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How to check your trailer tyres for wear and tear

Mon, 5 Dec 2022 | PRODUCTS


Trailer safety has rightly come under closer scrutiny in recent years, as tractor speeds and gross vehicle combined weights have increased, police and the Vehicle Operator Standards Agency have stepped up inspections and, unfortunately, the number of accidents involving tractor/trailer combinations has risen. To ensure you stay safe and on the right side of the law, follow these tips and you will also maximise the time before you next have to replace worn or damaged trailer tyres and make that time-consuming search through trailer tyres price lists and on the internet for ‘trailer tyres for sale’ and ‘trailer tyres near me’.

Whether they rarely go on the road or spend much of their time shuttling between fields and farms, regular checks of your trailers’ tyres is essential to ensure the safety of the tractor operator and other road users, the security of your loads and the protection of your clean insurance and law records – no-one likes to make a claim, and no-one particularly likes to receive a fine or licence points. All of these things can happen, though, if you and your tractor operators do not regularly check trailer tyres for wear and tear.

Tyre pressure checks should be part of any daily pre-work service schedule of tractors and trailers or any other trailed implement. At the same time, this is the opportunity to also make a check of your trailer tyres for wear and tear that could either make an immediate impact through a trailer tyre failure that day, or perhaps may need to be noted as an aid to planning for trailer tyre replacement in the near future.

Firstly you should assess the tread depth of your trailer tyres. While most trailed tyres are not driven – unless, of course, you are dealing with a specialist one that has powered axles – they nevertheless need to be able to squeeze out and channel away mud as they rotate in, for example, wet root crop fields, and they need to disperse water if you find yourself hauling on the road in the rain. This means tread depth is just as important as in a driven machine. Once the tread on your trailer tyres is over 50% worn, regularly use a tread depth gauge to ensure there is more than 25% of the tread depth remaining. At this point the trailer tyres will need replacing. While you are assessing the tread depth, check the tread for any splits or cracks, ensuring you run the trailer forwards half a wheel turn to assess the full circumference. Remove any embedded foreign objects such as stones if it is safe to do so – if something such as a nail or a screw has pierced the inside of the trailer tyre, safety must come first and the tyre should be deflated fully before removal, followed by a professional assessment of whether it is repairable or requires replacement.

Next, examine both the outer and inner sidewalls of each trailer tyre. The outers, of course, are easy to observe with a quick visual check, but you should ensure you also check the inners. Any splits and cracks – caused by flints, or the trailer passing closely against a kerb or foreign object, for example – can easily develop into trailer tyre bulges and lead to dangerous blowouts. If you observe such damage, replace the affected trailer tyre as soon as possible.

With trailer safety in the spotlight due to higher speeds and weights, more accidents and an increase in police and VOSA checks, it is more important than ever to regularly check the conditions of your trailer tyres before work. Use the above pre-work procedures to maximise the time before you next have to replace worn or damaged trailer tyres and browse the internet for ‘trailer tyres for sale’ and ‘trailer tyres near me’ before trawling through trailer tyres price lists.