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Tire Care Part 1: 3 Must Checks Before Starting the Towing Season

Getting the Most Out of Your Trailer Tires

You know that feeling. Spring is here. Kids are just about out of school for the year. And you are making plans for this season’s trips. Yosemite National Park to see the majestic cliffs of El Capitan? Relax on the beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina? Or just a local trip to get away?

Here are three must checks to help you get the most out of your trailer tires and wheels this season!

1. Setting the Correct Pressure

Number one most often missed setting when towing – tire pressure. Trailer tires are designed to operate at their maximum cold inflation pressure to hold their maximum carrying capacity. It’s very important to make sure that you keep your trailer tires inflated to the indicated pressure they require.

Why cold inflation? Tire manufactures take into the account that air expands as it warms up and the tires have this air expansion built into them.

Check out our Tire Label Guide to learn more about your tires markings!

2. Tread Depth

Trailer tires have tread wear indicators that notify you when you have reached 2/32nds of remaining usable tread. Grab a penny! With President Lincoln facing you, place the penny with Lincoln upside-down in the tread. If you can see all of President Lincoln’s head, then that tire is worn past 2/32nd and should be replaced.

The tread should also be uniformly worn across the tread surface. If you see some of these common wear patterns, your tire may need extra attention this season:

Worn on Both Edges – Underinflated or Overloaded

Being underinflated or overloaded can cause increase wear to the shoulders or edges of your tread. This also generates excess heat that is reducing the tires operating ability and could lead to premature removal.  

Worn on Center of Tread – Overinflated

Inflating past the recommended cold inflation pressure can increase the wear to the center of the tread. Just like being underinflated, this generates excess heat that is reducing the tires operating ability and could lead to premature removal.

Irregular Wear – Cupping, Heal/Toe, Sawtooth Edge

There is a misalignment in the axle, hub, or bent wheel that is causing the tires to scrub against the road while driving which will cause the tires to wear irregularly. This may cause a reduction in usable tread life and premature removal if not corrected promptly.

Check out our Tire Warranty Guide to learn more about tread wear!

3. Inspect Sidewall

Navigating parking lots, camp grounds, streets, and highways can be tricky at times. Trailer tires often take this into account and may have an extra layer of sidewall material to help minimize abrasion wear if scrubbed up to a curb, pot hole, or object. Often, you may not have notice this scrubbing at the time it happens. Be sure to check your sidewalls for abrasions, cuts, and damage.

General guidelines, if you have worn off the tire line name or manufacture – you should consider replacing those tires soon. If you have cuts or deep abrasions and you can see ply cord material – you should consider immediate replacement.

Check out our Tire Warranty Guide to learn more about sidewall wear!

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