How do you learn? Answer.....Usually, when something happens to you.....This post will not be of interest to most. But, if you pull any type trailer on a regular basis or Don't put much mileage on your car....It may be a worth while read.
We barrel race and pull a 4 horse trailer with Living Quarters. We had the tires rotated and bearings greased recently. There was one tire that was worn more than the others and that bothered us a bit. We carry Two spare tires, because they are 14 ply and they can't just be found anywhere when out on the road. We were getting ready to go to the Lucky Dog Barrel race in Searcy, AR. So, we decided to take the one tire off and put one of the spares on. The spare has never been on anything... That spare lasted.....almost 2 1/2 hours, when we heard a POP! We could NOT believe it was the spare. We put on the other spare. That spare tire made it to Searcy, (about 30 mins) and then almost another hour on the way home. POP! Are you kidding me! Neither time were we in a great place to be changing a tire that was on traffic side. Guess What? The tire that we originally pulled off the trailer, got put back on. Before, we took off again....I prayed! We didn't have another spare and it was Sunday.
So, this morning I decided to Google, How long do tires last? The articles that I found explained that a tire might Age Out, before the Treads Wear Out. So, that spare that has never seen pavement, may not be any good! Our spares were brand new in my eyes and most every other person that hasn't read up on tires.
The articles tell how to the read all those numbers on a tire. One of those numbers is a DOT number. The entire DOT number may be on only ONE side of the tire. Our spare had OJ 21XA4 4308. The last four digits are the ones of interest. They tell when your tire was made. Our tire was made the 43rd week of 2008. According to some of the articles tires should not age out till 6-10 years with proper maint. But, then you have to add in all the other factors, the sun, dry rot, heat, elements.... ..So, for some reason, I am feeling a little cheated. What happened to 6 - 10 years? Those tires were not in the sun, not in the heat, (trailer is kept in a garage) the elements were min, BUT neither lasted a trip. A man that we know that sells tires, said you should replace your tires every five years regardless....
Now, we need spares and the tires on the trailer were bought May 2010. We are about to get all new tires and use the three good ones taken off the trailer for spares... Ain't nobody got time for a Flat when on a trip with horses!
Safe Travels and Check the tire year out on your trailer tires and SPARE!