Trailers are designed with the purpose of carrying loads with a substantial weight. That’s why the maintenance of your trailer is so vital. There are a wide range of tyre types available so knowing whether yours is a Radial, CrossPly, or Bias Ply will help you to know what your trailer is capable of. While you may find that some tyres have their maximum load weight written on the tyre wall, this is not guaranteed. Here is how to find out the correct tyre load index for your trailer.
What are the basics of understanding my trailer tyre load index?
While every tyre has a load index, not all load indexes are the same. The index for your trailer tyres will depend on the size, make, and model of your trailer.
In order to work out the load index for your trailer tyre, look on the tyre itself. Look for the string of numbers and locate the last four (accompanied by a letter). These numbers will reflect the load index for both single axle and dual axle trailers. If your trailer is single axle, then it will only have one set of these numbers.
What do the numbers tell me?
If you have a dual axle trailer, then you will have two sets of numbers. As an example, if your first numbers are 98 and your second set of numbers are 96, you’re going to need to use a conversion chart. The combined numbers or the single number displayed will indicate the weight load of each individual wheel on your trailer.
How do I convert the numbers to the right load index?
Ideally, you want to use a load index conversion chart in order to understand exactly what your tyre load index is. There are a variety of conversion charts available. However, even if your trailer wheels have the same load index, they may not always be able to carry the same load weight.
Different makes and types of tyres will be affected by their individual characteristics, with elements like inflation pressure contributing significantly. You will also need to check the speed rating that is covered by your tyres as well, as this affects the performance of your trailer. These two factors are the most important to consider when looking at buying a used trailer, buying replacement tyres, or when loading your trailer with your existing tyres.
Is ply rating important?
One of the other factors that you need to consider is the ply rating of your tyre. While this used to refer to the number of layers that make up a tyre casing, tyre technology has advanced and it now refers solely to weight bearing capability. The rating system remains the same however, with the ply rating referring to the traditional scales.
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