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Questions on gooseneck trailer eating tires. Blew out 4 of them.

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by fastline, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    First, this is not my trailer, but one a few of us guys use from time to time. It is a Starlite that was bought new last year and has not been wrecked or damaged.

    Friend of mine hauled a load recently, beyond the max rating of the trailer but I feel he should not have had as many issues as he did. The rear axle config is tandem duals and appears to have a load balance bar to ensure both axles load up uniformly. The axles are rated to 10k each, and all E rated tires. In dual config, the tires are rated to 3080# each so 24,640#, and obviously 20K over the axles. The scales indicated he had 23K on the axles. I realize this is over the rating for the axles but I did not expect the tire failures.

    He blew both inner tires on the front axle, and one outside was going at the time so it was also replaced. Then, after only a short time, the only tire left that was not replaced on that axle blew out.

    Temps were being monitored by hand and thermal cam and all pressured were checked to be at max pressure. I was luckily not part of this trip so I cannot confirm how often things were checked but I know after the tire failures, drive speed was reduced to about 55mph. I requested all blown tires to come home so I can inspect them and figure this out.

    All tires were delaminating or the treat was peeling off the belts. The one that was replaced before it blew shows to be almost irregular wear where one half of the circumference of the tire had more tread than the other. Almost like a severe balance problem or a wheel not running on center but I would think something like this would have been felt in the driver's seat.


    The trailer made it home on the 3 new tires on the front axle and the 4 existing ones on the rear axle. I cannot confirm if axle alignment is really the issue here or not, thus why I requested the use of the thermal camera. I have seen trailers with severe alignment problems and they mostly just wear the tires out fast, not really blow up. I don't think the tires were showing enough heat to be alarming.

    Any ideas on how to pin this down? Yes, I realize this thing was over loaded and it was pretty much an emergency trip that should not have happened in the first place. However, I suspect these problems would have shown up even within the rated capacity.
     
  2. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    was the trailer being hauled level? It sounds like the front axle either had A. Cheap tires, or B it was carrying more of the weight.
     
  3. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    First off, since the tires are probably original they may be A) cheap, and B) old. If they picked up moisture from sitting, they will delaminate at the steel cords. In my experience average trailer tires do not do well above 55 anyway, especially overloaded, YMMV
     
  4. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Like they said above, age of tires. Brand makes a difference even when new. If you run max load even at reasonable speed the cheaper tires don't hold up. Could be one axle overloaded but I'd bet cheap tires, some age on them and possibly being run under inflated to begin with. Our big stacker race trailer eats them too. Axles/tires are within rating and we don't run stupid fast down the road. It's become an annual thing. Unless you buy the high dollar Goodyear or similar quality tire you'll have them age out pretty quick. Also, bumping curbs etc is really hard on sidewalls and will lead to premature failure as well.

    Junkyard
     
  5. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    Remember, this trailer is little more than a year old! Please tell me tires last longer than this?!

    Well, the last time I used it, I noted 2 tires on the back axle that were near flat. I pumped them up and heard a pop, only to discover a bubble popped up on a sidewall. I used it because I had a 10 mile trip and minimal load on it. Those tires were replaced.

    I also heard that another user bumped a curb with it before it started eating tires. No idea if that is related or not.

    We were running a triple axle with singles and never had these issues with it but I can't remember how it pulled. I know it was huge. I think 42ft. Not a fun one to drive around with.
     
  6. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Well... bought a year ago, but when was it built, and when were the tires made/installed, etc....

    So, sounds like you already had two new ones on the back axle? What brand tire did it come with, some korean or chinese rubbah?
     
  7. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    It's easy to know the age of the tires. There is a DOT date code on all tires. Usually only on one side though. The code is XXYY ; where XX is the week and YY is the last two of the year.
     
  8. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Being in the hometown of Starlite and knowing the owners I can almost say with certainty they're cheap tires. Maybe a name we can't even pronounce. Trailer business has some thin margins so they cut corners anywhere they can. Yes some won't even make it a year.... sad but true.

