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Trailers and Car Tires

Difference between Trailers and Car Tires

Since there is such a wide selection along with the latest technology available in the tire market nowadays, you must be concerned about why there is a need for a specialized trailer tire. The fact that trailers even need a specialized tire not only justifiable but also seems counterintuitive. It’s like a 5,000-pound trailer shouldn’t need any more support than a 5,000-pound car, especially when it doesn’t even have to turn or accelerate. But for a specific reason, the trailer tires are constructed the way they are. So let’s dive in;

Basic Differences

For obvious reasons, the ordinary even luxury cars and trailers serve entirely different purposes. First of all, the car tires are meant to provide traction in the longitudinal as well as lateral directions facilitating a comfortable ride. On the other side, the trailer tires need to support the weight of the trailer for 1000s of miles while not bouncing it off the road that’s important for sure.


Another way the trailer tries seem to set apart from the car tires is that they have stiff sidewalls. These are mainly designed to support the heavy weight trailers without flexing. But that lack of flexibility has some disadvantages too. On the other hand, the flexing sidewalls of the car tires allow more of the tread to maintain the contact with the road.

Rolling Resistance

As compared to the car tires, trailer tires happen to be more durable. The first reason; Thick Sidewalls (mentioned above). Second reason; its rubber compound. Be mindful that every rolling object has a certain rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is mainly its tendency to stick to the road. It’s really good for performance & traction. Moreover, it also increases tire temperature reducing fuel mileage while moving. Due to the harder rubber compounds, trailer tires have low rolling resistance, but it kills traction too.

Construction Types

Car tires are designed radially. What does it mean? It means their interior belts are set at 90-degree angles so that they are pointed in the direction of travel. But when you buy the radial trailer tires, you find them having belt set at 45-degree angles. Perhaps that’s the reason as to why Bias-ply Trailer tires are comparatively more rugged and tend to damage resistant if compared with radials. Be mindful that the radials provided a better ride, fuel economy and traction.

Mixing Trailer and Car Tires

While looking for the car tyre online, some people try ordering the trailer tires for a passenger car. And, that’s a wrong approach. In fact, experts say that you should never use trailer tires on a car.

Just use the light truck tires on a lightweight trailer, but try reducing at least 10% of the tire’s rated load capacity accounting for the sidewall flex. On the other side, passenger car tires flex even more. In that case, you will need to reduce around 40% load capacity to run safely.

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