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Trailer flat tire w/ horses aboard?

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  • Trailer flat tire w/ horses aboard?

    Silly question, perhaps, but if I'm travelling (alone) with my 2 horses, and I get a flat on the trailer, is it safe to keep the horses in the trailer while I back the trailer onto the little 'trailer-aid' ramp to fix the flat? Does it matter if it's a gooseneck or bumper-pull?
    Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe

  • #2
    No simple, "school" answer, here.

    Are you on the side of the interstate with a wide, paved shoulder or on a country road in the mountains with no shoulder? How well trained are your horses? Is the "trailer aid" rated for the loaded weight of the trailer? Is it day or night? Do you have proper road side assistance (like USRider)? The list could go on.

    My preference would be to keep the horses loaded unless absolutely necessary to unload them. Keeping them in means you don't have to worry about them as you deal with the tire problem.

    The best advice I can give: buy USRider coverage and let them deal with the problem.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • #3

      No problemo! Those ramp aid things really work I gotta say!
      Even if the horse moves around some; it stays put. DO NOT unload your horse imho!!


      • #4
        In a perfect world, I am sure it would be best to remove the horses, but the side of any road is not a perfect world. We leave them in and use the trailer aid.


        • #5
          Even having US Rider, you are not guaranteed they can get someone to help you

          All else equal, yes, the Trailer Aid can be used with the horses on board. It's not that much of a tilt to the trailer. Just get to the safest place you can first
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            Question: if you are alone, how would you unload horses, and then back or drive trailer onto trailer-aid? Who is going to hold the horses while you do this? You cannot tie them to the trailer, and then back it onto the ramp.
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


            • #7
              Trailer Aid is safer than using a jack, that trailer might fall off of. Jack will only have a small lifting area, smaller base of support, maybe a small, correct (safe) lift point to put jack under for lift. Moving horses inside trailer, semi truck drafts hitting trailer, all combine to add "motion" to the trailer up in the air. VERY easy for jack to fall over with all that going against it. You only need to get the wheel off the ground enough to pull wheel off and put the spare on. So lift only needs to be an inch with all tire weight on the second half of the tandem tire.

              Having changed tires using a jack and a trailer aid, I MUCH prefer using the trailer aid under the trailer. Less work to get the wheel up, more secure in that up position.

              It is NO FUN changing tires under a loaded trailer, even with a good wide shoulder to pull of onto, on the Interstate, even with a sunny day!!

              Keep the air pressure correct for the tires, check it often, so the tires can work properly. Tires with correct air pressure saves the sidewalls wearing prematurely or heating up with over-flexing, gives you better gas mileage.


              • #8
                Have had to change it twice with a horse in it and it worked just fine. Be sure to loosen the lug nuts before you drive the trailer on to it. US Rider is great, but this was a much faster fix.


                • #9
                  I'll assume you have a trailer-aid. The trailer-aid is the best for changing a tire loaded with horses. I have changed several tires using it. (Fully loaded 3 horse)

                  First pull to a level spot with room to work. Drive slowly. Don't worry if the flat tire is damaged. Your safety is more important than a tire with a hole already! Loosen the lug nuts before anything else. Once the flat tire wheel is in the air you can't loosen the bolts. Put the trailer-aid in front or behind the good tire (this will depend on location of the flat) Because you're alone. One can't tell when the wheel is properly positioned on the trailer-aid.. leave the driver's door open. Sight along the bottom door frame to the ground. (look for a rock or such as a fixed point) Then back or drive forward 18 inches. Set the E-brake hard and transmission in park. Go look at the wheel on the trailer-aid. Adjust as needed. remember to set brake & transmission again.
                  Equus makus brokus but happy


                  • #10
                    What hosspuller said. We've changed a tire on the side of I-65, loaded with three horses. And I have US Rider but I wasn't about to sit there, hoping we didn't get it, with traffic roaring past going 70+ MPH.


                    • #11
                      Keep 'em on board. There's really no place for the trailer to go with four wheels, given only one is flat. Hardest thing that you will do will be to back the trailer onto the correct place on the Trailer-aid chock while alone. Worth it to find a nice flat place on the highway that lets you pull right off(at least the truck/trailer width again away from the breakdown lane). You really cannot be far enough away from the highway edge. Just pay attention that the trailer wheel you are putting on is right side out(yes I have found our trailer with a wheel on backwards). Unless you are truly OCD and check daily, recheck your spare's tire pressure after you have mounted it at the nearest garage.


