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Old 07-19-2019, 01:21 PM   #1
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Odd tire wear, inside and outside edges.

Here is a picture of the edge wear on the tires. They are Carlisle Radial Trail HD ST 225/75/R 15 load range D. Both tires are on the front axle. Rear axle does not show this wear pattern.

I know it's not from under inflation. I always check tire pressure before leaving to go anywhere with the trailer. When I discovered this, I double checked the pressure, all tires were at 65psi.

Top pics are right side tires, bottom are left side.

Best guess is about 15-20K miles on them.

Load out of trailer hasn't changed.

Any help, suggestions as to cause?

Thanks
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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Worn shocks and/or wheel balance.

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Old 07-19-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
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How old are the tires? Anything over about 10 years is a candidate for replacement, regardless of mileage. If you stick with the same brand, new ones will be coming from who knows where far far over a big ocean ..... ( = I'd get a better brand).

Something that lets the front axle move a bit might also create the same sort of wear patterns.

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Old 07-19-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
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Hi

How old are the tires? Anything over about 10 years is a candidate for replacement, regardless of mileage. If you stick with the same brand, new ones will be coming from who knows where far far over a big ocean ..... ( = I'd get a better brand).

Something that lets the front axle move a bit might also create the same sort of wear patterns.

Bob

The tires are 3 years old. Date of manufacture 1116 , they seem to have done well until just recently. Must be from all the dang Michigan potholes. They are ridiculous.

Thanks Bob
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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Worn shocks and/or wheel balance.

Bob
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I have Centramatics installed. I guess I can check the balance to make sure. Seems like the Centramatics would take care of most balance issues.

Is there an easy way to check the shocks?

Thanks Bob..
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:54 PM   #6
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Take the shocks off and manually move them through the range of motion. Worn shocks will show parts of the movement where there is little or no resistance to moving.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:10 PM   #7
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That looks like "feathering". On a car this is typically caused by improper alignment, such as incorrect toe or caster settings.

There may not be alignment adjustments possible with trailer wheels but worn axle parts or shocks could cause unintended wheel movement that would end up resulting in the same kind of wear.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:28 PM   #8
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I would check for loose wheel bearings before anything else.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:11 AM   #9
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Yes, check the alignment.

But I think this is a symptom of tires with narrow belts. Nothing to worry about, just unsightly.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
Yes, check the alignment.

But I think this is a symptom of tires with narrow belts. Nothing to worry about, just unsightly.
Capri, Could this also be caused by the side shear force when turning a twin axle trailer?
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:28 AM   #11
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Yes, check the alignment.

But I think this is a symptom of tires with narrow belts. Nothing to worry about, just unsightly.


I was going to say that some trailer tires just start to wear weird..... I think we're on the same wavelength here, it's just that you know the probable cause while I've watched the seemingly random effect.

The abnormal wear is minimal, If it was me, I'd just run them until they age out or wear out.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman View Post
Capri, Could this also be caused by the side shear force when turning a twin axle trailer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
Yes, check the alignment.

But I think this is a symptom of tires with narrow belts. Nothing to worry about, just unsightly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I was going to say that some trailer tires just start to wear weird..... I think we're on the same wavelength here, it's just that you know the probable cause while I've watched the seemingly random effect.

The abnormal wear is minimal, If it was me, I'd just run them until they age out or wear out.
Thanks for the replies.

I was wondering if it could be wear from scuffing the tires when backing into a site.

For now I just moved them to the rear axle. I will monitor it closely. If the tires from the back that I moved to the front start getting chewed up quickly I will know it's an alignment issue.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I would check for loose wheel bearings before anything else.
Thanks for suggesting this. I did check them and they are fine.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:34 AM   #14
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Hi

Check the wheel bearings *and* the mounts for the axle..... Nothing exotic is involved, you are simply looking for a cracked mount or something obvious. It does involve a bit of crawling under here or there and bringing along a flashlight.

Another "weird" source would be some kind of brake problem. That would be a < 1 in a thousand kind of thing to create a pattern like this.

