Trailer Tire Ply: What is the Difference?

Trailer Tire Ply: What is the Difference?

In tire-talk there are two basic types of construction that tires of all sorts use as their foundation. These types include bias and radial tires and apply to mud, all-terrain and street tires as well as trailer tires. Each type of tire construction has its own unique set of characteristics that affect its performance. Most motorists believe that radial tires are better for their cars than bias tires. Does this also mean you should buy these types of tires for your trailer?.

Differences Between Radial and Bias Tires

Radials have plies that run perpendicular across the tire and belts, running below the tread around the tire’s circumference.

Tire Tread

Bias ply tires have their plies running diagonal from one bead to the other bead at about a 30 degree angle.

30 Degree Angle

What Tire Ply is Better for Trailers?

The type of tire you choose depends on the way your trailer handles. Before choosing tires consider your trailer’s handling as well as the manufacturer’s recommended tire type. Bias tires have stiffer sidewalls; this can help stabilize trailers that tend to sway. Bias tires are also preferred for heavier loads. Radials, on the other hand, are known for their superior tread wear. They last on average 40,000 miles where bias tires are usually only good for 12,000 miles. Radial tires are also less prone to the development of flat spots and trailer owners who park their trailers in the same position for weeks at a time should go with this option. Radials also tend to run cooler on longer trips.

Based on the above, radials might be worth the added cost if you put lots of miles on your trailer every year, leave it parked for extended periods of time, and are looking for improved traction on or off-road.

Ideal Trailer Tire Guide

Bias Trailer Tires

Bias tires have a specific purpose. They are designed with specific performance characteristics and are best suited for:

  • Towed trailers
  • Farm equipment
  • Extreme terrain
  • Some forms of racing

Radial Trailer Tires

Radial tires are more flexible which reduces rolling resistance to improve fuel economy. These are preferred for:

  • Improved gas mileage
  • Greater performance
  • Better cornering
  • Better stabilizing and traction

Order Trailer Tires Today

It is important that each of your trailer’s tires are the same size, type, and construction. It is especially important not to mix bias and radial tires. When selecting tires for your trailer, buy tires in accordance with the trailer’s certification label or by the specifications in the owner’s manual. To learn more about buying tires for your trailer, contact us today.