Tire
There is a lot of information to be found on a tire. There is great value in knowing what the stuff means that is stamped on a tire. To make it as simple as possible, we have created some graphics that show where the information is on the tire and what it means. Check the graphic below for the most important information about your tires. Of course, none of this information will be of any value unless it is followed and respected.
Common sense required.
Think about it; you are trusting a set of armored balloons with your valuable cargo and human lives. Those balloons have a narrow set of specs, which when observed carry your trailer gracefully down the road. If you ignore these specs, you will put undue stress on these balloons causing them to heat up or burst.
If a tire is under-inflated, the road surface friction against the tire will increase causing the tread to wear quicker. Wear through the tread will expose the steel belts of a radial tire. After that the tire will come apart in a spectacular and sudden way known as the blowout. Make a habit of checking the tire pressure on your trailer tires, just like you should on your car or truck.
Squeeze a properly inflated balloon and it will burst. Ditto for tires, except the squeezing is done by a load that exceeds the load range for those tires.
Your trailer was designed and built to carry a certain load. The frame is optimized to carry a max load that matches what the axle(s) can support. Finally, the tires are selected to carry the weight of the trailer and its maximum cargo. Given that, you can't just throw any old tire on a trailer axle and expect it to do the job.
Not too long ago, trailer tires were only rated for 55 mph. That was okay because 55 was also the speed limit. Since then, speed limits have been raised and tire technology has developed to keep pace--almost. Your trailer tires have a max speed rating, probably 75 mph or so. That is more than enough for today's posted speed limits, but perhaps not nearly enough if you feel like you have to keep up with the guy putting his new Porshe Cayenne through the paces.
Speed creates heat because the tires make more frequent contact with the ground becuase they spin more times per second at excessive speed than they do at speeds up to the tires' speed rating. Heat causes air to expand, expanding air increases tire pressure. Excessive tire pressure puts untenable stress on the tire structures. Do that long enough and you get a blowout.
Below is a graphic that shows the most important information you need to know about your trailes tires. Let us know what you think--or if you have questions, leave us a comment.
Or better yet, come on in and see us at 5311 Young Pine Road in Orlando. We will be happy to talk tires or show you your next trailer.