We Got A FLAT!
Have you ever had to change out a tire on your tuck or trailer? It's something I always dread, but up until this last year, I would say it doesn't worry me as much any more.
I am lucky to have a great teacher, my husband Robert, who is always changing tires and doing mechanical things, I get to observe and maybe even learn a few things here and there. So when it came time to gear up for horse traveling season, I wanted to make sure I was prepared and I asked him to help make sure I would be ok if I had to go about this solo.
This last season I got not one, but TWO flats on my trailer, different occasions. And it's not because my tires were old or worn, just the crap that happens from nails and just bad luck I guess. But I was confident and got both flats changed out in no time, all on my own.
Here are a couple things I had on my check list that made changing these tires easy for me.
#1 Make sure you have a spare tire and it is properly aired up! Check the bolts or screws that will need to be loosened get your spare off and on the ground. On my trailer, I actually have to use two different sized wrenches to get the nuts off. Goofy, but had I not known that, it would have been like I was traveling without a spare tire since I wound't have been able to get it off.
#2 Make sure you check the lug nut requirements for BOTH TRUCK and TRAILER! Some are different, like mine, so I have two lug wheels, one for the trailer and one for the truck.
#3 TRAILER AID!!!! Oh my this is a huge lifesaver! Super easy, you use it to drive your good trailer tire up on, so you can raise and access the flat tire without having to use a jack. I have used mine several times and it's worth every penny. I got mine from Riding Warehouse (click and it will take you to the product), but I'm sure they sell them other places.
#4 Practice at home. This one is very important. Don't get me wrong, it totally sucked having to practice at home, it was something Robert said I should do and I am glad I did. That first time practicing at home was a little difficult trying to find the finesse and order to do things. BUT, since I did this, when it came time to do it on the road in a real life situation, I was not panicked and knew what to do. Practice both truck and trailer changes.
#5 For me, I found it was easier to have my spare tire for the truck, in the bed of the truck, instead of being stored underneath the rig. If I had to work that little scrawny metal jack to lower the tire from underneath, I would be in between my gooseneck and truck, as well as having to get close to sidelining traffic. But if I had it ready in the bed of the truck, it would be much easier for me to access and safer too. See what you think would work best for you.
I hope these few little things can help you become more prepared on the road. I know it gave me a ton of confidence and by the time I got the second flat, I think it took me 10 min to fix it! You will feel more confident if you practice and know what tools you need with you.