Trailer Tire Safety

Besides encouraging others and being great advocates for WDAA, Nancy and Randy Conley are actively giving back to the organization. They generously sponsored some classes at this year’s World Show, and they also donated a set of Goodyear trailer tires to be raffled off at the show.

They hoped that the proceeds from the tires would help WDAA fund more educational projects, but they also wanted exhibitors at the show to be talking and thinking about their trailer tires – because far too many people don’t pay enough attention to them.

The Conleys own a Goodyear franchise, Northwest Georgia Automotive, and Randy sees a lot of people traveling down I-75 with tire problems.

“You’re driving 1,000 miles on 20-year-old tires, and you wonder why you’ve made five stops to replace five tires?” he says.

It’s far, far better to keep a close eye on your tires and replace them before you get into a bind on the side of the road.

“If you’re going to travel cross country, replacing tires every six years is a good rule of thumb,” Randy says, “but you also want to look and make sure you don’t see weathered cracking on the sidewall, stuff like that.”

At any signs of weather damage, no matter how new the tires are, they should be replaced.

If you don’t do long-haul hauling but are staying close to home, you could replace your tires every eight to 10 years, Randy says, as long as the tires still look good.

Next question: How do you know how old your tires are?

“Check the dates on the sidewall,” Randy says.

Next to the word DOT, there will be a 10 or 11-digit code. It could be on the inside of the tire. Look at the last three or four digits of that string of numbers.

“If it’s three digits, the tires were made before 2000,” Randy says, and they should be replaced immediately. “For four digits, it gives you the week and the year. So if it says 1418, it means the tires were made the 14th week of 2018. If you had something that said 2013, it’d be the 20th week of 2013.”

Randy also recommends a yearly checkup for trailers.

“If you’re going to travel like we do, every year before we start our season, we go in and pack the wheel bearings, check the brakes, make sure the trailer lights are working. Do that yearly before the season starts.”

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