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What are the Differences Between Steel and Aluminum Rims

What are the Differences Between Steel and Aluminum Rims

When you order your trailer, you will need to decide what material you want the wheel rims to be made from. You may already be familiar with some of the advantages and disadvantages of steel versus aluminum alloy if you have ever bought a new car. Of course, when you are using a trailer for your livelihood, those pros and cons are even more important.

Painted Steel Rims

Many trailer manufacturers offer painted steel wheel rims as their base option. While you may like the price of that deck over trailer for sale with the basic rims, the minor savings are not worth it. The key problem with these wheels is that, like all painted steel, they rust. This can happen quickly, especially if you are using them in wintery conditions. Rust can cause the tires to lose their bead and leak. Plus, rusty wheels with chipping paint doesn’t look very good. You will need to remove the wheels and sandblast and repaint them. This can be expensive and time-consuming.

Galvanized Steel Rims

At Millroad Manufacturing, we offer galvanized steel as our base wheel rim option. This is treated with a zinc coating to prevent rusting. Even as this treatment slowly loses its shine, it will continue to protect the wheel against rust. They are significantly most robust than painted steel rims while maintaining all the other positive characteristics.


The main benefit of our steel rims is that they are relatively inexpensive. If you want to get a great trailer at a lower price, consider sticking with steel. They also tend to be a little more durable than aluminum alloy wheels. They can stand up to intense punishment, far more than what most users will throw at them. The galvanized coating looks nice and does not tend to show small cosmetic damage. So, if you put them through the wringer, no one will be the wiser.


The primary drawback of steel rims is that they are heavy. This is especially significant because they are “unsprung” weight, meaning weight that doesn’t ride on the suspension. You will tend to feel this weight more than what is over the suspension. Although the galvanization doesn’t show scratches clearly, it will wear down with time. It can lose its luster. Your wheel will still be protected against rust, but they may not look as great.

Aluminum Rims

Our upgraded option is to use aluminum alloy wheel rims. As you likely know, aluminum trailers are our specialty. So, you can be confident that these will be the best-made aluminum trailer wheels you can buy. The material is naturally resistant to corrosion and rust. It is also very lightweight.


Our strong aluminum is very durable. It also continues to look great no matter what you do with your trailer. Many people prefer the look of aluminum alloy wheels to any other option. The most significant advantage is that these rims are light. Every pound you save on your trailer means that you can carry more cargo. It will also save you money at the pump due to better fuel efficiency. When you are ready to sell your trailer, you will fetch a better price due to having these wheels. In short, they are worth the upgrade.


Although our aluminum is very strong, it is not quite as robust as galvanized steel. These are also more expensive options than the base wheels. Nonetheless, most of our customers report that they are worthwhile.

Find Your Ideal Trailer Today

Check out the Millroad Manufacturing lineup of trailers to choose the right one for your needs. Whether you are looking for a flatbed, dump or deck over trailer for sale, we have what you need. Don’t forget to order your preferred wheel type.