Choosing Between Radial and Bias Trailer Tire for Small Utility Trailer

Question:

I am on the fence in regards to which tire I should buy. I have a small utility trailer with 4 lug rims. Most of the trailer use will be local but I will be using the trailer on highways with speeds around 65-70. Should I get radial tires?

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Expert Reply:

If you plan on taking your trailer on the highway and most of your driving otherwise will be on paved roads then I definitely recommend going with a radial ply tire like the Kenda Karrier S-Trail # AM10130 that you're looking at.

The primary difference between a radial and bias ply tire is how they are actually constructed. The cords inside a radial tire run at a 90 degree angle to the direction of travel (compared to a 32 degree angle on a bias) which simply allows it to flex more for better ground contact and traction. Because of its construction a radial tire will typically run cooler than a bias alternative, which is really what makes it ideal for use on highways as the speed/rotations and generated heat increase. Since excessive heat is the most common cause for tire failure you will want one that runs cooler for this type of application.

Please note though that the Kenda Karrier Tire that you're looking at does have a speed rating of 65 mph, which is the standard for most trailer tires.

A bias tire usually has a stiffer sidewall, which makes it a better option for off road applications like farm use.

expert reply by:
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Christopher R

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