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Bhigdog

Dual vs Triple axle trailer

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I'm posting this here rather than the trailer forum because I'm hoping for wider exposure. On my way back from St Johns I blew two tires on my trailer. Both were only 3 years old and had less than 5,000 miles on them and were pricey Goodyears (made in China). I had two spares but had to spring for amother $140 Chinese POS I don't want because I was afriaid to proceed without a spare. I weighed the loaded trailer when I got home and I'm 1060 pounds UNDER tire rated gross weight ( trailer 9,500 tires four @ 2650 each ). I'm at my wits end with blowing out trailer tires. I'm considering adding a third axle to the trailer. I need feed back on the pro's and con's of a third axle other than the added tire cost. I've heard that tri axle trailers are bad for scuffing tires in turns. Anything else? Please..............Bob

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Were the tires of the same side of the trailer (left or right) or were they on the same axle? I guess another possibility is the same tire location on 2 different occassions?

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We had the same problem. Going to heavier rims and tires solve it. Talk to your local truck tire dealer, not the teenage kid behind the counter at Mr Tire.

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Both on passenger side. first the rear blew, changed it, an hour later the forward blew. same side different axle...........Bob

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I aquired a used 3 axle 24" TPD last year and couldn't be happier, I've noticed very little extra scuffing compared to a 2 axle trailer. I can say that it pulls very stable and solid, better in cross winds too. I like it so much that even though I bought it to haul a big pre-war classic I just decided to use it to pick up a little foreign job that weighs half as much just because it feels safer and handles better than my 18" 2 axle. The round trip is 6,000 miles, but it's worth the safty factory alone.

Regards, --Tom

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I owned a double axle trailer for 12 years, hauled my car all over the country and get this; I didn't even OWN a spare. Yeah, that was dumb but I never needed it. By the way, the trailer always ran AMERICAN MADE Goodyear radials. Six years ago I bought a new trailer because I wanted a gooseneck. It ia a triple axle. I promptly blew out 4 out of 6 CHINA MADE tires within 5,000 miles. After replacing as you put it, the POS with better tires, no problems so far. I now, paranoid, carry TWO spares. So it seems to be in the tire quality and not in the number of axles. I do believe you get better weight distribution with three axles and it pulls VERY smooth. The scuffing when turning is just a by-product of three axles.

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I owned a double axle trailer for 12 years, hauled my car all over the country and get this; I didn't even OWN a spare. Yeah, that was dumb but I never needed it. By the way, the trailer always ran AMERICAN MADE Goodyear radials. Six years ago I bought a new trailer because I wanted a gooseneck. It ia a triple axle. I promptly blew out 4 out of 6 CHINA MADE tires within 5,000 miles. After replacing as you put it, the POS with better tires, no problems so far. I now, paranoid, carry TWO spares. So it seems to be in the tire quality and not in the number of axles. I do believe you get better weight distribution with three axles and it pulls VERY smooth. The scuffing when turning is just a by-product of three axles.

Trouble is whats a better tire? I put on 4 Load range E Carlisle's (China) and blew 2 in the first 1000 miles. So I went to GoodYear's (China) load range D and just blew 2. I'm trying to decide between 4 new load range G bias ply tires (China) or adding another axle. I can add an axle for about $1400 including tires or I can keep blowing out a couple of $140 tires a trip. Then again I can add an axle which just gives me more tires to blow out...............Bob

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Well, I've had very good service from Goodyear Marathon Radials. American made. A lot of these same tires are now made in China. I didn't know if I should but since you named them; All my tires that blew out were Carlisles as well. It seems we are all over the proverbial barrel with all the foreign made junk we must choose from. I don't know what the answer is except what has and has not worked for me. I've even heard of some people trying truck tire on thier trailers.

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The 2 Marathon Radials are what blew. I junked the Carlisles I had and bought "American" Goodyears except if you look REEEAAAALLL close, in itty bitty letters, they say China. Well back to the 3 axle question. What are the negatives/positives?....................Bob

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Bob,

Seems to me you are limiting yourself. Someone out there makes a tire of the quality you need and will be eager

to sell it to you. Seems to me the name means little anymore. Some of the sidewalls feel about as tough as a rubber

band. When you find a real tough sidewall, seems to me, you will have a tire that is likewise. I do not claim many

credentials as a tire guy, just offering a couple of observations. Surf the net and I believe you will come up with some

starting points, at the least, for finding your tires. Good luck!

