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Trailer tires question

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  • Trailer tires question

    I have an older 2 horse steel Shoop bumper pull trailer that weighs about 3200 lbs unloaded. My mom was horrified to discover that it has passenger car tires instead of truck or trailer tires (the guy at the tire store convinced her this is very dangerous). She called the dealership where we bought the trailer and they told her 50% of new trailers come standard with car tires.

    So what's the deal? Do we need to replace the current tires with truck tires? Or is that a waste of money? If it makes a difference, I haul a 17 hh draft and an equally tall thoroughbred together. Combined they probably weigh close to 3000 lbs. We're on the market for new tires anyway, the current ones are pretty old.
    The big guy: Lincoln

    Southern Maryland Equestrian

  • #2
    From what I understand, the big difference is the weight rating. I go with "trailer" tires rated for at least my trailer's max gross [loaded] weight.

    I don't know if it's true they're putting "car" tires on new trailer or not. I'm too poor to afford a brand new trailer. I suppose you could inquire with the trailer manufactures to see what tires come standard.
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


    • #3
      The difference is in the sidewalls. Car tires have soft sidewalls for a smooth ride. Trailer tires are built with thicker and stiffer sidewalls even in the lower load ranges. These days in Load Range E and above there is no difference between ST (special trailer) and E's typically found on 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

      Your trailer should have Load Range D at minimum to suit me even if you add up the total weight and the charts say different. I run E's on everkything that hauls a horse but most use D's for trailers like yours. Goodyear Marathons are my choice for D's. We have them on a camper.


      • #4
        Ditto on previous poster - especially with the size horses you're putting in the trailer. Why take a chance of a blowout? safety first.


        • #5
          Uuuuhhhhhh, car tires to carry your beloved horses??? I can't even imagine. When you get new tires, get E rating and get steel belted radials as well - all tires matching!

          The lower grade sidewalls MAY be OK on the straight, especially if they don't get too hot, but on a curve?? You're asking for a disaster with a sidewall collapse.
          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
          Now apparently completely invisible!


          • #6
            We got 5 new tires on the trailer this year. Load Range E. We got Carlisle. They seem okay but after reading I would get either Goodyear or Maxxiss (I believe I have that spelled correctly). We than got a 6th because the new tire from summer went flat last month....supposedly a nail. The tire place wanted to patch it. Needless to say, it has a new tire!!!
            Pamela Ellis


            • #7
              We have a Shoop too. Same thing. Tire dealer here tells me that a lot of the dealers will buy used passenger tires and put them on trailers. Don't know if that's true, but it really doesn't make sense, since the trailer tires are less expensive, for the most part.

              We bought all new tires, but did buy the trailer used and it needed new tires anyway.


              • #8
                I would get the heavy load tires. It does seem a bit risky to use regular car tires on a trialer.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the input everyone! We ended up going with truck tires. The trailer is probably getting sold next year anyway, but we were on borrowed time with the old tires.

                  On an interesting note, someone at my barn bought a brand new Hawk this week and it looks like it came with car tires. I guess the manufacturers only care about passing inspection?
                  The big guy: Lincoln

                  Southern Maryland Equestrian


                  • #10
                    Yes, you want to get trailer tires -- commonly, people will put light truck tires on horse trailers, you don't want to do this as the sidewalls are thinner than a trailer tire.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • #11
                      Depending on the trailer size Hawks come with ST or LT radial tires, you will see the initials on the side wall -