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Radial v.s. Bias Ply Tires

What is the difference between a radial and bias ply trailer tire?

At, we often get the question ‘What’s the difference between radial and bias ply trailer tires?’. Naturally, the next questions tends to be, ‘Which is better?’, or ‘Which should I put on my trailer?’. The below information is meant to clear up the difference between the two, and assist you to make the best decision for your specific application.

The main feature that separates the radial trailer tire from the bias ply trailer tire is the tire’s belt construction. The cord material (often nylon and steel) also often differs between the two. The differences here affect many functional aspects of the tire.


  • radial trailer tire is constructed with steel belts of the tire running at a 90 degree angle of the tread center line.
  • bias ply trailer tire is constructed with nylon belts of the tire running at a 30-45 degree angle of the tread center line.



Benefits of Choosing A RADIAL Trailer Tire

  • Runs Cooler
  • Steel Belted – Results in tougher overall construction
  • Longer Tread Life
  • Wider Footprint



Benefits of choosing A BIAS PLY Trailer Tire

  • Crosshatch construction provides stronger/tougher sidewalls
  • Due to the design of the tire’s construction, bias ply want to roll straight as the trailer itself often does
  • Generally Less Expensive




What is the best choice for my application?

Long Trips, Regular Trailer Use = RADIAL TIRE

Short Trips, Tandem axle trailers, Infrequent Use = BIAS PLY TIRE



More Trailer Tire Information

Typically a trailer tire needs replacing due to ‘dry rot’ before the tire’s tread is exhausted. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends replacing tires (ALL Tires) at least every six (6) years. The key piece of information here is that the recommendation is based on ‘Years’ rather than ‘Mileage’. Please confirm your tires by checking the manufacturer’s date imprinted on the sidewall of every trailer tire. While we understand that some tires are rated and built for higher mileage, trailer tires are often not mobile, as the trailer doesn’t always come along with you everywhere you drive. The general rule of thumb for mileage you can get out of your trailer tire is about 25,000 miles.

So, if you’re trailer makes those longer trips with you on a regular basis, you will probably benefit from spending the extra money on a radial trailer tire to take advantage of the longer tread life. If your trailer spends a lot of time next to the garage, you might want to save yourself some money by going with a bias ply trailer tire.

We offer both Radial and Bias Ply Trailer Tires in our online store, at some of the best prices online. If the information above still leaves you with more questions, please feel free Contact Us or give us a call at (321) USA-TIRE. We’ll try to help you out as best we can.