Check your tires
Your trailer’s tires may not be as safe as you think
Now’s the time to finish those winter repairs and renewals of our boats. If your boat is on a trailer, make sure the trailer is ready for boating season.
An often overlooked item on trailers is the tires. We rarely put enough mileage on a set of tires to make significant wear on the tread, but that doesn’t mean the tires don’t have any wear. Sun, air and moisture deteriorate the cordage and rubber in the tires, making them unsafe for road use and causing catastrophic failure such as a blowout.
Tires come with a DOT number molded into the sidewall. This string of letters and numbers ends with numeric digits indicating the month and year of manufacture. For example, 4008 means the tire was made in the 40th week of 2008. Tires made before 2000 may have a DOT number ending with three digits.
At what point does a trailer tire become dangerous? The life of a tire exposed to the elements is five years. If the tire has been covered, given load relief and protected from moisture, the maximum lifespan is 10 years.