Bob
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:22 AM   #15
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Capri, Could this also be caused by the side shear force when turning a twin axle trailer?
Yes, partially. The fact that it is the front tires points to the front tires being dragged, where the rear tires aren't. It would be interesting if someone could verify what happens.

But the unevenness of the wear itself is caused by the lack of belts at the edges.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:05 AM   #16
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Yes, partially. The fact that it is the front tires points to the front tires being dragged, where the rear tires aren't. It would be interesting if someone could verify what happens.

But the unevenness of the wear itself is caused by the lack of belts at the edges.
Is this phenomenon a design issue, or could a particular plant shift (or run) have a quality issue. I would be interested if the born-on date is the same or close on the front two as opposed to the back two. Why would the fronts do it and not the rears? Pressure? Load difference? Etc.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Is this phenomenon a design issue, or could a particular plant shift (or run) have a quality issue. I would be interested if the born-on date is the same or close on the front two as opposed to the back two. Why would the fronts do it and not the rears? Pressure? Load difference? Etc.
Why the fronts and not the rears? Because the fronts are being dragged. That sets up uneven wear and normal operation makes it worse.

Is it a design issue? Probably. It is not uncommon for ST tires to be recycled passenger tire molds, where the tread width is important for traction - which isn't much of an issue for tires on trailers. So the belts are designed narrower and that doesn't support the edges of the tread so they sometimes wear faster. Remember about the saying that wear on the outer edges of the tread means underinflation? Well, here's a case where it doesn't - and that is only one of several exceptions.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Is this phenomenon a design issue, or could a particular plant shift (or run) have a quality issue. I would be interested if the born-on date is the same or close on the front two as opposed to the back two. Why would the fronts do it and not the rears? Pressure? Load difference? Etc.
I double checked the born-on dates. Rear tires were both 1516, fronts were a mix 1116 and 1516. Sorry, I should have looked at all of the dates individually..
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:45 AM   #19
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Hard to tell from the pics. Your trailer has torsion axles? You can tell as there will be no leaf springs and no outward visible spring at all.
Torsion axles weakness is the hubs bending, and with tandem axles this happens way more easily than on a single. There is no safe way to bend them back.
Torsion axles will not have shocks.
Eye-ball the tires and see if they are straight with each other (front left and rear left). Keep in mind that when you turn the trailer the wheels will lean in opposite directions from each other (this is typically what bends them), so to do your eye-ball test you will need to have rolled the trailer in a straight line for a couple of feet to let the wheels return to a neutral upright position.
If the tires/wheels are obviously not parallel up and down, front to back, then this is your tire wear origin. New axles will fix the problem, but it is cheaper to just keep putting on new tires unless you are a full timer driving lots of milesÖ

Making sharp turns (backing up usually) on a hard paved surface is what destroys tandem torsion axles. On gravel or dirt you are fine since the tires can slide, but on pavement the tires grip enough to bend the axle at the hub, sometimes this is a permanent "set" in the steel and the hub/axle does not return to its original shape.
Solution? Not really, don't do hard turns. Maybe if you release your WD hitch spring this will nose-down the trailer and relieve weight from the rear axle and maybe this is just enough to let the rear tires slide on the pavement so they cannot bend the axle - maybe, maybe not. good luck
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:44 AM   #20
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Iíve had 24 years doing tire failure inspections

The high/low wear condition is called cupping. Does it go all the way around or only on several of the lugs.
If the axles or bearing is causing an alignment issue a condition called feathering will also be present on the tire face.
Feathering is found by lightly rubbing your hand across the face of the tire.
Feathering is felt if one-way feels smooth and the other is sharp.
Cupping is the result of the tire operating under a high frequency vibration and goes all the way around the tire. Itís caused by a weak shock not stopping this type of vibration. With cupping the sharp/smooth feather is also felt when running your hand back and forth around the circumference
If the cups are only for 4-6 inches, that is likely the tire out of balance.
Certainly by moving tire front to rear will determine if itís tires fault or other.
Keep in mind if new tire in that position develops the same problem ...remember it operated just fine till that pisition caused similar problem.
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