How to prevent Blow-outs
Blow-outs (a puncture as you’re driving along in your horsebox) are scary as it can happen suddenly and can make it hard to keep control of the horsebox while a tyre is rapidly deflating and disintegrating. However, in most cases we believe blow-outs can be prevented by carrying out a few simple checks in-order to look after your tyres properly. So, we have put this blog post together in order to talk you through correct tyre maintenance and show you some bad examples that we have seen recently.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a beautiful brand new bespoke Horsebox or one bought second hand; the only things that touch the road are the tyres. So they deserve a good amount of your attention to ensure the safety of yourselves and horses when travelling.
The first step towards preventing blow-outs is to check your tyres regularly. There are 4 things to consider when looking at your tyres:
1: Tread depth– Make sure they have adequate depth to give you good grip on the road. This is especially important when driving in wet conditions. For Horseboxes over 3 Tonnes the legal minimum of 1mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre. However we would recommend changing them before they get to this this legal minimum limit.
2: Inflation– Over or Under inflation is particularly critical as it can cause heat to build up in the tyre which can lead to a blow-out. Incorrect inflation will also hit you in the pocket too, causing uneven wear to the tyres and so shortening their life, but more importantly it can have a detrimental effect on the road handling of your horsebox.
PLEASE NOTE- Take the time to check the inside rear wheel as they are often overlooked!
3: Damage– Check the tread and sidewalls for any slices/piercings in the rubber that could be a weak spot when you are driving. Check to make sure you can’t see any of the wire or cord that reinforces the rubber, please do not move the vehicle if you can as this means the tyre is in very poor condition.
4: Deterioration– The rubber in tyres do not last forever and degrades over time as shown in the image to the right.
You need to check for any cracks or splits in the rubber as this is a sign of an aging tyre that may need to be replaced.
We hope this blog has given you an insight into how to care for your tyres in order to prolong their life and keep you safe whilst you are transporting your horse. As ever if you are unsure of anything when carrying out vehicle checks please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will endeavour to provide assistance.