Trailers are a symbol of freedom, excitement, and fun times. For many people, there is nothing better than going on a long road trip with a fully-equipped trailer and we are all for that! However, the long-planned journey can become a real nightmare if you don’t prepare properly.
And, of course, we are talking mostly about tires here. We have seen many instances where big crashes happened due to worn-out trailer tires, but also due to the wrong tires being employed for the job. And, we’re mostly talking about the capacity of the tires to carry the whole weight of the trailer.
Most often than not, trailer owners purchase tires that don’t have a load rating that’s high enough for their trailers. Sure, the tires you purchase might be good for the trailer itself, but what about the additional load you put inside?
When it comes to trailer tires, it is crucial to purchase a set that will comfortably carry the whole weight of your trailer. If the tires don’t have the load-carrying capacity required, you are at high risk while on the road.
When overloaded, trailer tires will not be able to provide you with adequate stability on the road, especially at higher velocities on the highway. Moreover, when overloaded, the tires will wear quickly, and they might even explode. Can you imagine that happening while you’re on the road with your family?
If you want a completely safe and stable drive with a trailer attached, we recommend going for heavy-duty trailer tires. These tires have higher load capacities, which means that they can easily carry the weight of the trailer, plus the load inside.
Moreover, heavy-duty trailer tires can prove to be more durable in the long run, which in turn makes them more cost-effective. That’s especially true if you leave your trailer stationary for longer periods – tires with insufficient load ratings will quickly warp.
The issue with these tires is – there is not a lot of information about them. For passenger-car tires and truck tires, you can easily find everything you need, but there is not a lot of details about trailer tires. Moreover, trailer-tire brands are not as easily recognizable as manufacturers of passenger tires, such as Michelin and Bridgestone.
Fortunately, we can help you make the right decision. In this article, we compiled a list of the best trailer tires for heavy loads that you can purchase directly online. Our list of the ten best models contains high-quality tires that can withstand the whole weight of the trailer and give you a safe and stable ride when you hit the road.
For those that don’t understand heavy-duty trailer tires that well, we also prepared a detailed buying guide on these models. We recommend checking the guide as it contains valuable information, such as load ratings, internal construction, and maintenance advice.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best trailer tires for heavy loads right now.
- The 10 Best Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads Available in 2020
- 1. Maxxis M8008 Radial Trailer Tire
- 2. Carlisle Trail HD Trailer Radial
- 3. Trailer King ST Radial II
- 4. Freestar M-108+
- 5. Westlake ST Tire (Load Range G)
- 6. Provider ST Trailer Tire (Load Range G)
- 7. Taskmaster Premium Trailer Contender (Load Range G)
- 8. Kenda Bias Trailer Tire (Load Range G)
- 9. Homaster V Trailer Tire (Load Range G)
- 10. Carlisle Sport Trail LH Bias
- Heavy-Duty Trailer Tires – Buying Guide in 2020
- Final Words
The 10 Best Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads Available in 2020
Best 8-ply and 10-ply Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads
The Maxxis M8008 is arguably the most accomplished trailer tire available in load range B, C, D, and E. We love these tires for the stability they offer on the highway, while also providing excellent shock absorption.
Moreover, the advanced tread compound decreases rolling resistance for better fuel economy, while also improving treadlife. The M8008 is super tough as well, courtesy of the double-steel belted internal radial construction.
The manufacturer also offers a 5-year limited warranty on the M8008, which is one of the best of any trailer tire.
Thanks to the variable-pitch design, the Carlisle Trail HD resists overheating like almost no other trailer tire. This makes it superior for heavy loads when compared to many competitors. The Carlisle Trail HD is available in load range C, D, E, and F.
The tire is also equipped with low-rolling-resistance technology for improved fuel economy while offering excellent ride and stability. Moreover, the DuraTrail high strength belt package and HeatShield heat resistant compound technology gives this tire excellent durability.
The Trailer King ST Radial tire is another excellent option for drivers that want a safe and dependable solution. Thanks to the tough construction, this tire can carry very heavy loads without any stability issues.
Moreover, thanks to the center groove, the Trailer King ST works outstandingly well over wet surfaces, even in heavy rain. Trailer King also provides a 5-year warranty, which is excellent for the price.
The Freestar M-108+ is an excellent low-cost solution for drivers that want a dependable trailer tire for heavy loads. This tire offers excellent highway stability, even when loaded to the maximum.
Moreover, the tire is very tough and durable, thanks to the double-steel belted internal radial construction. That said, the M-108+ can be somewhat hard to install, so make sure that you visit a tire technician for these.
Best 12-ply and 14-ply Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads
The Westlake ST is one of the best trailer tires for drivers that cover a lot of miles annually. This tire has excellent treadlife, yet it is strong enough to give you a stable ride, even with a loaded trailer.
