Trailer Wheels can Really Set Off your Rig!

Posted by at 6 January 2015, at 21 : 56 PM

Trailer Wheels can Really Set Off your Rig!

Aluminum Trailer Wheels could be the finishing touch you are looking for on your new trailer. That is, if you don’t mind a little work to keep them looking good. There are aluminum wheels available with a clear coat finish, but unfortunately I haven’t found any rated at more than 3000 lbs. So as long as your axles aren’t rated at over 6000 lbs, these wheels are an excellent choice.

If you are upgrading your existing wheels, then there are a few things, along with size to think about. If it’s an older trailer, there is a possibility it currently has a discontinued size. Years ago, a 16.5” diameter was a popular wheel size but it has since been replaced with a 16” size.

The one half inch in difference proved to be to confusing and many accidents occurred during the mounting process. The 16.5” tire would literally blow right off the wheel during mount up. Since the tire technician must stand near and usually over the tire and wheel while airing it up, you can only imagine the severity of the injuries that often occurred!

You must match your trailer wheels “bolt circle” pattern to the hub of the axle. Basically bolt circle is measured by the imaginary circle that is centered on the axle hub and runs through the center point of the wheel studs. An even number of studs is relatively easy to measure since the wheel studs are directly across from one another, but the odd can be a bit tricky to calculate.

Listed below are some popular wheel sizes, capacity ratings, and bolt patterns.

13” 1600 lbs 5 on 4 ½

14” 1800 lbs 5 on 4 ½

15” 1800-2000 lbs 5 on 5 and 5 on 4 ½

16” 3000-3700 lbs 6 on 5 ½ and 8 on 6 ½

17” 4000-6200 lbs 6 on 5 ½ and 8 on 6 ½

The style of Lug Nut required is another important consideration. There are many different Wheel Stud sizes and lengths based on the capacities listed above and all of which can accept a few different styles. It is best to consult with a professional regarding lug nuts mainly due to safety reasons. You don’t want trailer wheel to come off and cause an accident! Loose lug nuts can wreak havoc and lead to wheel separation while you are driving down the highway — Not a fun situation to be in!

You should check the tightness of the lug nuts often. Check them the first few hundred miles of the trailer’s use and then at least twice a year afterwards. You should also check them before every trip and every time a wheel is removed for servicing. A torque wrench is the best way to ensure that your lug nuts are at the appropriate tightness. It is best to consult with the trailer manufacturer regarding proper lug nut torque.

General Automotive Articles