How to Determine the Optimal Load Range for Your Trailer TiresEric Johnson
In this Article:
How to Determine the Optimal Load Range for Your Trailer Tires
So, What Exactly Is Trailer Tires Load Range?
How Does Ply Rating of Tires Factor Into It?
Single and Dual Trailer Tire Load Ranges
Choosing the Optimal Load Range for Trailer Tires Depends the Trailer’s GVWR
The Trailer’s GAWR Is Something Else for You to Keep In Mind
In a Nutshell, Why the Trailer Tire Load Range Matters
We’re Treadworld, Home of the Best Trailer Tires Anywhere
Trailer tires are crucial, right? Without them, your trailer just sits on blocks, sad and dejected in the vacant lot, as weeds grow up around it. More to the point, the right trailer tires are crucial—the right construction type, the right size, the right tread, the right speed rating, and the right load range, which is what we’re here to talk about today. The trailer tires load range must be sufficient to carry the weight of the trailer and its cargo, in order for you to avoid a wide range of blowouts, accidents and headaches. Whether you’re towing a personal trailer, a commercial trailer, a travel trailer, a utility trailer, a cargo trailer, or a motorcycle trailer, your trailer tires must have a tire load range capacity that is sufficient for handling the weight of your trailer and of your cargo combined, safely. The tire experts at Treadworld are here to provide you with an explanation of trailer tire load range, along with some tips for determining the optimal tire load rating for your trailer tires.
The load range or load capacity is a rating system used to indicate the amount of weight that a tire can safely support at a specific air pressure, taking into account the tire’s construction and other design features. Load range is typically indicated by a letter, B-G, with each letter representing a different load range rating. The load range of a trailer tire is directly related to its load carrying capacity, as a higher load range rating indicates that the tire can carry more weight. For example, a tire with a load range C can typically carry a maximum weight as high as 1,870 pounds at 50 PSI, while a tire with a load range G can carry a maximum weight as high as 4,400 pounds at 110 PSI.
It is important to note that the weight capacity of a tire is also affected by the tire pressure, the PSI. To achieve the maximum load capacity of a tire, it must be inflated to the recommended pressure as determined by the tire manufacturer. Underinflation can reduce the load capacity of the tire, while overinflation can affect the tire’s handling and performance.
The ply rating of trailer tires refers to the number of layers, or plies, that make up the tire’s internal structure. In general, a tire with a higher ply rating will be stronger and more durable than a tire with a lower ply rating. Historically, the number of plies in a tire was an important indicator of its strength and durability, but modern tire technology has allowed for tires with fewer plies to provide the same level of performance as tires with more plies. In fact, many modern trailer tires do not even list the ply rating on the tire’s sidewall. Here at Treadworld, to be sure we have all the bases covered, we describe how much our trailer tires can carry at the optimal PSI as the “Ply Rating/Load Range” which will show up as a letter/number such as 14/G—which corresponds to a load capacity equivalent to 14 plies and a load range of “G”—which equals a capacity of single/dual of 4,400 lbs./3,860 lbs. at 96 PSI. Keep reading for an explanation of “single/dual.”
A single axle trailer has one set of wheels, while a dual axle trailer has two sets of wheels, each with its own axle. The single load capacity typically applies to trailers with a single axle and is the maximum weight that a single tire can carry—in conjunction with its twin on the other side of the axle—when it is part of the only tire set supporting the weight of the trailer. The dual load capacity, on the other hand, which typically applies to trailers with dual axles, is the maximum weight that a single tire can carry when it is one of four tires—in conjunction with the other 3 tires—supporting the weight of the trailer.
For example, if a single axle trailer has a total weight of 5,000 pounds, and the trailer has two tires, each tire would need to have a load range of at least 2,500 pounds. If each tire has a load range of D, which is equivalent to a maximum load carrying capacity of 2,755 pounds per tire, then the load range D tire would be appropriate for this trailer.
However, if the same 5,000 pound trailer has a dual axle, each tire would only be required to carry 1,250 pounds. Therefore, a load range C tire, which has a maximum load carrying capacity of 2,150 pounds, would be sufficient for this trailer.
GVWR is defined as the maximum weight that the trailer can safely carry, including the weight of the trailer itself—the GTW, gross trailer weight plus the weight of the cargo. The GTW and GVWR weight ratings, as determined by the manufacturer, are usually displayed on a plate or sticker affixed to the trailer itself—typically located near the front of the trailer, on the tongue or frame. When you add the weight of your cargo, including the weight of passengers and equipment, to the GTW, you get the GVWR, which you will need to know in order to choose trailer tires with a load range that is sufficient to handle the total weight (and then some for a safety factor). It’s always a good idea to choose a tire with a higher load range than you need to allow for unexpected weight increases.
The GAWR of a trailer, the gross axle weight rating, is the maximum weight that the trailer’s axles are designed to support and can safely carry. GAWR represents the maximum distributed weight that can be loaded onto each individual axle of the trailer without exceeding the manufacturer’s specifications. This information will typically be on the same sticker, or in the same section of the owner’s manual, as the GVWR information.
Trailer tire load ranges have a relationship with GAWR because that rating is typically determined by the weakest component of the axle system, which includes the tires, wheels, and suspension. Therefore, the load rating of the trailer tires must be equal to or greater than the GAWR to ensure safe operation. If the load rating of the tires is lower than the GAWR, it can lead to overloading of the axle, which can cause tire failure, or other safety issues.
If the weight of the trailer exceeds the tire load rating of the tires on the trailer, it can cause the tires to overheat, wear out prematurely, or even fail, which can lead to a dangerous situation on the road. That’s why it’s best to hedge your bets by choosing trailer tires with more load range than you expect to need. On the other hand, using a tire with a significantly higher load range than necessary can result in a stiffer ride and increased wear on the tires.
Here at Treadworld, we’ve got you covered with a large selection of trailer tires in a wide variety of sizes, with load ranges varying from B to G, that will meet your needs for any towable trailer.
Whether you’re looking for new trailer tires, trailer wheels and tires, or a spare trailer tire, count on us here to provide you with the high-performing, long-lasting trailer tires you want. All our RubberMaster Trailer Tires are manufactured to strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, then triple-tested for quality, balance and uniformity before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect. Easy ordering, fast shipping plus your satisfaction is guaranteed with our no-hassle Ultimate Advantage Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal trailer tires—or the perfect ATV tires, UTV tires, lawn and garden tires, agriculture tires and many others—from our extensive selection. Or use our Treadworld Product Selector Tool to help you find exactly what you want, on our home page.