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Maintenance and Vehicle Check

Heading north to Echuca we took an opportunity to pull over, have a drink of water, eat some fruit and do a vehicle check. Giovanni and Sal from G&S Chassis and Macca took a walk around looking at all 34 tyres on the vans plus tow rigs.

It only takes a minute to have a look and check for heat out of tyres and especially hubs. If any of the tyres are hotter than others or you can notice more bulge, then pressures can be checked plus a more thorough check can be undertaken to see if there is a puncture. As always if you can get a puncture repaired or change a tyre for a spare, it is much better than destroying a tyre with the potential of a blowout. Something you wish to avoid.

We carry a range of tools on board including a Pressure Perfect Compressor combining a 12v compressor in a case, plus a separate module that works like the digital control that many petrol stations have to raise or lower pressure to what you set it to on a digital screen. This lets you plug in the compressor set the pressure and it automatically pumps the tyres up to the pressure you have set. Stops you having to continually check the pressure on a gauge and more accurately than an inline gauge often is. You can also leave it and go about other jobs like boiling the billy or continuing with other checks.

After we had checked all the rigs we were having a water and noticed over the fence on the other side of a drainage ditch over 50 meters from the bitumen a wheel and tyre. We walked over and saw it was a trailer wheel and tyre still with tight wheel nuts and a complete hub on the back of it. This was the result of a wheel bearing failure that could have been prevented with routine maintenance before the trip and checks along the road like we described above.

In the unfortunate event of this happening a wheel leaving the trailer at highway speeds, it can travel a long distance, we have helped people on the side of the road and found the detached wheel around a kilometre from it leaving the trailer. Roadside repairs after this are hard as the axle is also often damaged resulting in a tow truck and costly repair.

A caravan or trailer wheel bearing has a hard life. Holding large amounts of weight, harder than the car for servicing schedule as kilometres aren’t recorded so servicing is quite often overlooked. Taking the van in for a pre-trip service is a necessity. In the future, we will post an article as well as a  video demonstrating this. 

Later whilst fuelling up, we noticed a horse truck at the edge of the service station having trouble getting a wheel off. We headed over and had a chat. Turns out they had bought the 1980’s Truck the day before, then picked up a Clydesdale to bring home. Noticing the inner of the dual wheels was flat, they proceeded to get the spare out to continue their journey. Lucky the truck had a full tool kit but the wheel nuts were over tightened and we couldn’t budge them. After a bit of head scratching we used our Pressure Perfect to reinflate the tyre so they could limp down to the local tyre service to repair the tyre.

Stay tuned for our next exciting post!

Written by Jason Lock

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