How to Know the Age of Your Trailer Tires
Why the Age of Your Tires Matters
You may be considering buying used trailer tires at a swap meet, or you might be looking at purchasing a used trailer, equipped with what appears to be a decent set of tires. Or you may just be asking yourself the question “how long do tires last?” Unfortunately, the answer is more complicated than just checking for excessive or uneven treadwear and looking for cracks in the sidewalls. That’s why the tire experts here at Treadwell put together these tips to help you.
The fact is that the age of tires is both the most important aspect of tire safety, and also the easiest to overlook, especially if the tread is still in serviceable shape. Many times, tires will age out before they wear out. The rubber compounds in tires oxidize, harden and lose flexibility, and degrade with exposure to air, UV rays, ground moisture and heat. Tiny cracks in the rubber can develop over time, and can eventually cause belts in the tread to separate.
How long do tires last?
As you might expect, there is not a simple answer to that question. Different vehicle makers and rubber manufacturers recommend changing your tires after 4, 5 or 6 years, but the truth is that the conditions of use, heat, underinflation, and storage can dramatically impact the life of a tire. It’s not unusual for stored tires to age faster than tires that are driven on frequently. In the case of trailer tires, the NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Administration, defers to the tire manufacturers and doesn’t give specific guidelines, saying only that “some vehicle and tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are 6 to 10 years old, regardless of treadwear.” That leaves it up to you to make the decision, based on a visual inspection of the treadwear and other tire components, and the physical age of the tires.
Here’s how to tell the age of your tires
Tire manufacturers put the date of manufacture on each tire in the form of a DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to tell at a glance when your tire was manufactured, but it does mean the information is there and ready for you to decipher. To find out how old your tire is, find the DOT code imprinted on the sidewall of the tire that begins with “DOT”, followed by a series of usually 10 to 12 numbers, letters or symbols (which provides information about the tire’s size and the manufacturer’s specifications and locations), followed by the date code, the last 4 (or 3) numbers in the string. Tires manufactured after the year 2000 have a 4-digit date code, with the first two numbers representing the week and the second two numbers representing the year the tire was created. So, for example, a date code of 3718 means the tire was manufactured in September of 2018. Tires made before 2000 are a little trickier since they have a 3-digit code, with the first two numbers indicating the week, and the third number indicating the year within the decade of manufacture. Knowing which decade can be a challenge. Current regulations require the complete DOT code to be shown on one sidewall, and just the first few digits on the opposite sidewall.
Treadworld tires are fresh tires
When it comes to the high performance tires you get at Treadworld, you can depend on getting tires that are most likely less than 6 months from their date of manufacture, or in the case of some tires that are less in demand, no more than 1 year old. It’s important to remember that our RubberMaster tires and Master tires are manufactured using top quality rubber compounds, before being triple-tested for quality then X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect. Every tire we sell is covered by our Ultimate Advantage Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, including how long should tires last, and to get the ideal tires for you.