On the Road Care: 3 Things You Should Check When Towing

On the Road Care: 3 Things You Should Check When Towing

When on the road, paying attention to these 3 areas will help ensure that you have a great towing experience and get where you want to go - Pressure, Weight Balance, and Heat.  

Here are 3 check points to help you get where you want to go with your trailer!

Pressure

Trailer tires are designed to operate and carry their maximum load at specific “COLD” inflation pressures. Tire and wheel manufacturers have accounted for the rise in pressure as temperature increases. It is important to find the cold pressure setting information on the sidewall of the tire and inflate the assembly to that pressure. Before you head out on the next trip, be sure to check your trailer tires and make sure they are at their recommended cold inflation pressures. Once on the trip, it is a good best practice to check your pressures at stopping points. You should see hot inflation pressures across your tires within 5-10 psi of each other. If you see greater than that by axle or side-to-side, you may have a weight balance issue.

Weight Balance

Always adhere to your trailer manufactures load carry capacities. Another area to take note of is how the weight is distributed across your trailer. Having a balanced payload on your trailer will set you up for a smooth, event-free, towing experience. Loads too far forward or back or side-to-side has a dramatic impact on how well your trailer will tow and tire performance and wear. Using you local trucking scales is one way to get an overall trailer load and some may have side-to-side readings. Another indication of load balance is hot tire pressures. If you see higher pressures (over 10 psi difference) axle to axle – that indicates that you may have a load that is too far forward or back. Or that you are not towing level; need to raise or lower hitch height). If you see higher pressures side-to-side – that indicates that you may have a load that is too far left or right.

Left uncorrected in either scenario, your tires may wear irregularly or suffer from overheating that could lead to an air-loss event.

Heat

Heat is one of the biggest contributors to removing a trailer tire from service. Heat is used in the creation of making your trailer tires (vulcanization of rubber). Exposing tires to excess heat levels degrades the materials and may result in loss of service. This can be due to under-inflation, over-loading, improper weight balance, and traveling at higher speeds than the tire is rated to – to name a few.

Using your tire pressures, knowing how much your trailer is carrying, and controlling your highway speeds are a few great methods to managing your tires heat in service.

 

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