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Horse trailer tyres in Eartham

One of the jobs that was booked in this week was a horse trailer that had a flat tyre, the customer had bought the trailer last week, but it had a flat tyre. She was hoping it was just a puncture repair, but asked us to bring a couple of tyres just in case.
I turned up at the stables to find the trailer parked up between a few other trailers, but there was enough space around it, so it didn't need moving. The customer told me that they had tried to remove the wheel nuts themselves, but they were rusted solid and would not come undone.
Before jacking the trailer up, I needed to work on the wheel nuts first. Since this horse trailer had four wheels each held by 5 nuts, that meant 20 nuts had to be worked on. My impact driver soon had most of the the nuts loose. Two were proving to be a problem, they just did not move, even when I tried with a 3ft breaker bar, this was not just rust…. They had been massively over tightened in the first place. The only option was to add so heat to the nuts, to expand the nut on the thread and crack any rust. I carry a small blow torch in my tool kit, and this was used to heat the nuts up, then using the impact driver I was able to get each nut to move. Once complete each nut will be tightened up using a torque wrench to 110NM.
The jack was brought out of the van and placed under the main frame of the trailer, jacking it up till the wheel was high enough to be removed. I was then able to inspect it and check the date on the sidewall. The tyre turned out to be 12 years old and the reason for the air loss was a split between the tread caused by the rubber perishing. So it was definitely going to be a new tyre. Checking the other tyres on the trailer confirmed that two, one on each side had recently been replaced, but the other matching tyre was also 12 years old, and splits were visible between the treads. The customer agreed to having that tyre changed as well, so that the trailer would be safe for carrying her horse.
Each tyre was brought into my van and the old tyres removed, new valves were fitted to the rims along with new light commercial tyres. Although the rims were very rusty on the outside, they were in good condition inside. They were both then balanced before fitting them back on the trailer. As part of our service we also inflate the tyres on your vehicle to the correct recommended pressures. Checking this trailer I found one tyre at 36psi, and two tyres at 26 psi, the correct pressures for this trailer is 65 psi.
Horse trailers are similar to caravans, in that they often stand in one place for long periods and only go on the road occasionally. With caravans it is recommended to change tyres every 7 years and I think horse trailers should follow similar recommendations. Your horse is your pet, why take on the road in a trailer that could be unsafe.
Should you need new tyres for your horse trailer call us at Hometyre Sussex, we will come to you at your stables or where ever you keep the trailer.
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