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Trailer Tire Inspection Checklist

When talking about tire inspections, many people think of the trucks and SUVs that keep the work rolling. Making sure the wheels keep turning is important for your work vehicle, but just as important for the equipment you’re carrying behind you. It’s time to check your trailer’s tires to see if it’s time for them to be changed.

When you’re inspecting your tires, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’ve assessed the important areas.

The most common problems with tires are caused by underinflation. A change in temperature or run-in with a sharp object can have a much larger effect on tires that don’t have enough pressure. Check your PSI frequently to make sure they’re in the correct PSI range for your trailer - and don’t forget to test the spare tire, too. Tire pressure that’s too high will cause wear in the center of the tire, while pressure that’s too low will show on the outside edges.

Speaking of wear, visually checking the tread in your tires is a key indicator of how worn your tires are. Using a penny, check to make sure the tread covers the top of Lincoln’s head when placed upside down on the tread. If you can see the top of his tread, it’s time to replace them. Generally, your tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch.

Objects, punctures or breaks
Getting a nail in your tire, running into a sharp object or cracks in the rubber can all lead to openings where air can escape your tire. If this happens and doesn’t damage the sidewall, you may be able to repair it by plugging the hole. If it’s large enough and is beyond repair, it’s time for two new tires.

Outside of damage brought on by foreign objects, tires can also be susceptible to deformities such as bulges, flat or bald spots that can cause issues if you try to haul heavy objects on them. When you’re checking your trailer before use, make sure to carefully inspect all tires, not just the ones that look a little low on air.

Additional Maintenance
While your tires may seem fine on the surface, you should make sure you’re regularly maintaining your trailer’s tires to extend their life and to maximize your carrying capacity. We recommend:

  • Replacing your trailer tires every 3-4 years to maintain their strength
  • Covering your tires and making sure they’re stored in a cool, dry place when they’re not being used to prevent deterioration from the sun or moisture
  • Maintaining proper weight distribution when replacing damaged tires by replacing both front or rear tires at the same time

In order to make the most efficient use of your trailer to help you carry your work essentials, your trailer’s tires need to remain in top condition. By consistently checking their status and identifying any potential hazards, you can extend the life of your trailer’s tires and also make sure that your equipment doesn’t unnecessarily disrupt your busy workday.

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