Perry in Idaho

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Bob,

Seems to me you are limiting yourself. Someone out there makes a tire of the quality you need and will be eager

to sell it to you. Seems to me the name means little anymore. Some of the sidewalls feel about as tough as a rubber

band. When you find a real tough sidewall, seems to me, you will have a tire that is likewise. I do not claim many

credentials as a tire guy, just offering a couple of observations. Surf the net and I believe you will come up with some

starting points, at the least, for finding your tires. Good luck!

Perry in Idaho

I tend to agree with you and am thinking of trying a set of 14 ply rated lite truck/trailer bias ply tire. What I like is they hold 110 pounds pressure. Tire dealers tell me there is no trailer tire available that is not made in China. How can this be??????????????? So the next question is ..............Has anyone had experiance towing with bias ply tires?.....................Bob

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I tow every day ...

In just about every of the lower 48 states

On asphalt - concrete - gravel - dirt roads

With a tandem axle enclosed custom trailer

Trailer tires are ST rated at 65 m.p.h. - that means 65 miles per hour maximum

regardless if you are empty or loaded

Heat kills a tire quicker than anything else

Go faster than 65 m.p.h. - cook your tires

I run 16 inch ST steel belted 10 ply E load range trailer tires at 80 p.s.i.

I do carry a spare - never had to put it on

I change my tires every 30,000 miles

I buy what is available on the road - usually Chinese brand

Jim

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Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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Bias ply tires are all we had in the old days. We have had 2 and 3 axle car/machinery, and horse/cattle trailers since the 70's on the farm and never had a lot of trouble with tires back then. It is actually recommended to run bias ply tires on a trailer because the sidewalls are heavier and the trailer will not sway as much. The problem is that they would wear out faster. A lot of home built trailers back in the day had house trailer axles and tires, 5,000 miles is about all those tires were good for back then. If my memory serves me correctly, I think that they were 14.5's. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)

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I was wondering when this would come up, as there has been lots of severe tire failure on trailers of late. Collectors with the large heavy cars are having a particularly hard time the past few years. We had a husband and wife end up in the ditch with a loss of life and severe injuries while towing lately. 15 and 16 inch radial trailer and LT truck tires on trailers today are just not safe with high speeds, high loading, and cheap tire production when hauling the big cars at high speed. Even the so called good brands have a terrible failure rate. Last year I went through 7 tires in 5600 miles over 10 days of hauling in the west in high heat, high speed towing. I just solved my problems by ordering 17.5 inch, 16 ply, rims and tires. They run 125 lbs air pressure, and are rated for 8000 pounds caring capacity per tire. A 16 inch tire maximum rating of capacity is 3250. Overall if you buy the trailer with the 17.5 on it new, they are less expensive than running 16 inch tires that last less than 10,000 miles each and keep blowing out all the time. The 17.5 rims and tires direct fit your existing trailer set up for 16 inch by 8 lug axles. According to most guys I have been talking to they get almost 100,000 miles on a set of 17.5 trailer tires, which make them less expensive money wise over the long run. Check out the link below for tires and rims. I will be going to 19.5 wheels on my F 350 soon also. Cheap Chinese tires are going to kill a lot of people before most people come around to upgrading to a safe and secure tire set up. Ed

Rickson Wheel Manufacturing

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Bhigdog, you probably already know this but when you do get tires make sure the tires are the age the dealer tells you they are. About two years ago now our RV had a rear tire to blow out. The chassis was a 2001 and the rig was titled as a 2002. Turns out that the tires were already three years old when we bought the rig and the tires had been sitting out in the sun all that time. The information is stamped/embossed into the sidewall of the tire. One of the national TV networks did an hidden camera segment on this problem. They found many dealers that were knowingly selling tires that were too old and they were selling them as recently new to unsuspecting people

Don't leave the lot until you verify that the tires/dates you chose are the ones on your trailer.

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I agree with Trullyvintage and I have never had any problems on either a 24' or my present 22' with heavy loads and long distances. I also use 16" wheels and tires on 5000 lb. axles, 60-65 mph is the most you should be running. Trailer manufacturers also recomend the same maximum speeds in their manuals.

What tire size are you running and what are the axles rated at Bob??

For anyone out there thinking of getting a trailer don't buy shop by price. Cheap trailers have 3500 lb axles and wheels and tires that are to small. Upgrade to a min. of 5000 lb axles and 16" wheels.

For heavy weights and high speeds you need to to do like Ed mentions above.

Edited by T-Head (see edit history)

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I also agree with Trulyvintage. Speed is the biggest problem. Add a third axle ... keep going fast = keep blowing tires.

