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Author Topic:   Trailer Tire Cupping
jhomeist posted 05-18-2015 08:58 AM ET (US)   Profile for jhomeist   Send Email to jhomeist  
This weekend I noticed bad cupping on my trailer tires across the face of both tires, and otherweise there ws no uneven tread wear. The trailer is not overloaded, and I have always maintained proper tire inflation. The trailer is about six years old and gets about 1,500 miles per year. The wheel bearings are original but appear in fine condition, without slop. I've had a couple people tell me [problems with tire tread cupping is caused by] balance, but tire shops say they never balance trailer tires. I'm getting new tires due to age, and I want to avoid this with the new tires. Any suggestions?
Jefecinco posted 05-18-2015 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Go to a tire shop that balances trailer tires. They should be balanced for optimal wear and to avoid vibration which is destructive to the trailer and the load over time. I agree most never have trailer tires balanced but believe it is due to thoughtlessness.


jhomeist posted 05-18-2015 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jhomeist  Send Email to jhomeist     
Any other thoughts for a cause? I just talked to an experienced (female) trailer-repairman who previously worked on the brakes. Without hesitation she asked if they were bias ply--they are--and said replace with radial tires and have them balanced to solve the problem.
bluewaterpirate posted 05-18-2015 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Are you inflating to the max recommended PSI?


Jefecinco posted 05-18-2015 06:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
I agree with the trailer gal: radial tires are superior in almost every respect to bias tires and are great performers on almost any boat trailer application. Many disagree with me with most citing the value of less sidewall flexing with bias ply tires. When I replace trailer tires I buy radials if available in the size required.


jhomeist posted 05-19-2015 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jhomeist  Send Email to jhomeist     
Thanks guys. Yes, I always watch inflation closely and use the maximum inflation. I'm looking at the Goodyear Marathon trailer tire. Since they are specifically a trailer tire and appropriately rated for the load, I have to assume that the amount of sidewall flex is appropriate for the application.
jimh posted 05-22-2015 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The term "cupping" as related to tire wear is not familiar to me. I found an illustration of tire wear that is described as cupping at ch25/25readtirewear.html

The illustration is also provided with a lengthy description of the usual cause of tire wear in that manner.

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