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Four factors that can affect trailer tyre performance

Fri, 30 Dec 2022 | PRODUCTS


Multiple factors can cause poor trailer tyre performance, from wrongly-adjusted trailer brakes to incorrectly-torqued wheel nuts. Poor performance means a shortened lifetime and makes it necessary sooner than intended to sit down at the computer and search for ‘tractor tyres for sale’ and ‘tractor tyres near me’, and look through trailer tyres price lists. These four factors are among the key ones that affect trailer tyre performance.

Incorrectly-set trailer tyre pressures

This is possibly the most important criteria when it comes to compromised or maximised trailer tyre performance. If your trailer tyres have received excess air when inflated, whether by intention because it was thought to be a good idea (it never is) or by mistake, their performance will be compromised under braking. Over-inflation means a reduced ground contact patch, lessening the ability to transfer brake power to the trailer tyres, significantly increasing the stopping distance of the tractor and trailer combination.

Conversely, the key performance issue with under-inflation is that because the trailer tyre – and potentially all of the trailer’s tyres – has less air in it than it was designed to hold, the trailer tyre shape will be affected, with a flat base. This makes the trailer much harder to pull, and therefore the fuel consumption of the tractor pulling it will increase.

Incorrectly-torqued trailer wheel nuts

If the trailer wheel nuts are not checked regularly for tightness and are not tightened to the correct torque, the wheel and trailer tyre will not run true. As a result, wear will be uneven, and this will affect characteristics ranging from the trailer tyre’s ability to channel away mud and water to its braking performance.

Incorrectly-adjusted trailer brakes

Trailer brakes require regular maintenance and adjustment. If they activate too tightly, the brakes may lock up and cause the trailer tyres to skid, with consequent trailer tyre wear problems. If they do not activate as quickly and tightly as they should, the trailer tyres will fail to brake the trailer properly, causing excessive heat build-up in both the brakes and the trailer tyres.

Poor on-road driving technique

This particularly relates to late braking. When needing to slow a tractor and trailer combination on the approach to a road junction, using the tractor transmission in the proper manner as much as possible to slow the combination will reduce stress on the trailer brakes, which will in turn reduce the heat build-up and wear in the trailer tyres and ensure their on-road performance is maintained.

All these factors can result in your trailer tyres performing poorly. Keeping your driving technique on form, ensuring your trailer brakes are adjusted correctly, making regular checks of wheel nut tightness and ensuring your trailer tyre pressures are always spot-on will both maximise trailer tyre performance, keeping running costs down, and ensure the longest possible trailer tyre life, maximising the time before you next have to search for ‘tractor tyres for sale’ and ‘tractor tyres near me’, and  look through trailer tyres price lists.