Trailer Tire Age

   / Trailer Tire Age #1  

KennyG

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
4,323
Location
SW Michigan
Tractor
John Deere 2320
Have you checked your tire age lately? I know most of you are smarter than I am but I make up for it by being lucky.

The backstory is I bought a used 7K trailer about 5 years ago. It was in rough shape but I usually only use it for hauling within 10 miles of home. I bought it from a trailer fabricator. It had no brakes so as part of the deal I had him add brakes to one axle. When I picked it up I noticed it had two new tires, which I took as a bonus. Later I discovered it had GM 4-3/4 bolt circle wheels and when he put the brakes on he had to switch to 4-1/2 trailer hubs.

Fast forward to early this year. I was towing empty and I hit a big bump and the hitch latch failed and it jumped off the ball. The chains held, so not much damage. I put on a new hitch A-frame, heavy safety cables and, because I noticed the older tires cracking, changed the hubs, added brakes to the other axle, and put on new rims and tires. I just stuck the old tires in the corner of the pole barn.

Last week I happened to walk by and saw this. The tire blew out just sitting in the barn. I checked the tires and found they were built in 1998. Now the real scary part. Out of curiosity I looked at my "new" tires that were put on when I bought the trailer. They were dated 2000. Apparently they were new old stock and were 10 years old when I got the trailer. They still look brand new (I keep the trailer inside) but I will be replacing them before I do any more towing.

tire.jpg
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #2  
Have you checked your tire age lately? I know most of you are smarter than I am but I make up for it by being lucky.

The backstory is I bought a used 7K trailer about 5 years ago. It was in rough shape but I usually only use it for hauling within 10 miles of home. I bought it from a trailer fabricator. It had no brakes so as part of the deal I had him add brakes to one axle. When I picked it up I noticed it had two new tires, which I took as a bonus. Later I discovered it had GM 4-3/4 bolt circle wheels and when he put the brakes on he had to switch to 4-1/2 trailer hubs.

Fast forward to early this year. I was towing empty and I hit a big bump and the hitch latch failed and it jumped off the ball. The chains held, so not much damage. I put on a new hitch A-frame, heavy safety cables and, because I noticed the older tires cracking, changed the hubs, added brakes to the other axle, and put on new rims and tires. I just stuck the old tires in the corner of the pole barn.

Last week I happened to walk by and saw this. The tire blew out just sitting in the barn. I checked the tires and found they were built in 1998. Now the real scary part. Out of curiosity I looked at my "new" tires that were put on when I bought the trailer. They were dated 2000. Apparently they were new old stock and were 10 years old when I got the trailer. They still look brand new (I keep the trailer inside) but I will be replacing them before I do any more towing.

View attachment 451229

Thanks for the reminder. I have a 6'X10' single axle felling w/2"X6" plank deck that I also primarily use within 25 miles of home. The tires "look" great but I NEED to replace them before spring as they are over 10 years old and have been stored outside whole life. Thanks...Tom R
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #3  
When I buy a new tire and it smells like it just came out of the mold I smile.

I bought a used tandem dual trailer and put new tires on one axle. HiMiler I think was the brand. Wore them out and bought a second new set for that axle. Hankook 14 ply this time. They match the set on the other axle that were 50% tread when I bought the trailer and still going strong. For me, quality first. No more offbrand junk.
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #4  
After I mentioned to my wife that I had a concern that my 37' fifth wheel camper had tires on that were 12 years old but looked like new yet she wouldn't travel in it anymore unless new ones were installed. People say 8 years is it for trustworthiness but on a regular trailer I would probably understand the risks and what the load may be and take my chances. You are right about wanting them changed to be on the safe side.
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #5  
I don't think I've ever gotten more than 5 years out of a tire on my campers. They claim that trailer tires don't get exercised as much as your truck tires, so they age out before they wear out.

My first encounter with this was several years ago, the spare on the fifth wheel just blew out on the sidewalls (taking out a nice tire cover). Since it was late fall and I wasn't planning on any more trips that year, I didn't do anything. Before spring arrived, one of the axle tires blew just sitting there and another axle tire looked like it was ready to go any moment.

Now I replace them all every four years because I have nightmares about having a blow out in heavy traffic.
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #6  
These stories are fascinating. I've never heard of a tire just blowing out while stationary. You can bet I'll be checking mine. Thanks for the info.

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   / Trailer Tire Age #7  
You wrote "I hit a big bump and the hitch latch failed and it jumped off the ball. " Are there things to inspect in a latch to predict this sort of failure. The quality of my latch seems suspect but it is welded on. Can a welding shop remove it without messing up the trailer tongue?
 
   / Trailer Tire Age
  • Thread Starter
#8  
It seems that over the years the wear and weakened spring in the latch allowed it to pop off the ball. I'm not sure how it should be inspected, but it would be good to know. I think just jacking the trailer up with it attached to the truck would tell you something. You can buy rebuild kits that just replace the internals. I went with a complete new hitch because I knew it had failed and the old hitch was a 2" ball. I replaced it with a 2-5/16, which is what I wanted all along.

It's relatively easy to cut the old hitch off and weld a new one one. I had no trouble and I don't do all that much of this kind of thing. For a welding shop it's a real quick and easy job.
 
   / Trailer Tire Age
  • Thread Starter
#9  
These stories are fascinating. I've never heard of a tire just blowing out while stationary. You can bet I'll be checking mine. Thanks for the info.

I never thought it could happen either, but if you ever asked the question "If a tire blows out and there's no one around to hear it, will it still scare the h*ll out of you?", the answer is yes.
 
   / Trailer Tire Age #10  
I wondered why my second hand tires kept unwinding and tearing the fenders off my old trucks. Dump truck tires cost 1500 for the 350. This is what I use to pull the tractor; so it is money well spent.
 
 
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