Know When It's Time to Replace Your Trailer Tires | The Trailer Parts Outlet
In the name of thrift, sometimes you hold onto something just a little bit longer than you should. Maybe you wear shoes after the back heel is ground down. Maybe you get two mugs of tea from one bag.
But here at The Trailer Parts Outlet, we want to tell you about the one time you should not skimp.
Don’t wait when it is time to replace your trailer’s tires. If you do, you are risking damage and destruction to your cargo, yourself, your trailer, and other motorists.
Let’s talk about:
- How to know when it’s time to replace your tire
- A checklist to keep your tires lasting in good condition
- The hazards of old tires
- What to do when you realize it is time to update your tires
Advice on How to Make Your Trailer Tires Last
Get into a good habit of cleaning your tires. When you see foreign objects or debris lodged in your tires, you know they could be in better shape. Keep your tires inflated to the proper PSI. You can find this number on the tire wall. Check in on your spare, too. You’ll want it in good shape if you blow a tire. Tow within your approved range to keep your tires in good shape too. Add valve caps to your tires. Watch the road for hazards to your tire when you drive. Avoid potholes, and if you can’t do that, drive as slow as is reasonable. Be careful about rolling against the curb when you park.
Replacing Trailer Tires
Start by determining what type of tires you have. If you’re struggling with that part, our representatives at The Trailer Parts Outlet would be happy to offer guidance. Here is some basic starting points. Check the side of your tire for the letters ST or LT. ST tires are for trailers, LT are for Light Truck and and P is for passenger cars.
Basically, this tells you how rough of a road they can trek down. LT tires are meant to go with a vehicle that has a very responsive suspension system. Horse trailers, for example, don’t have this kind of suspension. They go with ST tires. They can absorb some more bumps on the road.
Next, measure the depth of your tread. By law, you need to replace your tires when they are at 2/32” depth tread left. Some folk advice that works is to stick a penny into your tire’s tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tire’s groove covers part of Lincoln’s head, you can keep driving.
Even if you’ve done the penny trick, remember that treads can wear down unevenly. Most of the time you are better safe than sorry if you think your tires need replacing.
Things that cause tread wear:
- Overinflating the tires
- Underinflating the ture
- Bent axle
- Alignment issues
- Hauling over capacity
Check Your Trailer Tire for Dry Rot
Heat and moisture kill tires. Given time, these forces will cause dry rot and break down your tire rubber. Dry rot is tricky to spot. Even a good looking tire might have some in the sidewalls. Get a professional to inspect your tires at least once a year. They have specialized tools that flex and bend tires in places that expose dry rot.
- Know How Old Your Tire Is
Tires have a five year lifespan. Don’t push any tire too far beyond this. The heavier you use it, the shorter it will live. Even if you leave it in a storage unit, five years is too old.
For more questions about tire maintenance and replacement, contact The Trailer Parts Outlet.