Tyre Advice
Safe Hands in a Crisis
ADVICE ON HORSEBOX & TRAILER TYRES Horseboxes   and Trailers   tend   to   be   heavily   constructed,   used   intermittently,   and   stored   in   the   open.      Hence, though   the   mileage   covered   might   be   very   limited,   the   tyres   can   be   liable   to   cause   more   than   their   fair   share of problems.  The following are some points that need special attention. Tyre specification: Make   sure   that   the   tyres   fitted   are   of   the   correct   load   rating   for   the   trailer.      The   trailer   should   have   a   chassis plate   with   the   maximum   laden   weight   –   if   not,   check   with   the   manufacturer   or   weigh   the   trailer   at   a weighbridge,   allowing   for   the   load   and   equipment   normally   carried.      Check   with   a   tyre   dealer   that   the   tyres fitted   are   marked   with   an   adequate   load   rating   and/or   load   index,   and   that   you   know   the   correct   tyre pressures.  Tyre Condition: Tread   wear   should   be   checked   –   the   legal   requirement   is   that   there   must   be   at   least   1.6mm   of   tread   depth across   the   central   three-quarters   of   the   tread   width,   all   the   way   round   the   tyre   circumference.      When checking   a   tyre,   look   for   fine   surface   cracks   in   the   rubber,   around   the   base   of   the   tread   grooves   or   on   the side-walls.      Such   cracking   can   accumulate   over   a   period   of   years,   particularly   if   the   tyre   is   exposed   to sunlight, and indicates that the tyre should be renewed. Check   all   the   way   round   the   tread   for   cuts   or   other   damage,   and   look   on   the   inner   as   well   as   the   outer   side- walls   –   they   may   need   a   hose   down   to   do   this   properly.      Look   for   wear   or   damage   caused   by   contact   with the   bodywork   or   mudguards.      Look   closely   at   the   rubber   tyre   valve   stem   for   cracks,   and   make   sure   that valve caps are fitted. Tyre Maintenance: Check   the   tyre   pressures   while   they   are   cold,   and   correct   as   required   –   get   any   significant   loss   of   air checked   and   repaired.      If   the   trailer   is   to   be   left   any   length   of   time   –   say   more   than   few   weeks,   cover   the tyres   loosely   to   shade   them   from   sunlight   –   and   put   a   note   on   the   hitch   as   a   reminder.      If   a   long   period   of disuse   is   expected,   it   will   be   worth   putting   blocks   under   the   axles   to   take   the   weight   off   the   tyres,   as   well   as shading them with sackcloth or a similar permeable material. Check   the   wheel   nuts   for   tightness   by   undoing   them   a   turn,   then   re-tightening   to   the   correct   setting.   When fitting   a   wheel,   a   little   oil   can   be   applied   to   the   threads   of   the   stud,   but   not   to   the   nut   seating.   Make   sure   that the brakes work properly, and that they free off correctly when not applied.
The Organisation of Horsebox & Trailer Owners        Tel: 01488 657651    Fax: 0844 8546681
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