How to Choose the Right Wheel Bearing For Your Trailer

By: Date: 17 February 2024

When it comes to the safety and performance of your trailer, one crucial component that should never be overlooked is the wheel bearing. 

Trailer wheel bearings plays a vital role in the smooth rotation of the wheels, ensuring a safe and reliable towing experience. In short, they’re crucial accessories for every 4×4 vehicle.

But with various options available, how do you choose the right wheel bearing for your trailer? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the important factors to consider when selecting the ideal wheel bearing for your needs.

Identifying the Bearings on Your Trailer Hubs

Before diving into the selection process, it’s essential to identify the bearings on your trailer hubs. The specific type of bearing used will depend on the make, model, and year of your trailer. 

To identify the bearings used on your trailer axle, the simplest method is to remove the hub and check for stamped reference numbers on both the inner and outer bearings. If the bearing numbers are difficult to discern, an alternative approach is to measure both bearings for clarity.

This diagram by Trailers R Us serves as a guide to identify the “part numbers” necessary for determining the bearings you require:

Trailer axle wheel bearing diagram

Considerations for Choosing the Right Wheel Bearing

1. Load Capacity

The load capacity of the wheel bearing is an important factor to consider, as it determines the weight that the bearing can safely support. Make sure to match the load capacity of the bearing with the weight of your trailer and its intended use. 

It’s advisable to choose a bearing with a higher load capacity to provide a margin of safety and prevent premature failure.

2. Bearing Type

There are two primary types of wheel bearings commonly used in trailers: tapered roller bearings and ball bearings. 

Tapered roller bearings are known for their durability and ability to handle heavy loads. They are often found in larger trailers or those that will experience regular heavy-duty towing. 

On the other hand, ball bearings are designed for lighter loads and are commonly used in smaller trailers. 

Consider the weight and usage of your trailer to decide which type of bearing is most suitable.

3. Material and Construction

The material and construction of the wheel bearing can significantly affect its performance and longevity. Look for wheel bearings made from durable materials, such as high-quality steel or alloys, which can withstand the rigors of towing. 

Bearings with proper sealing mechanisms are also essential to prevent contaminants like dirt, water, and debris from causing damage. 

Additionally, consider bearings with advanced features like corrosion-resistant coatings or improved lubrication systems for enhanced durability and protection.

4. Maintenance Requirements

Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity and performance of your wheel bearings. Some bearings may require regular greasing or inspection intervals, while others may be sealed and maintenance-free. 

Consider your ability and willingness to perform the required maintenance tasks when choosing the right wheel bearing. 

It’s important to strike a balance between maintenance requirements and your availability to ensure the longevity of your trailer’s wheel bearings.

5. Quality and Brand Reputation

Investing in high-quality wheel bearings from reputable brands is essential for safety and reliability. 

Look for manufacturers that have a proven track record in producing reliable trailer components. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from trusted sources can help you gauge the quality and reliability of different brands. 

Remember, choosing a reputable brand may cost more upfront, but it can save you from expensive repairs and potential risks down the road.

Related: How to Wire Trailer Lights

Ark Wheel Bearings For Your Trailer

Ark wheel bearing

At Ark, we understand the importance of reliable and high-quality trailer components. We offer a wide range of wheel bearings that are designed to meet various towing needs. 

Whether you have a small utility trailer or a heavy-duty caravan, we have the right wheel bearing to suit your requirements. Visit our website or contact our team for expert guidance in choosing the perfect wheel bearing for your trailer. 

Safe travels!
Further reading: Check out our step-by-step guide on how to change the wheel bearings on your trailer.