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Trailer Tires Showing Excessive Wear on Inside Edges of Tread

Question:

I have a 2013 14foot Wesco trailer with a 3500# dexter axle under it. I am estimating around 1500 miles are it. I was looking at it this weekend and noticed the inside of the left tire is worn bad. The right tire is worn pretty good on the inside also. It looks like the top of the tires are leaning in. The left looks the worst. I have not done any measurements yet. Could this axle be weld together crooked? I have only hauled my Teryx side by side or 2 Honda 500 Rubicons on it. I am open for suggestions on where to start.

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Expert Reply:

Typically a trailer axle will have some camber in it - some bend - such that when it is not loaded the tops of the wheels bow outward slightly, with the outside edges of the tire treads making first contact with the ground. This allows that when the trailer is loaded with weight the axle will be pushed downward to a flatter position with the tire treads level on the ground. Please refer to the linked photo showing an axle and its camber.

With your trailer unloaded look at it from the rear to see if you can detect the outward camber of the tires. If the trailer tires are dead flat on the ground without weight on the trailer, then once loaded there will be excessive force on the inside edges of the tires, which could result in the uneven wear you see.

If your tires are leaning in at the top when the trailer is empty then I would have it checked by a trailer shop. The tires should NOT be leaning in when the trailer is empty.

The most common cause for this uneven tire wear is overloading the trailer. Although it is unlikely, if the axle were installed upside down - with the axle center a low spot rather than a high spot - that could be the problem too.

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John S.
I have the same problem. I jacked my trailer up and sure enough. No camber in the axle. The Kitchen side of my trailer is a lot heavier than the Door side and that tire wears a lot faster which I guess makes sense? Does that make sense that the heavier side would wear more?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

If there's significantly more weight on one side then it would make sense that those tires would wear a bit more than the other side of the axle. Do you notice the trailer leaning a bit to that side? If possible, try to move some weight over to the other side just to even it out a bit and this should help.

Reply from John S.

@ChrisR Yea, it does. Some. There is no way to shift more weight. It's just the way it is. The light side wears perfectly. I called the Welding/Trailer shop and spoke to the tire guys. Both said basically, "Well, If that's all you can do rotate the tires and replace them every 4 years instead of 6 as they wear." I could put on a 6,000lb axle for less deflection but not sure that's worth it. Thanks

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