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SUBJECT: # 11220: Trailer tire air pressure

Submitted by Tommy Sledge ( from MISSISSIPPI on 6/7/05 2:44:00 PM

I just bought two new trailer tires. The sidewall says they can be inflated to 50 PSI but the dealer says 35 to 40 is fine. What is the correct pressure? The tires are P205/75R14 size.

  1. 6/7/05 3:42:00 PM Submitted by miker2 ( from FLORIDA says load
    correct pressure is determined by load. always error to the high side, as too much will cause a little rougher ride, but too little causes excessive heat and will destroy the tires quickly. also keep an eye on tread wear pattern.

  2. 6/8/05 12:09:00 AM Submitted by Nightmare from OHIO says Answer to your question

    This table will give you a variety of inflations versus load for your tire size and load range rating (yours would be a C). Of course, you need a pretty good idea of your rig's weight when its ready to roll down the road. When in doubt, maximize the rated inflation. Otherwise, for best ride and wear, check the table and adjust accordingly.

    You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to read the thing. If you happen not to have it, you'll probably be redirected to Adobe site for free download.

  3. 6/8/05 7:53:00 AM Submitted by Heartland Tackle Service from KANSAS says Tire pressure
    I have the same size Goodyear Marathons on my single axle Triton TR20 trailer. I run them at 50 PSI with excellent results. I've found over the years that most car, truck, and trailer tires wear best (flattest) when run at the maximum pressure shown on the sidewall.
    Jim Johns, Heartland Tackle Service
    (316) 250-9349

    Heartland Tackle Service

  4. 6/8/05 7:59:00 AM Submitted by Tee ( from OHIO says Agree....
    Especially on trailer tires......

  5. 6/9/05 9:47:00 AM Submitted by miker2 ( from FLORIDA says stop
    vehicles and trailers are two different animals. on the trailer,you aren't concerned with handling and traction issues.running max pressure on a vehicle has a drastic effect on traction that can totally ruin your ability to turn or stop.your contact patch with the road is only about the size of your hand to begin with,and higher pressures will reduce that. that's why every vehicle has a sticker in the glove compartment or door opening with recommended pressures instead of just telling you to read the tire sidewall.

  6. 6/9/05 10:53:00 AM Submitted by Tee ( from OHIO says ?????
    Are you serious? Yeah use the door sticker when you have different tires that came on it and and they ALL have different pressure from brand to brand.

  7. 6/9/05 12:16:00 PM Submitted by miker2 ( from FLORIDA says very serious
    the recommended pressures are based on the vehicle and the tire size,not the brand.running at max sidewall pressure ratings is really scarey and dangerous from a handling standpoint.

  8. 6/9/05 2:00:00 PM Submitted by Tee ( from OHIO says Well....
    I just went from a Baja HT (50 PSI) to a Lemans SR (40 PSI) Splain' That !

  9. 6/9/05 2:00:00 PM Submitted by Wolverine ( from ALABAMA says Stop, stop, stop !!!
    Y'all are making this way to complicated, It has absolutly nothing to do with air pressure ! Take a piece of chalk. mark a line across each tire, edge to edge, drive forward about 3 or 4 tire revolutions, look at the chalk line, if the center is gone, but you see chalk on the edges of the tire, to much air. If the center is there but the edge is gone, not enough air. Keep repeating, add or take out air as needed, untill you have even wear, on the chalk across the tread. Works on cars trucks, trailers, lawn tractors, you will be impressed with how much longer tires last, when they have the right wear pattern. I have LT tires on my Z-71, tire says 65#, I run 35# in front and 25# in the rear, rides and handles like a dream, tires last forever.

  10. 6/9/05 3:38:00 PM Submitted by TexasGeorge from TEXAS says 45# in the summer/50# in winter
    That is assuming you have a single axle trailer and 2000# of boat and engine. If you have a dual axle drop to 40/45#s.

    The question pretained to a boat trailer not a tow vehicle, which has different parameters.

    It has everything to do with air pressure. You must have sufficent presure to support the load. You vary pressure according to the load.

    TG: If you don't know, don't advise. Redneck engineering gets people hurt or killed!

  11. 6/10/05 8:07:00 AM Submitted by Tee ( from OHIO says Thank You....
    And I'm sure you understand load ratings on different tires are different even of the same size and diameter tire. I liked the redneck comment:)

  12. 6/10/05 11:47:00 PM Submitted by Grumpy ( from ALABAMA says Texus George
    What if the tire says Max 35 PSI? You still advise 50 lbs. in the winter? (single axle of course)

  13. 6/11/05 7:16:00 PM Submitted by 150Rude from FLORIDA says tires and air pressure
    I've been in the tire industry for over 15 years and not just the retail side of it. I inspect tires that have failed for one reason or another, determine what happened to the tire and send it in to the manufacter so they can inspect and improve their product. I have seen thousands and thousands of "defective" tires through the years and I can tell you the number one reason for tire failure is due to improper tire pressure. To aswer Tee's question the reason for the different air pressures is because you have different load rating tires on your truck. All load range C tires require 50 psi, the tires that you have now are extra load load range B tires. If you double check the numbers it's actually 41 PSI. The tire dealership that sold you those tires did you an injustice by lowering the whole load carrying capasity of your truck. As far as trailer tires are concerned always put the maximum air pressure in them. Even if the trailer is empty. Trailer tires are a completely different animal than passenger tires. They are designed to be run at max PSI. Grumpy you must have a P-metric (car tire) on your trailer, never ever put more than recomended max pressure. I know people will tell you "Oh I've been filling them up to 50 PSI all my life" but remember what I do for a living. As far as winter summer fall or spring your boat still weighs the same run max PSI all of the time. I might not be the best fisherman but I do know tires literally inside and out. If any one has a question just post or email me. Good Luck.

