bing tracking image
Q & A Icon

Troubleshooting Tire Wear Down Middle of Tread on Trailer


I have a Harbor Freight Haul Master folding trailer rated for 1195 lbs. I use it to carry a kayak and fishing gear. The kayak + gear probably weighs only 150 lbs. I never travel more than 55 mph with the trailer. I probably travel about 750-1000 miles per season. The trailer uses 4.80-12 tires. The original HF tires Kenda? were inflated to the recommended max embossed on the rubber sidewall but these wore out within the first season, showing a distinct wear pattern down the middle of the tire. So I replaced with Carlisle Sport Trail tires and lowered the pressure down to 25 PSI. I noticed that they were still wearing down in the middle of the tread with little to no wear at the edges, so I dropped pressure to 16 PSI. They still continued to wear down the center! I removed 2 leaves from the spring pack to get a smoother ride for my kayak and now need to replace the tires again. 1. What load rating should I be looking for when buying tires for this trailer and relatively lightweight application? Is there any downside to getting a tire rated for a heavier load than I need? 2. If tires continue to show wear down the middle instead of evenly across the surface, should I keep lowering pressure? I understand that it is dangerous to travel at high speed with underinflated tires, but what is underinflatedinch with such a light load? 3. What tires do you recommend?


Helpful Expert Reply:

Generally speaking, a trailer tire will wear in the middle of the tread when it is over-inflated, however that does not appear to be the case with the tires on your trailer. With that being said, I do not recommend lowering the pressure on the tires to below the maximum psi recommended on the sidewall. Doing this will essentially lower the tire's load capacity to an unknown number, which may lead to you overloading them and causing further damage to the tires and trailer. A trailer tire should always be inflated to its recommended maximum psi.

I also don't recommend removing leafs from the spring stack on the trailer, as this will also result in lowering the trailer's capacity to an unknown number. The spring stack's weight rating is tested with all the leafs in place, so removing any number of them will lower it.

I spoke with our resident tire expert regarding the wear issues you are having. Since you are still experiencing the same problems with the tire pressures lowered, most likely the underlying cause is something in the trailer's suspension and not on the tire itself. Something may be broken, loose or damaged and it is causing the tire to have irregular wear. I recommend checking the suspension thoroughly to see if there are any issues. Otherwise you can take the trailer to a local trailer shop to see if they can inspect everything to make sure it is in good working order.

Lastly, when choosing the load rating for a tire, you will just need to make sure that the combined capacity of all the tires meets or exceeds the loaded weight of the trailer. There is no harm in going with an over-rated tire. I have attached a link that will take you to our available selection of 4.80-12 trailer tires along with an article that you might find helpful.

helpful expert reply by:
Chris R

Product Page this Question was Asked From

Q & A Icon

Similar Expert Q&A Pages

See More Q&A Expert Answers >>