4 April 2013
Are you driving on safe tires? Just how often do you need to replace your tires?
There are 3 times you need to replace your tires- when your tires are worn, when they are damaged, and when they are old.
Tires degrade over time, especially with salt, chemicals, and UV light. The generally accepted rule of thumb is to replace your tires when they are 5 years old, regardless of how much wear they have. Many Tire manufacturers recommend replacing them after 3 to 4 years.
If a tire manufacturer recommends replacing them in a shorter period than 5 years, the manufacturer's recommendations should always be followed. The date of manufacture is stamped on the sidewall to determine the month and year.
Every time you trailer however, you should inspect your tire for damage. Tires should be replaced if there is any bulging at the sidewalls or tread, if there are chunks chipped out of the tire, or if there are any signs of dry rot- such as cracks emerging in the tire. If you are storing your trailer outdoors with exposed tires, consider tire covers to protect against UV exposure.
Trailer tires rarely wear out and typically are replaced for age or damage- however; the trailer tire life is only around 10,000 miles, shorter than most car and truck tires.
The Penny test is an effective tool for determining if the trailer tire has worn past its safe life. Place the penny in the tire head first. If you can see the entire head of the penny, its time to replace the tire! if not, you still have enough tread!
Trailering Tips from: TowPal
The TowPal Trailer Safety Communication system is available to Kentucky Horse Council members at a discounted price. For more information, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org/all-about-towpal/