Trailer Tires are Wearing On the Inside Tread with Low Miles on the Tires

Question:

I have a 6 x 10 utility trailer with ST205/75d15 tires on a single axel. The inside treads are wearing down to the threads with very little mileage on them. I have not had any heavy loads on the trailer. Could provide me with some advise to correct the problem. I dont believe they can be aligned.

Expert Reply:

You may be experiencing some wear in the suspension components that can cause tire wear and also be a symptom or cause the axle to be misaligned. Inspect your suspension components and if any of the holes where hardware goes is egg-shaped, that indicates wear.

To determine if the axle is not properly aligned, pull in straight on a level surface and stop. Measure from the center of the axle on one end to the center of the ball hole on the coupler. Then do the same on the other side. Even a small difference can cause wear.

Tire wear on the inside generally indicates an overloaded trailer. If you have not been carrying heavy loads, check to see if the axle has been flipped. If it has, that would be why the tires are wearing. An axle has a bow in it that should be curved up. When a load is placed on it, the bow helps support some of the weight, the axle straightens some and the tires will wear evenly.

Make sure that your tires have ST in front of the tire size. This indicates it is a special trailer tire. Only use special trailer tires on trailers, not passenger vehicle tires. Trailer tires are built with a thicker sidewall to handle more vertical load which is why they must be inflated to the max psi indicated on the tire. If they are not, they can wear unevenly and there will be excessive heat build up that can cause the tire to fail.

If you can jack up one side of the trailer, try moving the wheel alternating pushing on the top and bottom of the tire back and forth. If there is movement, this would indicate there is a bearing problem and you will need to replace the bearings, races, and seals.

I have included some links to FAQ articles and videos that should help you.

expert reply by:
Michael H

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