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What's causing this tire wear pattern?


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Just finished a 5k trip and on my post inspection noticed this tire wear, same on all four tires. I've never seen this before, except perhaps something similar on some all terrain tires that had seen a ton of gravel roads. I've driven some gravel roads, but I didn't think enough to see this sort of damage already (the KO2's on the truck are worn but even). I'm wondering if this is caused by scrub or maybe excessive braking? Anyone else have this kind of chunking on the center treads? I have 12.5k on these tires now.

 

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I've done some tight maneuvering, but I wouldn't expect enough to do that amount of damage - but this is our first trailer so what do I know. Yes, those are the factory Michelins. They came from Oliver with their standard pressure of WayTooMuch psi. Over 70, lol. Our first trip we did with that, then I lowered it down to 50 just to save the trailer from being rattled apart. This last trip was at 45 per Michelin's recommendations and the tires looked good and stayed cool. With the damage limited to the center treads I was thinking maybe the damage might have started with them being over inflated that first trip. More likely though it has to do with those smaller blocks being more flexible and susceptible to damage.

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I’m convinced the higher pressures caused all the problems we experienced on our first trip. We had all the usual issues that people complain about - cabinet doors falling open, blinds falling off the walls, etc. - plus we had some wiring come loose, a plumbing line break, the water heater bust, cracked fiberglass, and other stuff. No issues at all once I dropped the pressures down to something reasonable.

 

50 was fine but the trailer felt much better this last trip, though I can’t say if the lower tire pressure was the reason. More likely that it was due to carrying a bit more weight in the truck and also raising its rear tire pressure 5 psi from what I had been running. There were times this trip that I forgot I was towing. Super stable without even any of that push and pull you feel when you pass a truck. We had wind advisories of 30mph gusts across Wyoming and Kansas, which we felt of course, but never unstable feeling and I was perfectly confident towing at 75 which I’ve never felt at ease doing before.

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Posting this again for ease of reference:

https://www.michelintruck.com/reference-materials/manuals-bulletins-and-warranties/load-and-inflation-tables/#/

 

Ollie's tires are in the second table (LT225/75R16). The weight ratings listed are per axle, and "single" vs "dual" means how many tires at each end of the axle. So basically just read the top row of the second table.

 

I assume that Overland's comment: "This last trip was at 45 per Michelin’s recommendations" is based on following the above table for 7000 lb GVWR divided among two axles (3500 each) resulting in 45 PSI being the minimum pressure needed to safely carry that weight.

2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition

 

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