Nobody talks about the tires on a boat trailer with any degree of enthusiasm on a day-to-day basis. It is not until your boat trailer gets a flat tire that we hear some animated discussions about them. Here are a few things everyone who owns a trailer should know:
Trailer Tire Sidewall Information
If you take a look at the sidewall of a tire, much like on a car tire, you will see quite a bit of information. This is where you will determine the tire’s dimensions, age, purpose and capacity. One of the more important pieces of information you will find on the sidewall is either the letters “ST” or “Trailer Use Only.” The letters “ST” indicate that the tire is to be used on a boat trailer only.
It is important to use tires that are specifically designed to be used on trailers because their sidewalls are strengthened to effectively carry the weight of a heavy load, such as a boat. This is particularly the case when rounding corners, which is when extra strength in the sidewalls is needed.
There basically two kinds of trailer tires, either radial or bias-ply. Radial trailer tires are best for use on long road trips. Radials do not get as hot as bias-ply tires, generate less road noise and can handle a heavier load. Bias-ply trailer tires are better used for short trips and tend to be stiffer that radials as well as costing less. A good rule of thumb when it comes to the two types of tires is to never use both on a trailer when carrying a heavy load, such as a boat.
Trailer Tire Inflation
When hauling a heavy load it is very important that the trailer tire pressure is properly set. One of the most common reasons for a tire blow-out is under-inflation. Be sure to check the tire pressure when the tires are cold, meaning before driving them for a long distance. The reason for this is because the tire pressure will increase as it rotates for long periods of time on the road, so if you check the tire pressure after a long period of driving, you will get a reading that will be inaccurate and can lead to premature tire failure.
As mentioned, an under-inflated tire is one of the main reasons for tire failure. This is because a tire with low pressure will heat up faster and maintain a higher than ideal temperature. Over time, this will lead to premature tire failure and you do not want this to happen when you are carrying a heavy load, such as a boat. To help prevent this, always check the tire pressure on your trailer tires before driving them, particularly on long distances.
If Your Trailer Gets a Flat Tire
At Ready Jack for Trailers, we want you to always be safe when hauling a trailer, especially with a heavy load like a boat. This is why is is important to always keep the tires properly inflated. It is impossible to prevent all tires from going flat so in the event that it does, with the Ready Jack for Trailers, you can change the tire in less than 5 minutes. You don’t have to call a tow truck, which is great if you are out in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service. Also, you can do it by yourself with minimal exertion on your part.