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Stock Trailer Tips

Neat huh? This is why you ALWAYS, always, check your tires before you leave with the stock trailer. If I had missed this – it could have caused A LOT of damage to my trailer when it came apart - if my trailer were aluminum it could've torn my whole fender off, I've seen that happen.

I keep my air pressure in my trailer tires about 5-10lbs short of being maxed out. Proper inflation (tire air pressure) will help keep your tires from heating up when you have a heavy load, it will also help your tire tread to wear more evenly and will help make you be as fuel efficient as possible. I also always max out the pressure in my rear tires on my truck (where all the weight is sitting). The front ones I also keep slightly higher – it should say right on your tire what the max PSI for the tire is. 

If I were to be completely loaded up with horses or cows - I would fully max out the air in my trailer tires - but if I am only hauling one animal or have an empty load, the only thing over inflation would accomplish would be to wear out the middle of the tread on my tires while under inflation will cause your tire to heat up and wear out the tread along the sides leaving the tread in the middle looking pretty good.... so if you see those wear patterns on your trailer tire you can now diagnose the problem yourself.

Please note the even wear patterns on this tire. If were to have had the tires under inflated this whole time the outside two strips of tread would be significantly more worn and smooth compared to the middle three strips of tread.

I have special heavy-duty tires on my truck to handle the weight of my trailer. They are a 10 ply tire or "E" rated this gives them a stronger side wall and helps to reduce heat. Even though I have a small trailer it’s steel so it’s plenty heavy and my truck isn’t really made to pull it. I also have heavy-duty trailer tires that are rated to handle the weight of my trailer even if it were full of all my equipment and animals. The tire that failed will be replaced with one of those, they are not cheap. When you are buying tires make sure they are rated to handle with weight you pull and the weight that will be sitting in the back of your truck.

On the trailer I also checked the brakes, lights, AC electrical system and floorboards – everything else looked great! On my truck I checked my fluid levels, tire pressures, and oil. Everything checked out fine there too! It's so important to run a quick check of everything before you leave.
This brings up another subject I have been wanting to comment on - I have gotten quite good at parking my trailer and I think it’s a skill every livestock owner needs. Nothing gets an eye roll out of me faster than a lady at a fair/rodeo/sale/or show saying “I’m not very good at parking my trailer can you park it for me?” LOL - If I hear that from a guy I just write him off as hopeless right off the bat. Sorry guys I just assume you all are genetically pros at trailer parking and if I find out you aren't - that is like being genetically defective in my book. My usual tactic in this case especially if its a friend of mine is to teach them "how to fish" so to speak. I say “It’s not so hard – here, jump in and I will help you park, just go slow and listen for me.” Trailers are not hard to back-up and park, you only need practice to get the hang of it.

I can also change my own oil, add antifreeze, power steer fluid, change out an alternator (thanks to my old truck a true quality GM made machine) change out headlights (and aim them), blinker/brake lights, marker lights on my trailer, change a tire on my trailer or truck, repair a leak, jump start my truck with my trailer battery, and change a number of fuses in my trailer and truck. The fact you are a girl should not excuse you from knowing that stuff. What if your OnStar doesn’t work? What if you can’t call AAA – BTW if you have a trailer WITH a horse in it --- AAA won’t touch you.

I love road trips and driving my truck and trailer with or without a horse for 7 or 8 hours by myself on highways I’ve never seen before, it doesn’t bother me at all. I am always well prepared. I always do my homework on the internet – I have turn by turn directions and I know where my gas and rest stops will be and where I will eat or I will have food with me. I always try to work in a little “farting around time” too because when I was young traveling it meant driving straight there and straight back we never stopped at the interesting spots. So I usually will try to do that now.

I think that every girl that hauls livestock around needs to be able to DRIVE – PARK AND UNHOOK – their trailer themselves. You also should be able to do that and perform simple repairs or bring your husband with you to do it every time you leave the house. It’s not fair to expect your horse trainer or other men at the venue to park your trailer, unhook it, and/or set it up for you.

Ok – ranting done. Here is the new tire $120.00 later - but better than losing a tire on the highway!


Just ignore my rusty wheels....

1 comment:

  1. Good post, and very practical advice. I once had a blowout on the RV - took out part of a cabinet and the seat at the table, where I usually put the baby's car seat...luckily he wasn't with me at the time. Needless to say, after that, I refused to drive it until the rest of the worn out cracked tires were replaced.


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