Moreover, the tire is equipped with Tread Wear Indicators and comes with an outstanding 5-year warranty and roadside assistance. The 14-ply (load range G) version of this tire has an outstanding load capacity of 4,400 lbs, which is more than enough for general usage.
The Provider ST is comparable to the Westlake ST in terms of performance. On the highway, this tire is very stable, even with very heavy loads – the Provider ST has an outstanding maximum load capacity of 4,440 lbs.
This model is also equipped with Tread Wear Indicators, but sadly it only comes with a 2-year warranty. On the other hand, though, the price is also lower, which makes it a better choice for budget-conscious buyers.
The Taskmaster Premium trailer tire comes with a load range G or 14-ply rating, which makes it an outstanding choice for drivers of very heavy trailers. The maximum load capacity of this tire is 4,400 lbs.
On the highway, this is one of the most stable trailer tires around, even with very heavy cargo on board. That said, the Taskmaster Premium comes with a 2-year warranty, which is lower than the best radial trailer tires around.
Best Bias-Ply Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads
The Kenda Bias trailer tire is arguably the best choice for driving over uneven terrain, especially for agricultural use and off-road surfaces.
We can also confirm that this tire is super tough – it can withstand up to 3,070 lbs and 116 psi per tire.
Moreover, the manufacturer offers a 5-year warranty and a 1-year worry-free warranty (no question replacement), which is outstanding.
The Homaster V has an even higher load capacity than the Kenda Bias – it can carry up to 3,100 lbs per tire at 115 psi.
This tire is characterized by a very tough bias-ply construction, which means that it is well-suited to uneven terrains. That said, highway stability isn’t stellar, but that’s normal for a bias-ply tire.
However, Homaster only provides a 2-year warranty, much lower than what Kenda offers.
The Carlisle Sport Trail LH bias-ply trailer tire is among the best in its category for short and infrequent cargo hauling. In terms of strength, this is one of the strongest tires in the category and very well-suited for heavy loads.
Moreover, the bias-ply construction means that it can be used over uneven terrains, such as off-road surfaces. That said, the treadlife of the Carlisle Sport Trail LH isn’t stellar, and the highway stability is only average.
Heavy-Duty Trailer Tires – Buying Guide in 2020
The first thing you should know about trailer tires is that they are different to passenger-car tires in many ways. They might look similar on the outside, but trust us, they are distinct in the way they work.
With passenger-car tires, the first thing that buyers ask is the overall performance of the tire. Particularly, people want to know about dry and wet handling and braking, as well as highway stability. Also, treadlife is extremely important in passenger and truck tires – you will cover a lot of miles with them.
Now, sure, trailer tires should also provide you with good handling in the corners and give you a good treadlife. However, trailer tires don’t spend nearly as much time on the road as regular tires. As a result of that, treadlife is less important with these tires, and durability is measured in the toughness of the construction.
Usually, the strength of a trailer tire is directly correlated to the load rating, something that we will discuss in detail below.
First, though, let’s see how you can distinguish truck and trailer tires in the first place.
1. The Difference Between ST-Metric and LT-Metric Tires
Even in 2020, there are still drivers that install LT-metric tires on their trailers. In the mind of these people, LT-metric tires already have high load capacities, which should be enough to carry the weight of the whole trailer.
However, we strongly advise against putting LT-metric tires on your trailer. These tires are specifically designed for light trucks – the “LT” abbreviation on these tires means “Light Truck”, and that’s the only application where you should use them.
LT-metric tires are tough for sure, but their sidewalls are still not nearly as strong as ST-metric tires. Instead, LT-metric tires are designed to give you responsive steering, excellent traction during hard acceleration, outstanding grip in the corners, strong braking performance, and a comfortable ride.
Now, that doesn’t mean that they are usable on trailers. LT-metric tires aren’t designed to be stationary for long periods, especially with a lot of weight on them. These tires will quickly warp if you leave them on the trailer for a while, which renders them useless later on.
For that reason, we strongly recommend installing ST-metric tires on your trailer. The “ST” abbreviation in these tires means “Special Trailer”. These tires have a much stiffer internal construction, which means that you can leave them stationary for long periods without worrying about damaging the tires.
The stiffer sidewalls on ST-metric tires also provide you with much better stability on the highway, especially after you put heavy loads inside the trailer. Normal LT-metric tires will easily warp in the corners, which might make the trailer unstable.
Now, sure, ST-metric tires don’t have excellent traction and aren’t very comfortable. But, when you think about it, these things aren’t very important for trailers because they don’t have powertrains or passengers. Here, the most important things are strength, stability, and grip.
2. Load Range Capacity and Ply Ratings
Apart from the tire dimensions, which should be similar to the tires you already have on your trailer, the single most important thing when purchasing ST-metric tires is to get the load rating right.
