Buying your first horse was probably quite intimidating. Now that you have been extensively training your horse under saddle and you feel it is ready for competitions, it's time for the equally intimidating task of buying your first horse trailer! Not only will you have to ensure your horse will be safely confined in a moving vehicle, you also need to ensure the safety of everyone on the roadways. An unsafe horse trailer can lead to an accident. It's important to understand that faulty tires are one of the leading causes of accidents and breakdowns, regardless of vehicle. Prior to purchasing a horse trailer and before you set off on every road trip, check the condition of each tire. Here's what to look for.
Are they the right type?
Tires come in many different types. For horse trailers, the tires should be designed for either light truck or special trailer. You should see the letters LT or ST at the beginning of the numbers listed on the side of each tire, for example—ST235/85R16F. For horse trailers, ST tires are preferred because they have stronger sidewalls, which is important for the weight of your horse inside the trailer and when it stomps around. ST tires also help reduce trailer sway due to the high center of gravity of the trailer, particularly when your horse is inside. The reason for this is because ST tires will not flex as much due to the stronger sidewalls.
Are the tires worn unevenly?
Another thing to look for, particularly if you are buying a used trailer, is if the tires are worn unevenly. Unevenly worn tires may signify that the trailer has a bent frame or there is a problem with the axle. If the axle is the culprit, it may just need an alignment. However, if the frame has been damaged, the trailer may need to be reframed in an automotive body shop or by a trailer repair service.
Are they properly inflated?
The tires should be inflated to maximum cold air pressure, which you can find listed directly on the tire sidewalls and in the trailer's owner's manual. Tire pressure should be checked prior to traveling when the tires are cold. It's important to note that for every 10-degree drop in temperature there is a 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in air pressure in the tires. This means that, when you travel in the winter months, the tires on the trailer and on the towing vehicle may need some air. Be sure to check the condition of the tires and the air pressure before loading your horse into the trailer.
When you are ready to make a used horse trailer purchase, reach out to companies like Lakota of Ohio.