Why Do Trailer Tires Wear Out So Fast?

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Why Do Trailer Tires Wear Out So Fast?

Why do trailer tires wear out so fast? Most people don’t understand the science behind how motor vehicle tires wear out too fast and end up getting replaced. Not to mention, the nature of this phenomenon is often very inconvenient because it can ruin your commute on one day for no fault of your own, as well as cost you a large amount of money in wasted gas.

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Why Do Trailer Tires Wear Out So Fast?

If you have ever put some hard miles on your vehicle and/or trailer tires, then you know that the more road miles you drive, the faster your tires will wear out. While there are certain actions you can take to minimize the amount of tire wear such as proper maintenance of vehicle and trailer tires, there is no way to totally avoid this phenomenon. In fact, it is a natural side effect of the laws of physics at work.

The wear and tear on your tires is a result of friction and rolling resistance. Friction is the force between two objects that are in contact with each other, such as a vehicle tire and the road surface (the road has friction as well, but it’s much lower). Rolling resistance is the way your tires react to how the road surface interacts with them, namely how much force they absorb or transfer to turn one direction (towing) versus another direction (driving).

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The reason you see the wear and tear on your trailer tires is simply because of these two forces acting on them. The larger the tire, the more rolling resistance. And here’s where it gets interesting (at least to most people). A tire that has a heavier load on it, such as one that is carrying a boat, becomes even more resistant to rolling than a flatbed trailer with no weight behind it. It becomes more difficult for a trailer tire to absorb and transfer enough energy from the road surface to turn one direction versus another.

This is why trailers with high weight on their wheels will wear out tires faster than a flatbed that is empty. In addition, a trailer tire with lots of weight on it and the same level of friction as for a flatbed trailer will wear out even faster as the trailer’s weight increases, due to increased rolling resistance. If you have ever towed an extended length of boat and came back to find your bogied trailer tires are almost bald, then you know that this is a very common experience.