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tire delamination

tire delamination

tire delamination

I had a trailer tire (Powerking Towmax ST235/80r16 10PR) fail on a recent trip. The tread of the tire came completely off leaving the sidewall intact. When I removed the tire from the wheel to put on the spare the tire was still fully inflated even though I could see the steel belts. I sent the tire to the manufacture, minus the tread. The reply said that "the missing tread made it difficult to determine the operating conditions of the tire. However, there are signs of bead damage likely occurred during the mounting process. A circumferential cut on the inside of the tire along the bead toe may have been the initiating factor leading to the permeation of air into the tire carcass. This migration of air appears to have lead to the complete failure." My question is is that even possible and if so, wouldn't the tire lose its air after the tread delaminated because of permeation of air into the tire carcass. Since I am being offered $125 to replace the tire as a goodwill gesture by the tire manufacturer if I sign a release, I am suspicious.

Any insights would be appreciated.


RE: tire delamination

As someone who used to analyze failed tires, what they wrote was entirely accurate. The cut in the bead toe would pressurize the casing, and not leak to the outside.

But I have been studying the issue of trailer tire failures for some time now - albeit from a distance - and what I have been able to determine is this:

1) Some trailer manufacturers do not do a good job of estimating how much stuff people put in their trailers. It is pretty common for trailers to be overloaded - and therefore their tires would be overloaded.

So I recommend that everyone who owns a trailer, weigh it. Tire by tire, if possible, but at a minimum the side to side and front to rear weight variation must be accounted for.

2) Some trailer manufacturers do not do a good job of sizing the tires on their trailers. They use tires with marginal load carrying capacity - plus they use ST tires which are speed restricted to 65 mph.

So I recommend that once the actual loads are determined, that tires not be loaded to more than 85% of their rated value - AND - if the trailer is going to be towed at more than 65 mph, the load carrying capacity has to be appropriately adjusted.

As an aside, most people don't know their ST tires are speed restricted, so if you exceeded 65 mph even once, then that could be a contributing factor in the failure.

3) Most trailer manufacturers do not have a good feedback system. They don't have a warranty system like car and truck manufacturers have, so they don't know how well their products are doing - and that is especially true for tires, as the tires are not warranted by the vehicle manufacturer.

4) Most trailer tires are manufactured by what I call third tier tire manufacturers who are specialty manufacturers and don't have a good network of dealers. They do not get good feedback on the performance of their products. There are 2 exceptions: Goodyear and Maxxis.

Goodyear is obviously a first tier manufacturer (meaning large and having an excellent warranty network), but I suspect Goodyear views trailer tires as part of the specialty market and treats them as such.

Maxxis is a Taiwanese tire manufacturer who is growing. They have emerged from the 3rd tier and are squarely in the second tier (that is, they don't have a large dealer network, but dealers are not difficult to find.)

Most trailer tire manufacturers are in China - an area not noted for their high quality products.

As a solution to this part of the equation, some trailer owners have changed over to LT type tires from one of the first tier. This does 2 things:

1) The tires are larger. They usually replace an ST235/80R16 with an LT235/85R16, and directionally that is better.

2) First tier tire manufacturers are in the first tier because they are further ahead in their development and their products perform better.

So there you have it. Weigh your trailer, and get some appropriately sized tires. If you need help with the math of speed restricted tires, visit me on my website:



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