Best Tire and Wheels Options

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Best Tire and Wheels Options


Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the different types of tires and wheels available. We're going to help you decide which is going to be the best fit for your application.Now the first thing we'll address is going to be when is the right time for the actual tire replacement. When do we need to replace the rubber. And of course tread wear is going to be one of the issues. If the tread's getting very low or very thin, it's going to be an ideal time to replace that tire. A couple of less noticeable things would be dry rot or cracking.

That's typically going to be little cracks that you're going to see generally on the side wall. But they can also be across the top of the tread too. You want to watch out for those. As those cracks flex and move, they can get larger and they can really create kind of a dangerous situation. So you want to keep an eye out for that.

And lastly, it's going to be the age of the tire.Now basically each and every tire is going to have a DOT code stamped on it. The first series of letters aren't really a big deal for you. That's where they we're made, tire size, things like that. But the last four, you can see on this tire is a 3617. That means it was made the 36th week of 2017.

So the first two are the week the last two are the year. Now we'll use that to determine how old of a tire that we have on the trailer. We usually like to use the guide of six to seven years from the date they went in service. Now that's not going to exactly match this date. Maybe this tire sits around for six months before it goes on the trailer.

So if you've put the trailer tires on, and you know when they we're first used, six to seven years from there is a good guide.If you don't know the in service date or when those tires we're first used, you'll want to use the DOT code as your guide. But again six to seven years from when they first went in service is a good rule of thumb.Now regardless of the makeup of your rim, some of the things to look for in that will be of course if it's damaged or bent, it's time to get that replaced. And it's not so common on a single axle trailer. But once you get into the tandem and triple axles, there's a lot of twisting force side to side that happens with the tires. So you want to look for cracking or any kind of damage that's caused around where the studs make contact. And also you'll want to watch for these holes to become elongated. If you have any symptoms on those rims, it's better safe than sorry just to get them replaced.Now when choosing tires for your trailer, you want to be sure that you're using a trailer tire. Trailer tires are designed to be more stiff and handle loads as compared to passenger car tires. The stiffer side walls allow for us to maximize the weight capacity and since our trailer isn't, we don't use those tires to turn in any way. We don't really need the side to side grip. More flexibility in that side wall allows those tires on our cars or our trucks to flew a little bit and give some additional grip. So trailer tires are made for trailers and you want to be sure you're using a trailer tire and not a passenger car tire on your vehicle.Now passenger car tires typically going to start with a P before the different size numbers that you have. Where a special trailer tire will start with ST. Now for the light truck tires, those will start with LT before the numbers. For some trailer tires, after the numbers, you'll have your set of numbers that designate the size after it'll say LT. Now that's for a load bearing trailer or like a class A motor home, class C motor home. Those that have the numbers and then the LT after, that's going to indicate a trailer tire. So don't get that confused. The LT's before the numbers, it's for a car. If it's after, it's for a motor home or trailer.Now the second question that's very common is, what's really the difference between a radial and a bias ply tire Most people think that a bias ply tire's just a lower grade tire that's cheaper to buy. And it's really not the case. The bias ply tire does have a place and I think the bias ply tire, since it is a slightly tougher tire. This is going to be ideal for shorter trips, for offroad use like farm use, construction use, landscaping companies. I think can really benefit from a bias ply tire. These tires have more of a crown on them. They're not as flat. So typical tread wear's going to happen more in the middle. So they don't have as long of a tread wear life as what you get out of a radial tire. But they do have thicker and tougher side walls.I think when you're encountering curves and things like that, that's really going to stand up. Landscaping companies go through a tremendous amount of trailer tires. I think a lot of that's due to them running a standard like a radial trailer tire, where the side walls aren't quite as tough. Again these are more for offroad use. They don't dissipate heat as well. So these are a shorter trip situation. It's going to be your around town kind of things.Now the radial tire, these are going to be our highway tires, where we're putting a lot of miles on them. Basically they're excellent at dissipating heat, so we don't have to worry about them building heat internally. They have a much more even tread wear design when inflated. So we're going to dissipate the weight over a greater area. That leads to better tread wear. The radial tire also tends to be a more uniform tire in shape, that leads to increased ride quality. And since the side walls aren't as stiff as what we get on a bias ply tire, we get increased ride comfort.Now once we've decided whether we're more interested in a radial or a bias type tire. Next thing we need to do is make sure we're getting the right size. There's kind of two ways that we can do that. It's either a metric sizing system or a numeric sizing system, most typically. It's going to be somewhere right around of the rim of the tire. As you can see here, this is a ST, so that's a special trailer tire. It's 225 is the first three numbers. That's the width of our tread, 225 millimeter. The next number is going to be the percentage of that width as a side wall. So for 225 millimeters this way, it's going to be 75% of that's going to make up our side wall.The third number, that's going to be our rim size. So that's going to be from bead to bead. And then there's an R in between, 75R15 indicating it's a radial construction. Now for numeric style sizing, this is going to give us the size of our tread width. Next set of numbers is going to be the size of our side wall. And the last number we'll have here is going to be our rim size. Sometimes these will also have a letter there, designating the load range. If it doesn't have that, we'll show you where to find it on your tire.The next thing you'll need to decide is your load range. And basically that needs to equal all four tires added up, needs to equal the maximum load that you plan on carrying. Now you want to be sure that your axles are rated enough, even though you put let's say 5,000 pounds worth of tires on a trailer, if it's got a 3,000 pound axle. It's still rated for 3,000 pounds. Let's say your axles are rated appropriately and you want to haul 4,000 pounds for easy math. Well your tires need to be rated