Mixing Bias and Radials on a Trailer

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I am in the process of rebuilding a tandem dual equipment trailer for use behind my dump truck. When I purchased it, it had been drug with the brakes applied blowing 4 of the brand new Firestone Transforce 9.5-16.5 tires and in the process destroyed two of the wheels. This trailer will likely see around 2000 miles a year max under pretty light loads compared to the rating. Here’s my question, do I run the existing good Firestone’s on the front or rear axle? The others are being replaced with Samson Tracker Plus XL which I believe are Bias. I simply can’t justify paying the premium for more Firestones which will rot before I wear them out(about $80 more per tire over Samson or Deestone). I’m not sure that position will even matter and I am probably overthinking this.

For the record, I know mixing these is generally not a good idea however under the circumstances I’m going to do it regardless. I am going to keep like-types on each axle and not mix them beside each other.
 
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bad idea, now if you were just moving it a short distance i can't see a problem but hauling any weight any distance, no way I'd be doing it but to each his own
 
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I'd do it if the loaded weight didn't exceed the load rating of a single axle (the lowest rated one). How level does the trailer sit when hooked up? If nose down the front axle will carry the most load
 
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Towing a trailer is not the same as driving a car with different tire construction that could effect handling. The trailer is just following behind the tow vehicle and isn't being actively steered or braked so it shouldn't really matter.
 
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I think FT92 has hit on the snag. Bias tires deflect differently than radial tires. What that means is when that trailer is loaded, the actual load being carried will be different.

If I remember correctly, bias tires would deflect more, which means the radial tires will be carrying more of the load. That's a problem, because when radial tires fail, the belts come loose and there is a lot of damage.

And contrary to your thinking, because of this deflection problem, it might be smarter to not pair on an axle, but to pair on a side.

And for reference: The reason why it was recommended not to mix bias and radials is that they react differently to steering input, so the ends of the car don't behave in unison.

And lastly, you should consider changing to 16" wheels. 16.5" tires are disappearing and will be getting more and more expensive as time goes on. It might actually be cheaper to do it now rather than later.
 
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"For the record, I know mixing these is generally not a good idea however under the circumstances I’m going to do it regardless."
At least you saved a few hundred bucks regardless of how many hurt or killed if something goes wrong.
 
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From the "MO CDL manual" concerning trailer inspection-
"Condition of wheels and rims--no missing, bent, or broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs. Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stems and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear, tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck between them. Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias types. Tires evenly matched (same sizes). Wheel bearing/seals not leaking. "
 
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The tires that experience the most load should be the bias treads, you also would want the most inflation pressure in the bias tires with less in the radials

Doing this should even things out.

As long as you are well under the weight ratings and speed ratings of the tires it shouldn’t matter

Understand that the unwritten rule of many trailers is 55 stay alive, I had one that you couldn’t tow over 45mph because it was a el toro crapo design that wandered on the road randomly

Once underway do a visual, if the treads look crushed you have a problem, if you drive 15-30 minutes and one set of tires is getting quite hot you also have a problem
 
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My 2 cents. Since budget is somewhat of a priority, I'd continue on doing what you planned. I'd start gathering 16" wheels as you can find them, along with if you find any deals on 16" tires. Just know while you are towing if you hit a DOT inspection it's not going to be pretty, and I'd see how it handles loaded like you have it, and I'd try it like Capri suggested. Be cautious as you tow, but I don't think it's going to be real ugly if you do, just stay aware. Once you have enough 16" wheels and tires, swap them out and sell the others. Someone will buy them, especially since 16.5's are getting harder to find.
 
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From the "MO CDL manual" concerning trailer inspection-
"Condition of wheels and rims--no missing, bent, or broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs. Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stems and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear, tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck between them. Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias types. Tires evenly matched (same sizes). Wheel bearing/seals not leaking. "
OP not driving an 18 wheeler.
 
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Towing a trailer is not the same as driving a car with different tire construction that could effect handling. The trailer is just following behind the tow vehicle and isn't being actively steered or braked so it shouldn't really matter.
Not true, he is talking about a pretty large trailer that carries heavy loads (equipment) and has its own brakes. Not one of the little 4x8 trailers from Home Depot.
 

Creekside

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I'd do it if the loaded weight didn't exceed the load rating of a single axle (the lowest rated one). How level does the trailer sit when hooked up? If nose down the front axle will carry the most load
It’s set up pretty level right now.
From the "MO CDL manual" concerning trailer inspection-
"Condition of wheels and rims--no missing, bent, or broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs. Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stems and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear, tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck between them. Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias types. Tires evenly matched (same sizes). Wheel bearing/seals not leaking. "
I am 100 miles from the closest weigh station and 50 from the closest interstate. DOT isn’t a concern around here and most of those guys couldn’t tell the difference anyway. If I thought it was terribly unsafe I wouldn’t do it.
The tires that experience the most load should be the bias treads, you also would want the most inflation pressure in the bias tires with less in the radials

Doing this should even things out.

As long as you are well under the weight ratings and speed ratings of the tires it shouldn’t matter

Understand that the unwritten rule of many trailers is 55 stay alive, I had one that you couldn’t tow over 45mph because it was a el toro crapo design that wandered on the road randomly

Once underway do a visual, if the treads look crushed you have a problem, if you drive 15-30 minutes and one set of tires is getting quite hot you also have a problem
Max speed limit is 60 around here but I usually am around 50 in the truck. It’s only a little 300 hp engine so I’m not winning any races even if I wanted to.
 

Creekside

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Not true, he is talking about a pretty large trailer that carries heavy loads (equipment) and has its own brakes. Not one of the little 4x8 trailers from Home Depot.
It has 2 10,000lb axles with air brakes. It will generally be carrying a 5,000lb skid steer and maybe a couple thousand pounds of attachments. I’ll usually be under the rating of one axle let alone two.
 

Creekside

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14ply 16” tires are the same price as the 16.5” from the supplier I am buying from. They have a bunch of 16.5” in stock. If I run into an issue getting them later on I’ll definitely change over but right now I just can’t see the added expense. A complete change over will be more than I have in the trailer right now even with the repairs I am doing.
 

Astro14

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It has 2 10,000lb axles with air brakes. It will generally be carrying a 5,000lb skid steer and maybe a couple thousand pounds of attachments. I’ll usually be under the rating of one axle let alone two.
Despite your caveats of low mileage and low speed, that’s a big trailer and a heavy load. Don’t mix. The pennies you’re saving aren’t worth the dollars that a blowout and/or wreck will cost you.
 
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