Trailer tires are specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of trailers, and they differ from passenger vehicle or truck tires in several important ways. Here are the top differences in trailer tires:
- Purpose: Trailer tires are engineered to support the weight of a trailer and its cargo, while passenger vehicle or truck tires are designed to support the weight of the vehicle and its occupants, as well as provide traction and handling.
- Tire Type: Trailer tires are typically designated as “ST” (Special Trailer) tires, which indicates they are specifically designed for trailer use. Passenger vehicle or truck tires are typically designated as “P” (Passenger) or “LT” (Light Truck) tires.
- Load Carrying Capacity: Trailer tires are built with a higher load-carrying capacity to accommodate the weight of the trailer and its cargo. They have stronger sidewalls and stiffer construction to prevent swaying and maintain stability.
- Tread Pattern: Trailer tires often have shallower treads with a straight-rib pattern, which reduces rolling resistance and heat buildup. This design also helps promote even wear. Passenger vehicle and truck tires have deeper, more aggressive treads to provide better traction and handling in various road conditions.
- Sidewall Flexibility: Trailer tires have stiffer sidewalls to provide better stability and control, reducing the risk of swaying or fishtailing. Passenger vehicle and truck tires have more flexible sidewalls to enhance ride comfort and handling.
- Speed Rating: Trailer tires usually have a lower speed rating compared to passenger vehicle or truck tires.
- Size and Fitment: Trailer tires come in a range of sizes and fitments to suit different types of trailers. It is important to choose the correct size and fitment for your trailer to ensure proper handling and safety.
- Bias Ply vs. Radial: Trailer tires come in two different types – bias ply and radial. Bias ply tires are constructed with layers of cords that run at angles to each other, while radial tires have cords that run perpendicular to the tread. Radial tires are generally considered to be more durable and provide better handling and stability, but bias-ply tires are still commonly used on smaller trailers.
- Durability: Trailer tires are designed to be more durable than passenger car tires. They are made with thicker rubber and stronger materials to withstand the constant strain and stress of towing a trailer.