                      • #12
                        The Trailer Aid is designed to be used with the horses on board. Back up (or drive forward, depending on front or back tire) slowly and you should feel a very slight dip as the wheel settles into the well of the Trailer Aid. Make SURE to block one of the wheels. As said, loosen the lug nuts first. Change the tire (the hardest part - trailer tires are heavy), hand tighten the lug nuts, drive off the Trailer Aid and tighten the lug nuts.

                        One thing not mentioned is that normally road service people won't touch a horse trailer because they have to find and bring out a hydraulic jack. If you have a regular road service, just call and tell them you have a flat tire. When they get there, bring out the Trailer Aid and have them guide you up onto it and let them change the tire. Works great! Ask me how I know.
                        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                        Now apparently completely invisible!


                        • #13
                          Been there done that with a 28' gooseneck. No problem.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by katarine View Post
                            What hosspuller said. We've changed a tire on the side of I-65, loaded with three horses. And I have US Rider but I wasn't about to sit there, hoping we didn't get it, with traffic roaring past going 70+ MPH.
                            I have USRider. But for a flat, instead of waiting, I can using the trailer-aid be changed & on the road in less than 15 minutes. Road service will take longer than that just to get to you.
                            Equus makus brokus but happy


                            • #15
                              Trailer aid is a wonderful thing!
                              Pao Lin


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by hosspuller View Post
                                First pull to a level spot with room to work. Drive slowly. Don't worry if the flat tire is damaged. Your safety is more important than a tire with a hole already!
                                HOWEVER... if you've had a blowout and there are pieces of tire flopping about, it is possible that one of those pieces will hit and damage the valve stem on the good tire, leaving you with TWO flats. That was not a fun day. The trailer now sports two spares.

                                While I'm not advocating changing a tire in the middle of a traffic lane, you're probably safe enough pulled over on the side of the freeway vs. trying to get to the next exit.

                                If you have a drive-on trailer aid, check that it actually lifts the second tire high enough off the ground when the trailer is loaded. There are different heights available. A friend of mine had one of the small black plastic ones, and we *had* to unload the horses to get the flat tire off.
                                ... and Patrick


                                • #17
                                  Make sure you not only have a TrailAid but also a torque wrench (to get the lugs back on with the correct torque), breaker bar (to get the lugs off) AND the correct size attachment for your lugs (it's probably not the same as your truck). I'll also second the suggestion to carry two spares. I've had one flat in my life and of course it was on the trailer, thank goodness for US Rider. Live and learn!


                                  • #18
                                    Been there done that. Yes, trailer aid works well, even the one hubby made. Trailered for over 30 years and I've had 3 blowouts in 1 year.

                                    Summer 2012 on the side of highway 2 in AB, and it was crazy busy Sunday home traffic. Coach stopped behind us and helped but there was no place to get off the road. Tire got put on backwards. I stopped to retorque and found it and then had to do it all over again but at least in a quiet place. Of course it was scorching hot.

                                    Next time, I will travel on the blown tire and wreck it rather than risk life on the side of a busy highway.

                                    Never unloaded the horses when using the trailer aid.



                                    • #19
                                      This thread reminds me that one time, on I-75 here in GA, I saw a state patrol officer changing a tyre on a horse trailer. In the middle of summer. With horses on board.

                                      I sure hope that the owner of those horses send an attaboy letter to GSP headquarters to thank that officer.

                                      I would not take horses off of a trailer on the side of the road. Too many bad things can happen. I'd leave them on. I have the foamy stuff for tyre leaks, it works unless there is a big cut. And my cousin gave all of us years ago one of those air pumps that works off of the cigar lighter or cell charger. That thing is really great. I pumped up a flat tyre on my truck with the air pump filled that tyre up within a few minutes. I also have AAA, which is great for flat tyre and other automotive issues when traveling.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thanks all - good information! And very good to know these things BEFORE I need to know them. I have US Rider and a trailer aid. Didn't know there are different sizes of those... must investigate!
                                        Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe