Gooseneck Trailers is committed to providing quality trailers that meet, or exceed, safety standards. We want all Gooseneck trailer owners to be safe and secure in their experiences on the road. It is paramount to perform routine trailer maintenance to ensure that your trailer remains in safe working order.
One of the most important routine checks all trailer owners should perform on their equipment before, during and after use, is tire status. As with any other routine maintenance, keeping sound tires under your trailer can mean the difference between worry free usage and costly damage to life and property.
Check for Punctures or Cracks
A hole in the tire tread or wall can cause pressure to build up around the crevice and, when the pressure becomes too great for the remaining strength of the rubber, a tire blowout can occur. Nails, screws, glass, dry-rot cracking and even feathering from uneven wear and tear can cause small openings in the tire or tire wall, and this can present a dangerous threat of explosion or flattening. The tire can pop or shred once the puncture loses the battle with tire pressure, causing hazardous driving conditions. It is important to check your trailer tires for punctures or cracking at each and every refueling or rest stop to avoid a dangerous blowout.
Undue stress is put on the wall of the tire with under-inflation, which can contribute to blowout conditions. Highway speeds and temperatures can cause excessive heat to build up in the tire and bend the connection between the tire wall and its tread when a tire is under-filled and the psi is low. The tire can separate and cause a blowout if this flexing continues under high speeds or rising outside temperature. It is essential to check the tire psi on a regular basis to avoid under and over-inflation issues and minimize the potential of a blowout. The recommended psi for a trailer tire is usually printed on the wall of the tire.
The rubber from which tires are manufactured is not immune to the shrinking and swelling that outdoor temperature extremes can cause in exposed materials. Cracking and flexing in the walls and tread of tires can be caused by changing temperatures which can contribute to puncture and cracking blowouts. Fluctuations in temperate actually change the psi inside of a tire, which can lead to instances of over or under-inflation that can also contribute to blowouts in your trailer tire. It it crucial to monitor temperatures carefully when hauling in extreme weather changes, as well as visually inspect tires in these conditions during rest and refueling stops.
Trailers are limited by their capacity rating when it comes to how much they can safely and effectively haul. Trailer tires are subject to these same limitations and are commonly rated at the same level or higher carrying capacity than the trailer they are attached to. Overloading a trailer, however, while potentially damaging to your vehicle, trailer and cargo, can also put undue stress on the tires, which can cause the pressures within to rise, the walls to flex outward and pressure to build around any small punctures or leaks on the tire. The risk of blowout is intensified when overloading a trailer and can force the tire to rub or grate into the trailer itself. Closely monitoring the size of your load can help you avoid the danger of overloading.
Do not fall into the common misconception that just because an old tire has “a lot of tread remaining” it is as good as new. As a tire ages, the rubber compounds break down, which can result in tire failure.
Another common misconception is that wheel lug nuts will retain their proper torque. This is actually not the case at all. A variety of situations can cause wheel nuts to loosen. It is important to check them with a torque wrench at least once a month if the trailer is used daily; and at least once every three months if used only occasionally. The wheel can come loose and quickly become a deadly situation if not properly maintained. Additionally, wheel and tire separation can occur if it is not properly greased in the bearings at regular intervals; a dry bearing can fail causing the complete hub/drum, tire and wheel assembly to come loose.
When it comes to maintenance of your Gooseneck trailer tires, it is important to keep these rules in mind. For information, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Gooseneck Trailers!