Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Most Important Components to Consider When Building a Tire Carrier – PART 1

The Most Important Components to Consider When Building a Tire Carrier – PART 1

Whether you’re building a tire carrier for yourself or in a production run for others as a company, there are a few points to consider that will make or break your build:

  1. The swing away tire carrier hinge – this is the most critical part of your tire carrier and will make or literally break your design and tire carrier performance. You cannot go cheap on your hinge kit design as the entire system depends on the performance of this part. In order to determine what tire carrier hinge kit you need to purchase, consider the following items:

a.      How much weight will you be putting on your tire carrier?  

  • When using a 33” tire or smaller you may use a vertical type hinge kit with a 1-1/4” base diameter shaft. Many companies rate the shaft/kit at a 1000 pound load rating; however, this is incorrect. The 1000 lb. load rating only applies to a trailer application and is very different for a tire carrier. 

  • When using larger than a 33” tire, you need to use a kit with a 1-3/4” base diameter shaft or spindle. Again, many companies will rate the 1-3/4” diameter shaft at a load rating of 1750 pounds; however, this again is incorrect. 
  • For those of you building a tire carrier that will have Gerry can racks, over the tire racks, or more, you should be using a dual shear tire carrier hinge kit. A double shear tire carrier hinge kit will hold the top of the shaft to isolate all movement and therefore eliminate fatigue from bend stress. The dual shear tire carrier hinge kits are by far the strongest designs available and come in a wide variety for various tire carrier designs.

b.      Will you need an upright vertical design or face mount?

  • Many popular designs use a standard upright vertical type hinge; however, not all bumpers and designs can accommodate these types of kits. Be aware that face mount style tire carrier hinges are available that can mount directly onto the front of the bumper as opposed to on top. Not only are these very strong dual shear designs but they can save a ton of time and space for your build. 


Not only is excessive weight the determining factor in a failed tire carrier hinge; however, it’s also due to bend stress that can be eliminated from a dual shear tire carrier hinge kit, solid latch kit, direct bumper to chassis mounting, and pre-loading. We’ll discuss the tire carrier latch kit component in part 2 of this 4 part blog post.

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