  14. 6/12/05 10:37:00 PM Submitted by Grumpy ( from ALABAMA says Thanks for the info 150rude
    It's good to see someone give advice on this board who actually knows what he's talking about.

    Actually, I have Marathons on my trailer and haven't checked the air pressure in years, but I'm going to do it right now.

  15. 6/13/05 10:31:00 AM Submitted by Wolverine ( from ALABAMA says TG, you don't have a clue, and you try to hide it with personal attacts
    "You must have sufficent pressure to support the load. You vary pressure according to the load." That is the only thing you said that is correct. With all the different tires, different loads, the only way to know if you have sufficent pressue, is to test the contact patch on the tire tread, you want full even contact across the tread, when you achieve that, then you know what the tire pressure will be for that tire, and that given load, you can not just go with a blanket 45/50. 150Rude, you know more about tires than I do, but why would you not want even contact on a trailer tire tread ? Max pressure on a light boat will wear out the center of the tread, especially if you have a tire with too high of a load range for the load, how can that be good ? do you not want even tread contact, on whatever the tire is on ? is that not how tires are designed to run ?

  16. 6/14/05 12:05:00 PM Submitted by Grumpy ( from ALABAMA says I just looked
    at my Marathons and it says nothing about maximum pressure on the sidewall. It only tells what the maximum load is when running 50 lbs. pressure

    It says max LOAD 1760 at 50 lbs. pressure.

  17. 6/16/05 5:52:00 PM Submitted by TexasGeorge from TEXAS says Grumpy, that is what we are referring to as the max PSI
    Wolverine: That was not a personal attack. Didn't use your name did I? If I wanted to call you out, it would have been crystal clear to you and every one here.

    21 yr as an Army track and wheel technican. With tire and track inspection/safety training course.

    10 yr ASE auto & auto body certification.

    Are my cridentials.

    And yours are what???

    You comments may be appropriate to an off road 4X4 truck or drag car but not to a trailer. Which the original poster was asking about.

    I addressed the (Trailer) question as best I could with the given info. And was much closer to the truth than you.

    TG: I typed this slowly so your redneck arse could keep up.

  18. 6/16/05 6:34:00 PM Submitted by Got2fish from MISSOURI says Can someone say under inflated

    Firestone Tires + Heat build-up = Tread separation = Disaster...

    3 times?

  19. 6/18/05 9:12:00 PM Submitted by Jd ( from NORTH CAROLINA says Tire pressure and temperature
    One thing I never see talked about in these tire pressure debates is the fact that the sidewall rating are at 50PSI cold for example. This means 50 psi at 32 degrees farenheit. When most of us are towing the pressure needs to be adjusted for higher air temps like 75-90 degrees. All of the sudden that 50 psi cold is 54/55 degrees at 75. Does anyone else take this into account?

  20. 6/19/05 6:29:00 PM Submitted by Zip ( from LOUISIANA says Wow!
    Who'd a thought we would get this much debate (I hope that is the right word) out of a subject like this. JD, I think the cold rating is for ambient temperature, which is whatever the temp is outside.

  21. 6/27/05 4:10:00 PM Submitted by Marc ( from OHIO says trailer tire inflation pressure
    Well I am a light truck and passenger tire engineer... I engineer the structure of the tire and see/conduct destructive testing as well as handing and treadwear testing.

    It is always best to have a good nearly full width tread contact patch for best wear and best vehicle control (thus the chalk idea is largely valid, the outter 1/4 of the outter tread elements will likely not touch but for new tires this is OK as most tread arcs round rather quickly here). I myself run 30 psi front and 25 psi rear on my lightly loaded Dodge Dakota which has 31x10.50R15 load range C tires which are capable of 50 psi running IF the loading conditions warrant (like if I were hauling the max payload, then I'd want something closer to the max inflation)...

    Knowing loads is important as you get BOTH tire durability and great treadwear. My truck at max payload conditions only needs 40 psi in this size tire to fully support the load at freeway speeds. If I ran 50 psi I would expect poorer treawear and possibly poorer handling, likewise if I only had my light load 25psi I'd be in trouble with overly deflecting the tire, and resulting fatigue and overheating and failure.

    Trailers are somewhat similar to heavy duty tow vehicles with stiff leaf springs and again knowing loads is the best way to have both great treadwear and great safty/durability. Normally you would run more pressure in a trailer tire compared to what is best for a vehicle, giving up a little bit of treadwear for druability. Still, this mean that often max inflation pressure is not always needed.

    For safty reasons, if you do not know what the trailer load is then you better run the max pressure as this is the most load tolerant way to run the tire but you will give up treadwear and some stability as less of the tread is touching the road (yes the carcass will be stiff from the max pressure, but with reduced tread contact, less rubber is touching the road which can lead to sway for trailers as well as vehicles). Thus the reccomendation for running the max inflation for trailers is a safe recomendation as it avoids overloading the tire... Centerline tread wear would most likely occur if running max inflation with light trailer loads.

    "Cold" inflation does mean "ambient". "Ambient" is taken into account for all tire testing and thus reccomendations (therefore, always check "cold" pressure the morning you leave or after the vehicle has sat for at least 4 hours, preferrable without direct sunlight heating half of the tires of your vehicle).

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