at least a 1,000 pounds a piece if you do four, 2,000 a piece if you're just going to have two. So kind of makes sense, easy math.Now to determine the load range, you want to look on the side of the tire. This in particular is a load range E, we just kind of highlighted the important information. The max load with a single wheel is going to be 2,860 pounds, but the thing you need to keep in mind. That's only when it's at the maximum pressure of 80 psi. If we had this at 60 psi, it'd be a lower weight rating. The tire would heat up more quickly and we could put ourselves in an unsafe situation. So we always recommend going right up to the maximum psi, so we know exactly how much that tire's rated to carry. In this application, the smaller tire is going to have a lower weight rating. This is a range B. It's going to be rated for 590 pounds maximum at 60 psi. So just use that information to make sure you're choosing a tire that's applicable for the loads you plan on hauling.Now newer tires also have a speed rating associated with them. Now typically you're going to have an M, which is rated for use up to 81 miles an hour. An L which is rated for up to 75 or a J, which is going to be rated up to 62 miles an hour. Now some of the older tires aren't going to have this speed rating as you see it here. They might have it stamped on there somewhere do not exceed 50, do not exceed 60, do not exceed 70. Just a general rule of thumb, if it doesn't have the letter designation or stamped on there anywhere else what it's speed rating is. You won't want to exceed 65 miles an hour.Now we're able to move onto the different types of rims. We've typically got two choices as far as the material makeup. They're either going to be steel, now steel can be painted or powder coated and many different colors. Or they can be an aluminum or an alloy style wheel. Now let's take a look through the different types of steel rims, just so you can get an exact match for your application. For your smaller utility trailers, you're going to see one like this. This is basically called just a solid. You're just going to have holes through the wheel studs to come through and your hub.We also have directional style steel wheels. These typically are going to have a tear drop in them. That larger area typically will face forward on the trailer. It's not a requirement. If you put these on backwards it's not going to ruin the integrity of the rim or anything like that. Just more for an aesthetic reason there. We're going to have the dual wheel style set up steel rims. This is going to have a flat surface. Now these are typically categorized by the bore size here or by the hub size. They're hub centered, so these are going to fit directly around your hub. And you'll also want to know how many handholds that you have or hand holes. So this one's going to be they call a four hole rim.We can move right down to our modular wheels. Now these are very, very common styles of wheels you're going to see on your utility trailer. Typically these are just going to have holes around the outside of it there. Going to come in a lot of different sizes, just like all the other rims really that we carry. Next up we've got the spoke stype rim. Now this is going to be something you sometimes see on your marine application style trailers or on your campers. Just going to give us kind of a spoke feel.And last up there we've got in the alloy or the aluminum category. These can be so many different patterns and configurations. They're basically like custom rims you're putting on a vehicle. They're going to come in a ton of different styles, dual spokes, single spoke. Just about any type that you'll want probably going to be available. And one very uncommon rim but something that we do have available. This is going to be what they call kind of a cowboy rim or a vintage style rim. This you'll be able to find in steel for some of those older applications.Now we've taken a look at the different types of rims. Now we're going to go into a little bit further how to measure your rim, so you can be sure to get the right size. To start with for rim width, we want to measure from this edge to this edge. So from right here across to right here. This rim is a 14 by five and a half. So the measurement from here to here should be five and a half inches. Now as far as the diameter of the rim or the size, we're typically used to saying 14 or 15 or 16 inch rim. You're going to measure that from the bead seat right here. So typically if you lay your rim flat, you can measure from this edge to this edge and then just add for the thickness of your rim. Since the rim sizes are going to be separated by an inch, that should give you a good guide to get you really close to what you're looking for.Next in our measurement category, will be the hole spacing or the lug pattern, what it's typically referred to. Now the way you're going to measure this is going to depend on how many holes that you have in your rim. If you have an odd rim, like what we have here. Then you'll want to measure from the center of this hole to the outside edge of either this hole or of this hole. This is a five on four and a half. So if we measure that, from the center of this hole to the outside edge of our bottom hole. You can see it's sitting right there at four and a half.Now when we have an even number holes, it's even easier to measure. What we'll do is go from the center of one hole to the center of the hole that would be opposite of it. So we can go from this one to this one. This one to this one, you can kind of pick. But from center to center is the measurement we're looking for. This is an eight on six and a half rim. So we should be, if you can see center to center there, be right at six and a half. And that's how you'll determine your size. So this is going to be an eight hole pattern on a six and a half inch. We can have five on four, five on five, five on four and a half. There's many different combinations. But using that method you'll be able to determine which one's right for you.All right, so to wrap up what we talked about. The bias ply tire doesn't have as good of tread wear as what we have on the radial and it builds up heat a little quicker. That makes these ideal for the heavier duty uses because it is a stiffer side wall, it's a little bit thicker. So the short trips construction, landscaping, farm use, heavy duty use, I think this is the way to go. And our radial shine when it comes to those longe highway trips. They do dissipate the heat better. They have a flatter surface. So they're going to wear better. A little bit more uniform in shape, so they're going to ride a little bit smoother. I think that'll kind of give you a good guide on which tire's going to be right for which application.Now as far as picking your rim. Typically you're going to match what you already have. Unless you're looking for an upgrade, like if you want to upgrade the looks from a modular style maybe to an alloy. And then just a few quick tips before we go. Whatever tire style you decide on, put that on the entire trailer. We want to have same size tires that have the same load and we want to maintain proper psi. Outside of that, periodic trips with them to keep them flexing, keep them lubricated should keep them in good shape for years to come.


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