Each spring when I pull out my trailer it gets a complete “going over” before a horse steps foot in it. We check the electrical system — one year mice feasted on the wiring which left me with no brakes or turn signals — pull the mats out, check the integrity of the floor and the ramp, and, of course check the tire pressures.
Under inflated tires are one of the easiest things to check and fix, yet contribute to a huge number of accidents. According to the Department of Transportation’s national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than a quarter of automobiles and about a third of light trucks (including sport utility vehicles, vans, and pickup trucks) on the roadways of the United States have one or more tires underinflated 8 pounds per square inch (psi) or more below the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
In 2003 the NHTSA estimated that there were 414 fatalities, 10,275 injuries and 78,392 crashes annually due to flat tires or blow outs. It also reported that of all SUVs experiencing tire problems in the pre-crash, 45% rolled over.
If you need just one more reason to check your tires, consider this: tires that are not inflated to the appropriate pressure result in a slight decline in fuel economy and when you are pulling a trailer, your miles per gallon is bad enough!
To get an accurate reading, check tire pressures when the tires are “cold” — at least three hours after they’ve been driven on. When you drive, your tires get warmer, causing the air pressure within them to increase.
What do you do to keep your trailer running smoothly and safely? Any tips?