How to Select Trailer Tires with Correct Load Range Rating for Trailer Gross Weight

Question:

Hi, I understand that trailer tires have designated load ranges. What I do fully understand it exactly what that load range means. For example if a trailer tire has a 1300 lb load range capacity, does that mean if you had a trailer with 4 tires two axles the maximum weight of the trailer should not exceed 5200 lbs? 4 x 1300= 5200? In other words, If I had a trailer that has a gross loaded weight of 4000 lbs, each of the 4 tires would have to be load rated for at least 1000 lbs or more? Thank you.

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Expert Reply:

Your math is correct in your trailer weight load example. If a fully-loaded tandem axle trailer weighs 4000-lbs then each of the 4 tires will bear 1/4th of that load, or 1000-lbs. In this case a tire rated for 1300-lbs would provide a good safety margin. A tire's rated Load Range means the maximum weight load it can handle (when installed on a suitably-rated wheel) at its full rated PSI pressure.

Trailer tires must always be fully-inflated to their maximum rated pressure as noted on their sidewall. Only when fully-inflated to that maximum psi pressure can a trailer tire deliver its rated weight carrying capacity.

The wheel/tire you referenced, Kenda 4.80-12 Bias Trailer Tire/Wheel # AM30660, combines a steel wheel rated for 1250-lbs with a Load Range C tire that itself is rated for 990-lbs at 90-psi. Since the tire is rated lower than the wheel, the lower rating determines the overall capacity of this item, 990-lbs.

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Adam R

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