Radial Tires vs. Bias Ply Tires

Just as Kendon’s One-Rail, Two-Rail, and Three-Rail Stand-Up™ Trailers have different uses and constructions, the tires they ride on have different constructions for different uses as well. Most tires on the road today fall into one of three distinct construction types: radial, bias ply, and bias belted tires. For this article, we’ll focus on just radial and bias ply constructions as they are the most popular.

Bias ply tires have been around since nearly the beginning of tire manufacturing. The radial tire was introduced in 1946 and revolutionized the world of tires and transportation. The two types of tires are constructed differently and therefore have different uses and characteristics.



The plies of bias ply tires run at 30° angles to the tire, like a barber’s pole. The plies of radial tires run perpendicularly across the tire and belts – often steel – running under the tread around the tire. And while radial tires are generally considered the best option for your automobile, they are not necessarily the best option for your trailer. Always consider equipment and conditions when choosing a trailer tire option.

  • Bias ply tires have stiff sidewalls, so they are advantageous for carrying heavy loads. Stiffer sidewalls also help reduce trailer sway.
  • Radial tires provide vastly superior tread wear, lasting, on average, three times longer than bias ply tires. Radial tires are also less prone to developing flat spots when parked in the same position for long periods, and they tend to run cooler on long trips.


In late 2013 we switched from bias ply tires to radial tires on all Kendon trailer models. Kendon’s torsion bar independent suspension and tubular steel chassis are perfectly balanced to provide an exceptional ride and eliminate sway problems. Couple the suspension and frame with premium quality radial trailer tires, and you have a winning combination of ride, performance, wear, and handling that is second to none.


Here are some tips and considerations regarding your Kendon trailer and tires:

  • Industry experts suggest you should replace your trailer tires every 3-5 years
  • Most trailer tires will wear from oxidation and UV radiation before tread wear
  • Proper loading and proper tongue weight will increase your towing performance
  • Always use trailer tires that match; same type, size, and construction
  • Do not mix bias ply and radial tires on the same trailer, even the spare
  • Always adhere to the tire’s load rating to avoid heat buildup, which could accelerate wear or cause a blowout
  • Always test air pressure with a quality gauge; due to the stiffer sidewall, you can’t eyeball a trailer tire like your normal car tire
  • Always carry a properly inflated and inspected spare (visit here to order yours)

Now get out there. Go. Ride.

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