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Caravan, Trailer and Horse Float Tyres: Don’t Let Near-New Tyre Tread Fool You

When it comes to safety, there is a lot riding on your tyres. Your vehicle can only accelerate, brake or steer if the correct contact exists between the tyres and the road. If you are travelling on old tyres, the stability and ride can be affected. So how do you know when caravan, trailer and horse float tyres need replacing?

Caravan, trailer and horse float tyres: tread is not the only safety indicator

At Rego’s & More in Richmond and Windsor, we see a lot of caravans, trailers and horse floats. Even though your tyres might still have good tread from minimal use, they may still require attention. This is because tyres deteriorate over time. Sidewall cracks or rips are a good indicator that your tyres are due for replacement. Other signs include anything which exposes the underlying carcass or canvas, or bulges indicating internal damage.

Caravan, trailer and horse float tyres: when should you replace them?

Carefully examine your tyres to determine if they remain in satisfactory condition. Check for loose bearings and sidewall cracks. Try to replace your old tyres when the tread becomes shallow or sidewall cracks develop. As a general guide, horse float owners should buy new tyres at least once every six years, even when the horse float has had minimal use. Don’t forget to maintain your spare tyre too.

Caravan, trailer and horse float tyres: other considerations

Regular inspections can extend the life of your tyres. Be sure to do so before and after every trip. Your inspection should include checking that all lights still work. Test the brakes while travelling slowly. Look for loose wires, rust and broken hinges. Ensure the nuts remain tight. If your horse float has a wooden floor, make sure you thoroughly check the boards for signs of deterioration. Replace timber that has begun to rot. The floor must remain strong to support the weight of your horses.

How do you check the age of your caravan, trailer and horse float tyres?

This point is not well known, and it’s a problem for trailers which tend to do very few kilometres. Tyres come up for replacement by age, whereas cars tend to do enough kilometres to replace by wear. Even worse, all tyres lose air over time and trailers generally are not serviced often so they are at risk of running under-inflated, or correctly inflated for no load, but under-inflated when loaded. All tyres have a date stamp or DOT manufacture date code of four digits. The format is a week, then a year of manufacture, so 1021 is the 10th week of 2021, or March 2021. Some older tyres may have a single digit for a year, for example, 328 would be the 32nd week of 2008.

The DOT manufacture date may be only on one side of the tyre, so if you don’t see it on one side, look on the other. There are other DOT codes to do with the plant the tyre was made at, but it’s the age you need to be concerned with.

Now you know the age of your tyre – how old is too old? It depends on many factors. Here at Rego’s & More in Richmond and Windsor, we are experts in a full range of mechanical services and we consider ourselves experts when it comes to caravan, trailer and horse float tyres.

For more information, give our Richmond team a call on 02 4588 5588 or our Windsor team on 02 4506 0750.

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