News

February 23, 2018

Tips for Selecting Trailer Wheels and Tires

We see and hear a lot of interesting wheel and tire scenarios from all aspects of our customer base – from the boat trailer that gets dragged onto our lot, to our largest equipment manufacturers.

There are always questions about what wheels and tires are needed on a trailer. For consumers it is simple: replace them with exactly what the manufacturer released the trailer with. If you purchased a used trailer you could have a combination of vehicle wheels, trailer wheels, passenger tires and trailer tires. 

You should be able to glean what actually belongs on your trailer from the information decals attached to the trailer by the manufacturer when it was built. If that information is no longer available, you can determine what you need using the following steps:

Trailer Wheel Bolt Pattern

The bolt pattern determines the size range and capacity.

  • 4 bolt – available from small diameter to 13”. 200lb axles and smaller
  • 5 bolt – available from 13” to 15” wheels. 3500 and 2000 lb axles
  • 6 bolt – available in 15” and 16” wheels. 5200 to 6000 lb axles
  • 8 bolt – 16” to 17.5” wheels, single and dual, 7000 to 12,000 lb axles

Trailer Wheel Capacity

Make sure that the wheels have adequate load carrying capacity and pressure rating to accommodate the maximum load of the tire and trailer. Make sure that the tires have adequate load and pressure rating for the maximum load of the trailer. The ratings on ST tires are the ratings you can match to your trailer’s requirements; passenger tires must be pro-rated down (divide by 1.10).

Trailer Wheel Offset

Offset is the relationship of the centre line of the tire to the hubface of the axle. ALWAYS match the replacement wheel’s offset to what is currently used on the trailer. Failure to match the offset could reduce the load carrying capacity of the axles, or cause damage to the hub and bearings.

Always use trailer wheels. Passenger vehicle wheels may have bolt patterns that will fit your trailer, but they are different in many ways: pilot diameter, weight rating, piloting style (weight carried on the studs opposed to carried on the hub), offset, and many other differences. Trailer Wheels are designed specifically to carry weight properly on a trailer (and conversely should therefore never be used on a passenger vehicle).

Make sure your inflation is correct and torque your wheels (then re-torque them down the road a bit), and you should enjoy safe trailering.

For more tips on Wheels, Tires and everything else trailer, follow this link to our How To section on our website https://www.nationaltrailerparts.com/how-to-guides/wheel-selection.php

Categories: Trailer Tip

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