Check your trailer lug nuts!!

   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #1  


Veteran Member
Aug 19, 2008
Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//Komatsu D38//Cub Volunteer//Cub SZ60/CAT 289C/CAT 308
Or this could happen........
I've always done the cursory walkaround, visual inspection.....feeling rims, etc. But failed to put a wrench on the lug nuts on my 2010 30' gooseneck tandem dually trailer. This was after 2 recent 750 mile trips, and several others in the past. Shame on me!
Fortunately, I was on a secondary road at night with a light load on, not going fast. Felt a thump as I drove over the second wheel that came off.
Didn't help matters I'm sure that I was playing with the trailer brakes during the trip....generating some extra torque on the loose nuts. It actually elongated the lug holes on 1 rim rendering it useless. Must've sheared all 8 off at the same time.
Could have really been ugly. Lesson learned!!


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   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #2  
Such you are one lucky guy. I am going out with a torque wrench when the sun comes up. Glad that it wasn't any worse.

   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #3  
Yep, I was driving behind a guy pulling a trailer and a wheel came off and took two or three bounces next to the trailer then proceeded to bounce back towards me.
Nothing more scary that trying to avoid a bouncing wheel and tired at 60 mph.
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #4  
Must've sheared all 8 off at the same time.

I don't know about that. Hard to tell from the photo but some of those breaks look older than the others. You might have been down to the last three or four before it broke depending on how the remaining good studs were spaced around the wheel.
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #5  
I sold my King Kutter finish mower to a guy a few years ago. He was backing his trailer down my drive behind his Cherokee when one of the wheels nearly fell off. Luckily I had a die and a few spare lug nuts around to get him back going. The other wheel was loose also on the passengers side but the drivers side will loosen quicker due to rotation.

I carry a torque wrench with me when I tow. I run over all the lugs at 100 miles then each day. Good news is the studs are not that hard to change.

   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #6  

do they make those for our size lug nuts (instead of just the big boys)
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #7  
Since most of you know I'm an advocate of torque striping, I'll do it here too.

Simple process:
Torque the bolts or nuts to spec
Use a contrasting color paint marker and mark a straight line across the stud threads, nut and adjacent wheel surface (if the trailer has studs and nuts). If the trailer uses bolts, paint that straight line across the head, side and adjacent wheel surface.
As long as the stripe isn't broken and the painted lines align, the bolt or nut hasn't loosened..a quick, easy visual check.

Torque striping fasteners is a wide spread industry practice on fasteners that are not removed and re-installed on a frequent basis. This includes aerospace, BTW.
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #8  
Fantastic idea Roy! I have done that with other fasteners never thought to do it on lug's Thanks
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!! #9  
I got the first set of aftermarket custom wheels for my F-150 back in 1982, and the instructions that came with them said to retorque them after 100 miles. Every since then, when I do a check of tire pressures on ANY of our vehicles or trailers (about every 2 weeks when they are being driven) they get checked for lug nut torque at the same time. For what it is worth, I have never had to do any retorquing except after the initial period for new aftermarket wheels (3 sets) but I still do the checks out of habit.

Oh, should have mentioned, I normally avoid Harbor Freight tools, but the 1/2 inch drive torque wrenches they sell for $9.99 with a coupon are remarkably accurate for the price. That's why I can afford one in each of our vehices.
   / Check your trailer lug nuts!!
  • Thread Starter
Roy, that's a great idea for torque striping the nuts. I've been in aviation since 85, tq striping is very prevalant on aircraft. I also just bought a new tractor, and nearly every bolt on that thing is tq striped.
3 things I'm going to purchase.....tq wrench, socket, and striping putty.