Weird tire wear

Messages
363
Location
New England
Did the wheel bearings a few years ago on my Ranger boat trailer and got new tires. It has bearing buddies and I thought I did everything correctly. Fast forward 4 years or so without too many miles (prob less than 1000) I noticed some weird tire wear. The outside is down to barely any tread and the middle lugs are worn on the back side of each block. I did a search on tires wearing outside and tire pressures came up. I normally run 40-42 lbs in the tires. Others have said run 50 or you get outside wear like something fierce. These are cheap Hi-Run tires. Trailer seems to pull smoothly even at 80 mph. The place I got them mounted said they didn’t need to be balanced which I thought was weird. After talking to my buddy who is pretty mechanically inclined, he asked if I torqued the wheel bearings when I put them in and I did not. He wants me to tighten the castle nut to say 65 ft/lbs and back off. I only finger tightened the nut, that’s how I believe it was. Not sure it would do much since I lightly tapped the bearings in the race with the tool that barely fits inside the race. Also if I remember correctly, if the castle nut was tight, the wheel was having trouble moving. After packing the hub and bearings, I remembered to fill up the bearing buddies too. I always thought the trailer had a loud humming sound after new tires and repacking.
 

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Messages
12,482
Location
North Carolina
After installing new races, I always tighten to 75-80lbs. That makes sure the races are fully seated. After that loosen them and tighten till you feel a bit of drag while spinning the wheel/tire. Loosen till you don't feel drag, then line up the next looser castle nut/cotter pin hole. Put in the cotter pin.
 
Messages
15,376
Location
NE,Ohio
looks like a tire issue.
i wouldnt worry about it unless the next set do the same.

how heavy is the trailer, what size is the tire and what is the load rating of the tire.
 

wdn

Messages
1,454
Location
NH
I just put a set of Hi-Run front tires on my Kubota tractor, wish me luck. My top speed is just 8 MPH though, not 80. Did you buy yours from Tractor Supply Company? I got them from TSC online and was less than half the price they are in the TSC stores for the same tire. Mine are 4-ply, max loading is [email protected] The Hi-Run get 4.7 stars in tractor applications.

Are yours directional and by any chance were they mounted backwards? It is hard to explain that wear pattern.
 
Messages
2,673
Location
Kentucky
I've seen tire wear like that before in vehicles with wildly incorrect toe settings, but not sure how that would happen on a trailer absent damage to the axle. Maybe the wheel is badly out of balance? I'm suspicious of the mechanic saying they don't need balanced; these spin at 75+ mph like any car tire.
 
Messages
14,453
Location
Central NY
I think we've got two things going on. Possibly a bearing issue (the feathering) and the tires run too low.

How much does the boat weigh?
How much does the trailer weigh?
What are the tires rated for?
How many tires are there -- 2/4 ?
 

pda1122

Thread starter
Messages
363
Location
New England
After installing new races, I always tighten to 75-80lbs. That makes sure the races are fully seated. After that loosen them and tighten till you feel a bit of drag while spinning the wheel/tire. Loosen till you don't feel drag, then line up the next looser castle nut/cotter pin hole. Put in the cotter pin.
I didn’t install new races. Just popped the same bearings in after packing. I believe I did as you suggest with castle nut and cotter pin.
looks like a tire issue.
i wouldnt worry about it unless the next set do the same.

how heavy is the trailer, what size is the tire and what is the load rating of the tire.
According to google the boat weighs 1,100 lbs. motor is around 300. 17 gal gas tank times 6 lb/gal so about 100 lbs. So 1,500 plus gear. 1700?
Load index 102, load range C, 6 ply. Speed index L
102=1874
C=1,820 per tire, 2 tires so 3640 lbs
*according to google

I didn’t see the tires say they’re directional. Thought that too but I think it’s been tested that you can run them backwards, just won’t get the full performance out of them.

I think my shocks are fine. 2013 tundra with 50,000 miles.

I’m starting to wonder if I did damage lifting the trailer with the boat on it? How/where can I go to check trailer alignment? Boat shop? Are there specialized trailer repair shops?
Another part of me says just run some different tires and have them balanced and see if I run into the same problems. I just don’t want to have my tire fall off while towing!
 
Messages
3,873
Location
Somewhere in the US
Yeah, this looks like a toe problem.

How to check? You need to establish the centerline of the trailer, then see if the wheels are square to that. It's going to take some work.

You are also going to want to check to see if the axle is square to the trailer chassis.

Google "check alignment on trailer".
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
12,886
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I agree with CapriRacer, the way it’s wearing is a toe problem with the tread lifting. Probably slightly bent, but trailer tires are so cheap I don’t know that I’d waste the time doing much about it unless it got a lot worse.

Trailer tires absolutely need to be balanced.
 
Messages
2,005
Location
Middle of Iowa
Do you turn a lot? I have seen odd wear similar to this on tandem axle trailers where the driver takes lots of turns on their way to the water. When turning with a tandem axle, one or both pairs of wheels are skidding to make the turn. Keeping the air pressure at the max seems to help this condition...they look under-inflated to me.

To check simple alignment, run a tape measure from just inside one tire on the axle to the middle of the tongue where it mounts on the ball...it should match from the same point on the other side of the axle nearly exactly. To picture, you are basically wanting to make sure you have an equilateral triangle from where your tires are to the center of the pulling point.
 
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