Talking tyres - everything you need to know about trailer wheels to keep your business moving
Posted on 10-05-2023
Choosing trailer wheels isn’t something that you can take lightly. Commercial trailers tend to carry large and heavy loads, so need to be heavy duty and up to the job if you’re going to keep your vehicle and cargo safe on the road.
You might think that it is ok to use normal, passenger wheels as a suitable replacement for worn, or damaged trailer wheels, but it’s far from advisable! Whilst everything about it looks like a standard tyre, on closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are significant differences.
We’re here to help you understand the considerations for on-road wheels, to keep you safe, and your business heading in the right direction.
Knowing your tyres
Understanding the differences between trailer tyres and passenger tyres is a great starting point, it’s easy to get the two mixed up, particularly as both tyres have standard and common sizing.
Side by side, you’ll notice that a trailer tyre has a thicker sidewall and narrower tread width. These may sound like nothing more than visual differences, but that’s not the case, as most of the major differences lie in the structural design and the material used in manufacturing process.
Passenger tyres are a means of transferring energy from the vehicle to the road surface to allow acceleration, braking and turning. Trailer tyres are designed for bearing heavy loads and being towed, and their thick sidewalls are manufactured to make heavyweight load capacities possible. Unlike passenger tyres, tread life is less of a priority.
To keep your trailer running efficiently, make sure you’re aware of your tyre load index and ply rating, and ensure that tyres are always kept at the right pressure to extend their lifespan.
It can often be confusing when ordering replacement trailer parts. That’s why it’s useful to have a basic knowledge of your trailer to make ordering more straightforward. Knowing what the numbers on the sidewall of the vehicle represent will save you a great deal of time and effort.
Wheel size- useful info
There are usually 4-5 different pieces of information marked on the centre of a wheel.
- Wheel manufacturer is marked on all wheels.
- Part numbers to gain replacements. (These can sometimes be cross referenced to get a wheel that will do the same job!)
- Inside width and nominal diameter of wheel size.
- Wheel size is usually followed by a code to give a bead type.
However, the 3 most important measurements are the rim size, the PCD and the load rating. If you are able to accurately measure these and choose the correct version for your needs your wheel will fit perfectly and run well for miles to come.
The wheel size cannot be accurately measured from the rim with a tyre fitted. There are specific gauges available to help with this.
Width and Grip rating
A wheel size, and composite make up, determines the vehicles grip on the road. Generally speaking, the larger the wheel, the better the grip which makes for improved handling. Equally, the wheel size impacts ground clearance and the total weight that can be managed, large and durable tyres can hold more weight.
Ultimately, your tyre size should fit with that of your trailer. There should be enough ground clearance to avoid friction between the base of the trailer and the road.
Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD)
PCD stands for Pitch Circle Diameter. This is simply the diameter of the imaginary circle that passes through the centre of the wheel studs. It can be calculated by using measurements of adjacent stud centres, but the easiest way is to use a PCD calculator like the one on our website.
You can find more information on how to calculate this measurement here.
Why should I use Trailparts Group?
A consolidated supplier such as Trailparts Group can help you find all the spare and replacement products you need in one place, with one order, and usually one delivery, saving you time, energy, and money.
Whether you’re looking wheels, tyres and mudguards, Brakes and Cables, Jockey Wheels, Electrics, Security products or many, many more product ranges, we have over 150,000 spare parts in stock for your trailer, towed equipment, vehicle and welfare units.
By placing your order, through a consolidated supplier such as Trailparts Group, you can quickly and easily trace your order using one platform and through one order number. We also aim to dispatch orders in one delivery where possible, giving you piece of mind that all the parts you need to complete your job will land on your doorstep when you need them to.
Learn more about the benefits of using a consolidated supplier HERE
If you want to discover our range of spares and replacements, you can access our full catalogue here.