July 25, 2024

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A guide to choosing the right tyres for your heavy-duty trailer

2 min read

Excavator or Backhoe on the truck hauls stopping in site construction. Heavy transport truck

Selecting the correct tyres for your heavy-duty trailer goes beyond just performance, safety, and durability—it’s also about achieving the lowest cost per kilometre (CPK) and ensuring sustainability. 

A guide to choosing the right tyres for your heavy duty trailerMaking the wrong choice can lead to increased fuel consumption, premature tyre failure, reduced efficiency, frequent breakdowns, or – even worse – accidents. These issues can cause extra expenses and inconvenience, which nobody wants when relying on a workhorse like a trailer.

To help you navigate this important decision, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, a trusted manufacturer and distributor of Dunlop, Sumitomo, and Falken tyre brands, provides these helpful tips.

Research and Expert Assistance

Start by evaluating your workload and conducting thorough research to determine your trailer tyre requirements.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your tyre partner or dealer for valuable assistance in selecting the most suitable brand and product. Sumitomo Rubber SA has an In-field Technical Services (ITS) team located in different regions, including Africa, dedicated to advising customers on tyre selection, application, and performance.

Their expertise can make a significant difference in your business growth and help you maximise the performance of your tyres. Additionally, consider doing a scrap tyre analysis to identify the reasons behind their failures or removal due to operational damage.

Fleet surveys can offer valuable insights, including a detailed examination of tyre wear patterns and potential mechanical irregularities in the vehicles causing the tyre wear.

Check load capacity

Heavy-duty trailers demand tyres that can handle substantial weight. Before making a purchase, make sure to check the maximum load rating of your trailer and choose tyres accordingly.

When dealing with heavy loads or large equipment, it is crucial to make sure that your load distribution per axle is correct. This ensures proper weight distribution onto the tyres, resulting in optimal tyre performance.

This can be done by conducting a load study on the truck and trailer, which will determine the weight of each axle.

Once this has been done, the correct cold inflation pressures can be determined for the truck tractor and trailers. The load study can be done at the end user’s premises. Using the incorrect tyres in the application will reduce traction and performance.

Evaluate tread depth

Tread depth plays a crucial role in a tyre’s performance, especially in wet conditions. Tyres with deeper treads offer better grip, which is essential for heavy-duty trailers operating in various weather conditions.

Consider fuel efficiency

Select trailer tyres with low rolling resistance to minimise fuel consumption, especially during long-distance travel with heavy-duty trailers. To achieve lower rolling resistance, it is essential to maintain the correct tyre pressure. When a tyre is underinflated, it increases rolling resistance because of the additional drag caused by the tyres. Proper pressure maintenance is crucial in reducing rolling resistance and optimising fuel efficiency.

Factors that affect fuel consumption:

  • Cold inflation pressures
  • Wheel alignment
  • Mechanical condition of the truck and the trailer

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