These ratings signify how much weight can the tires carry before they become unstable on the road. Load ratings are important for safety as well as durability. Tires with insufficient load ratings aren’t safe, and won’t last as long.
Today, the load ratings are marked with letters, but before they were known as “ply ratings”, a designation that is still widely used today. Here is a list of the most popular load ratings for trailer tires, together with the corresponding ply ratings:
- Load Range B (4-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 35 psi (240 kPa)
- Load Range C (6-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 50 psi (350 kPa)
- Load Range D (8-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 65 psi (450 kPa)
- Load Range E (10-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 80 psi (550 kPa)
- Load Range F (12-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 95 psi (655 kPa)
- Load Range G (14-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 110 psi (760 kPa)
For heavy-duty trailer tire applications, we recommend installing at least “Load Range D” or 8-ply tires on your trailer. Tires with lower load ratings are usually intended for use on smaller and lighter trailers and aren’t well-suited to heavy-duty applications.
Now, you can always purchase tires with higher ply ratings to be safe, but they are also more expensive. That’s why we strongly recommend making a simple calculation before hitting the “buy” button.
For example, if your trailer has four tires, make sure that the load capacity of all tires exceeds the weight of the trailer. As an illustration, 16-inch load range E tires (10-ply) have a load capacity of around 3,000-pounds per tire, depending on the model. This means that you can carry up to 12,000 pounds on four such tires.
Nevertheless, we strongly recommend you to check the specification list of the tires, as in some models the load ratings are lower when more tires are employed.
3. Radial Trailer Tires vs. Bias-Ply Trailer Tires
After deciding on the size and load rating of the tires, it’s time to ask yourself if you need radial or bias-ply tires. This is a question that drivers of vehicles don’t ask anymore – each passenger-car tire has radial internal construction.
Radial tires have plies that are positioned radially. As a result of that, they are very light, but also more responsive in the corners. Moreover, radial tires also stick to the road better, especially on paved roads. In other words, your trailer will be much more stable with a set of radial tires.
Furthermore, radial tires also have lower rolling resistance, which translates into better fuel economy. Finally, radial tires also have a much longer treadlife than bias-ply tires.
With that said, bias-ply tires are still the preferred choice for toughness. Thanks to the 45-angle plies inside, bias-ply tires have a much stiffer construction.
This makes them a much better choice for driving over uneven surfaces, such as off-roading and agricultural use. In the same circumstances, radial tires will suffer. Moreover, bias-ply tires can be left stationary for very long periods without being warped in any way.
That said, bias-ply tires are also heavier, which hurts on-road performance. These tires aren’t the best choice for highway driving – they are less stable and responsive. Also, you might experience worse fuel economy and accelerated tread wear.
To sum things up, radial tires are the preferred choice for drivers that drive on the highway most often. On the contrary, bias-ply tires are the preferred choice for commercial use, agricultural use, and off-roading.
4. ST-Metric Trailer Tires Maintenance
Even if you purchase the highest-quality trailer tires, they won’t last long if you don’t maintain them properly. Here are a few simple tips on how to extend the life of your trailer tires, and also keep them safe while on the road:
- Always keep the tires properly inflated by following the exact pressure provided by the tire manufacturer. Please note that the more weight you put on the tires, the more you need to inflate them. Tires that aren’t properly inflated will perform poorly on the highway and might become completely unstable. Moreover, underinflated tires can easily warp and even completely disintegrate. Overinflating the tires can also cause issues – in some cases, they might even explode!
- Keep the tires out of the sun, especially when you leave the trailer stationary. The sun can quickly degrade the rubber of the tires and turn it almost into a plastic-like material. Tires that have been left in the sun for long will lose the ability to grip the road well and can become very unstable on the highway. Be sure to always put covers over the tires to mitigate this issue.
- Check how much tread there is left on the tire. If your trailer tires are worn down, there is a high risk that the trailer will slide when driving over wet surfaces. You can check the tread depth via the Tread Wear Indicators (TWI) if the tires are equipped with them. Or, you can use the Lincoln penny test – turn the penny upside down and put it inside the grooves. If the whole head of Lincoln is still visible, then it’s time to replace the tires.
- For safety, replace the tires every 4-5 years, even if you didn’t use them that much. The rubber compound on the tires can become harder over time, which limits its ability to grip the road.
We hope that this extensive article helped you find great heavy-duty trailer tires for your particular needs. However, we have one last bit of advice and it’s about driving.
Trailers can be very demanding for the driver, especially when driving at higher speeds. Also, when the trailer loses traction, there is almost nothing the driver can do.
That’s why be sure that you always drive carefully and adhere to the speed limits. Even the best trailer tires can’t save you if you drive too fast!
In the end, we wish you have a happy time and enjoy every minute you spend on the next road trip. Be safe!