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I agree with Trullyvintage and I have never had any problems on either a 24' or my present 22' with heavy loads and long distances. I also use 16" wheels and tires on 5000 lb. axles, 60-65 mph is the most you should be running. Trailer manufacturers also recomend the same maximum speeds in their manuals.

What tire size are you running and what are the axles rated at Bob??

For anyone out there thinking of getting a trailer don't buy shop by price. Cheap trailers have 3500 lb axles and wheels and tires that are to small. Upgrade to a min. of 5000 lb axles and 16" wheels.

For heavy weights and high speeds you need to to do like Ed mentions above.

24' trailer with 5000# Dexter Torqflex axles. 225R15 tires. So far I've blown out 2 Carlisle load range E in less than 1000 miles. And 2 Goodyear load range D tires in about 3000 miles. I weigh 9500 which is at least 1060 under max gross and never under inflate. I do tow at about 65 even when the limit is 70..........Bob

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What I do when purchasing 15 inch trailer tires:

For 15 inch trailer tires I locate ST Radial 10 ply Load Range E

in a 7.00 x 15 size - they will fit a 15" x 6" rim

I specifically use a 7.00 x 15 because they have a narrower and slightly

taller profile - they have less sidewall flex - they last longer

Wherever I am on the road, I look up ' tire wholesalers ' or ' tire distributors '

for the area and try and purchase wholesale as a courtesy cash sale

I pay about $100 each loose for a 7.00 x 15 ST 10 ply Load Range E trailer tire

They are Chinese - but I am not into political bashing - I buy what is stocked

I run aluminum rims with high pressure valve stems, I have my tires balanced

and inflated to the maximum 80 p.s.i.

I install ALL OF MY TRAILER TIRES myself once they are ready to be mounted

No impact wrench - no over torquing of the lug nuts

Jim

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Guest BillP

This is OT, and not the problem discussed here.

When you own a trailer you tend to look at other people's rigs and how they are set up. It's surprising to me how many operators of tandem axle trailers run tilted, either trailer nose up or down. This puts greater weight on one or the other trailer axles and as a result the tires on that axle. It's an easy and essential part of tow vehicle/trailer set-up. Use the correct ball mount.

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Here's an interesting tid bit of info..................Bob

Special Trailer (ST) Tire Speed Ratings

Industry standards dictate tires with the ST designation are speed rated to 65 MPH (104 km/h) under normal inflation and load conditions.

However industry standards also stipulate, if tires with the ST designation are used at speeds between 66 and 75 mph (106 and 121 km/h), it is necessary to increase their cold inflation pressure by 10 psi (69 kPa) above the recommended pressure for the rated maximum load.

Do not exceed the wheel’s maximum rated pressure. If the maximum pressure for the wheel prohibits the increase of air pressure, then maximum speed must be restricted to 65 mph (104 km/h).

The cold inflation pressure must not exceed 10 psi (69 kPa) beyond the inflation specified for the maximum load of the tire.

Increasing the inflation pressure by 10 psi (69 kPa) does not provide any additional load carrying capacity.

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This is OT, and not the problem discussed here.

When you own a trailer you tend to look at other people's rigs and how they are set up. It's surprising to me how many operators of tandem axle trailers run tilted, either trailer nose up or down. This puts greater weight on one or the other trailer axles and as a result the tires on that axle. It's an easy and essential part of tow vehicle/trailer set-up. Use the correct ball mount.

Thats right! I was waiting to see who mentioned it first. A common problem with dual axel trailers. The front wheels carrying all the weight.

For boat trailers, people in Florida swear by Maxxis tires. I use load range D Maxxis for my over loaded single axel boat trailer.

Bill H

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We never had good luck at all with the Carlisle tires that were on our tow dolly. They kept "cupping" and would blow or come close to it.

We had Goodyear tires on our tri-axle toybox camper/car hauler trailer and they were fine. But they started to dry rot. So last year Bill put new Tow Master brand tires on that trailer and we have been very pleased with them.

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Alright, here's the decision. My son-in-law has a race car business, tows a LOT and has had good luck with a certain trailer tire. It's available in my size with an E load range. I don't have anymore big tows this year so I'm going to wait until this spring and put 4 new tires on, I'm going to over inflate them by 10 pounds and limit my speed to 60 MPH. I'm also going to carry 2 mounted and 2 unmounted spares. If this doesn't work there is no plan B...............Bob

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Make sure you buy newly manufactured tires as opposed to new tires stored in a warehouse for over 5 years. There is a date of manufacture code on the backside sidewall. DOT xxxxxx. You can find out how to decipher this number on the internet. jimmijim

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