    Junkyard
     
  9. DIYDAVE

    DIYDAVE Senior Member

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    Yep, the tires may be old, or junk, from the start. Check the date code, it is usually down near the bead, whitewall (better finished) side. JMHO.:roll
     
  10. RTSmith

    RTSmith Senior Member

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    There are lots of issues here to contend with. Yes, as mentioned, cheap tires. Also- what kind of tires? Based on your weight number, maybe a ST235/80R16 tire? The ST tires, in my experience, have a much less durable sidewall than a LT (light truck tire). I sell horse trailers, and we are constantly battling this. A ST tires is rated for more weight, and costs less than a LT tire. But it also weighs less, which tells me there's less material in it. Frankly- if my dual tandem, I'd put 8EA basic LT235/85R16 highway tread truck tires on it, from a reputable company. I'd think your issues may disappear.

    I can tell you that Carlisle (a major name in trailer tires, with a not good reputation) will tell you that if a tire fails, also replace the one(s) on the same side as it was overloaded, and thus damaged while it ran single, even if only for a few feet. Maybe that's what happens if you build to just good enough to meet specs.
     
  11. franklinute

    franklinute Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the previous posts. You have a major tire quality/age issue. I have had
    3 or 4 incidents of tire failure hauling equipment along interstate. Nothing worse than
    thinking you are getting ahead by hauling equipment on a Sunday morning with less traffic
    and having to unload equipment and go find new tires. I was pulling my enclosed trailer with
    no load, tread blew partially off tire beat up aluminum fender then beat up side of trailer
    before coming off. I bite the bullet now and just replace trailer tires after 3-4 years even
    if they look brand new.
     
  12. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Its to bad that more trailers arn't being offered with 19.5 tires on them. Folks that are running them claim to get double mileage with less flats. Then again with a hundred lbs of air pressure, the low profile less flex, and less rubber to hold heat they run cooler. I'm talking to wheel manufacturers trying to get 19.5 wheels that will fit my 12,000 lb gooseneck axles. I can find $350.00 fancy wheels that fit but I want the $150.00 plain version. Added bonus will be that I can run my F-550 takeoffs and share a spare tire.
     
  13. DIYDAVE

    DIYDAVE Senior Member

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    You might try advertising for them, like on craigs list. I got steelies, for my isuzu npr, that way, for well less than half of new price, from one that was being scrapped. Also got 4 relatively good tires, already on them.
     
  14. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    I'll try that.
     
  15. Mark13

    Mark13 Senior Member

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    You might have a tough time finding 19.5's for a trailer, 17.5's shouldn't be an issue.
     
  16. Mark13

    Mark13 Senior Member

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    I would go with cheap, poor quality tires as being the problem. I gave up on ST tires on my tandem dual gooseneck and went to 235/85R16 LT tires. They hold up 10x better, take offs are easy to find, and give me 1/4 of the problems of ST tires. I try and keep up with the air pressure in the tires but they don't have an easy life. I don't run fast (hardly ever over 65) but around the farm they get overloaded regularly and take it fine.

    That being said, my next trailer will hopefully have 12k or 15k axles and dual 17.5 tires. Should be a very durable setup.
     
  17. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

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    The answers are all in the above posts.
    The only thing I would add is that I noticed the op said that they slowed to 55 after the tire problems. When running overloaded the speed is a huge tire killer, even when using good tires, and even more so with the junk found on most trailers.

    An upgrade to 17.5 tires would be in order for heavy loads.
     
  18. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    My equipment trailer came with Goodyear 235/85/16G tires on it. I used it locally for 12 years with nary a flat and ran overloaded probably half the time. I finally had to replace them when the sidewalls showed severe dry rotting, I knew they would become a problem or fail a roadside DOT inspection. I highly recommend them. If I recall correctly the model was G159 on the sidewall.
     
  19. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Steve, yes those are one of the best 16" trailer tires. Spendy but worth every penny IMO. Only thing better is going to 17.5's. A quality 17.5 will rot off the wheel before you blow it due to age or loading. There's always FOD etc that's a risk for any tire regardless. I did run a Kuhmo on my stock trailer that was a stout tire but I think they've since been replaced or upgraded. I tried to find them and couldn't. On top of that I couldn't justify the cost pulling it a could times a year. Just letting my momma cows have babies and we will see what the prices do!

    Junkyard