Before You Haul, Check the Tires

Studies show that the leading factor in roadside breakdowns is improperly inflated tires. Additionally, as temperatures cool across the country, tire pressures will decrease. Given these facts, USRider reminds equestrians and others who travel with horses to perform periodic air pressure checks on both their vehicle and trailer tires.

"As the weather patterns transition to cooler temperatures now is a very important time to check tire pressure on all vehicles. A general rule of thumb is that for every 10-degree change in temperature, tire pressure changes by 1 pound per square inch (PSI). Pressure goes up when temperatures are higher and down when temperatures are lower," said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians.

USRider recommends that motorists check the air pressure at least once a month. Additionally, since tire issues are the number one reason for disablements with a horse trailer, it is recommend that horse owners check the tire pressure on both their tow vehicle and horse trailer prior to each trip.

To determine the correct tire pressure for a car or truck, look for this information on a placard located in an interior doorjamb of the vehicle. This information can also be found in the owner's manual. The air pressure for trailers can be found stamped on the tire sidewall. Tire pressure recommendations are as listed as "Maximum Cold Air Pressure." Unlike vehicle tires, trailer tires should be inflated to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire.

Always check tire pressure prior to traveling while the tires are cold. Tire pressure readings should also be checked while tires are not in direct sunlight, which will increase pressure readings.

"We recommend that horse owners own a high-quality air pressure gauge, know how to use it and know their pressure readings," said Cole. In addition to preventing blowouts, tires that are properly inflated will last longer, handle safer and get better gas mileage, by reducing rolling resistance.

Consider investing in tire pressure monitoring system. This will help alert you to any sudden drops in air pressure, allowing you to take preventive action to avoid a blowout.

For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website.

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