Posted by Heidi Thomas on 26th Jan 2016
The following review originally appeard on the Your Competitor New site on 1/26/2016.
Joel Hawkins with Boar Wheel called me this spring, to find out if I would like to try a new set of heavy duty tires & wheels. Wow, “Yes!” I replied. I was on the road hauling a horse at the time. Joel asked me what size /bolt pattern on the trailer I would like to put them on. I didn’t know off hand, but he decided to send a set of the most common lug nut pattern & size. He said the tires & wheels would arrive at our ranch pre-mounted. As promised, they were delivered & ready to go off of the truck. I opted to put them on the old tried and true 4 horse gooseneck that I use most often. Lucky me! It was due for a new set of tires anyhow, and I just hadn’t checked that off my list yet. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and usually gets hand-me downs off other rigs. Meaning, it had been running on light truck tires. What I did find out in my research is that ideally, I should have been using specialty tires all along.
First observation- I noticed is how sleek and attractive the wheels are. Clean & simple in their design, including a liquid silver powder coat, and overall, they look heavy duty. The wheels are thicker steel that the set I removed from the trailer, they are also taller. The old wheel rims were 16”, the Boar wheels are 19.5”, which turned out to be another advantage for me. The increased height of the trailer, giving it better clearance over the bed of my pick-up, which it desperately needed.
Even with the increased dimension, the newer heavy duty set was a direct swap out for the old set. The lugs fit perfectly, and the job of changing them out was completed in just a few minutes. Joel asked me to have my tire dealer give him a call to confirm the best torque and then we ready to hit the road.
Second observation- I noticed that those tires are heavy duty, literally, they are heavy! Not unmanageable, just noticeably heavier than I am used to. The reason being is the commercial grade tire. Besides the obvious reason (bigger size), I did a little research and became more educated.
With a tow vehicle, traction and comfort are the focus of the tire design, whereas stability should be most important on a trailer. Traction allows a vehicle to accelerate, turn corners and brake, with comfort being supported by the flexibility in the tire sidewalls. The same flexibility on the trailer tires actually has a negative effect. Flexibility is the primary cause of sway, especially on trailers with a high center of gravity or those that carry heavy loads, like when hauling livestock, or living quarters. I learned that commercial grade tires have the advantage in stability on your tow vehicle, and I found additional advantages as well.
How often do you have a flat, or have to change a tire while hauling to rodeos? I would bet that it is more often than you would like. Because the commercial tires use a different grade of rubber than the traditional light truck tire they are expected to go 70,000-80,000 miles. They can even be retreaded to complete an original tire core life of 200,000 miles. That is 2-3 times longer than the life of your average light truck tire. Commercial tires also can handle a higher load range, and higher PSI. This means you defeat the two main causes of tire failure, overloading and under inflation.
So all that being said, how did they perform for me? Excellent- the first trip I took with them was from Walla Walla to Spokane, with a load of furniture and boxes. All dead weight and loaded to the hilt- packed in tight and clear to the roof. While I did not weigh it, I know it was heavy, and contained some items subject to breaking in transit. The trailer handled smoothly the whole trip, on the highway & across town, turned well and stopped well at all speeds. Having them freshly put on I kept an eye on them the whole way. They were visibly true when checking my mirrors and I did notice a decrease in sway from the trailer’s original set-up. All of the load arrived intact, so my guess was it rode smooth, too. Upon arriving home, I had the torque checked again, to ensure that all was secure and the tire dealer gave it a thumbs up.
Additional tips over the summer have been used to haul horses. They have always liked to ride in this trailer, but I am sure they can appreciate the benefits of reduced sway. I have hauled it on the highway, two lane roads, gravel roads, hills and corners. On every trip the wheels & tires have performed well. I have added comfort that the load is safe, secure, and that I have a dramatically decreased possibility of tire failure.
I can also say that my next trailer will benefit from the added advantage that Boar Wheels provides.