24 November 2004

The Wrong Way to Transport a Car

VEHICLE COVERED: 1953 Packard Caribbean convertible

WHAT WENT WRONG: On his way from his home in Texas to a car show in South Dakota, the insured was transporting his 1953 Packard Caribbean convertible, which he’d carefully tied to a dual axle trailer. The trailer tires were sturdy 8-ply steel-belted radials. Yet despite having only 2,000 miles on them; the left rear tire blew out on Highway 335, near Topeka, KS.

Fortunately, the trailer didn’t flip over, and the car stayed tight. However, pieces of the trailer’s fender flew into the beautifully restored Packard.

DAMAGE: The following items had to be repaired or replaced: various door, rocker and wheel opening moldings, door handle, door glass and a taillight. In addition, the left door and left quarter panel had to be repainted. Total cost was $1,386.63.

CAUSE: The cause of the blowout remains unknown; It could have been anything from a defective belt in the tire, to a slow leak, to a road hazard that caused a puncture.

While there is no way to totally safeguard against the unknown, developing good habits like checking the air in your trailer tires at every gas stop as well as making a visual inspection can help. Further, a double-axle trailer will always provide a greater margin of safety than a single one.

3 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Joel Hoffman Cary, NC September 26, 2014 at 15:53
    Another trailer lesson I've earned is to replace the tires periodically. Most people don't trailer enough miles to read them out, and forget about damage from age. Over the years, I've lost two tires while trailering, fortunately on a double axle model. Even with a torn up fender, I was lucky to not have any vehicle damage. My two trailers now have new tires on them.
  • 2
    Walter Clark Southeastern Arizona February 8, 2017 at 22:23
    The article fails to tell us the age of the tires. Mileage does not matter. I have the same two axle trailer it gets new tires every 4 years no matter what. My vintage cars that I haul around are far more valuable that a set of old tires. Re-tire every 4 years and you won't have any trouble. I know, I live in hot desert country.
  • 3
    Bill Lawellin Boise ID February 10, 2017 at 03:35
    I believe there are other factors influencing the age of tires besides date. Is the trailer: stored indoors; climate controlled; raised to remove load on tires; are tires covered when parked while on trip and cleaned after trip; how many miles used annually...I too live in hot desert country and I'm not persuaded that quality tires should be retired after 4 years.

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