Those of us in the northern states are still months away from getting out our lawn mowers, utility trailers, boats or ATVs for spring clean-up and activities. Our equipment has already been sitting idle for a long time. A check and mid-winter maintenance on ATV tires, trailer tires and mowers is a good idea. A quick visual check and moving the equipment around to ensure one part of the tire does not weaken unnecessarily can save you money in the spring by preventing further damage to incorrectly stored and maintained tires. Here is how to do mid-winter maintenance on ATV tires, trailer tires, and lawn equipment.
Mid-winter Maintenance on ATV Tires, Trailer and Mower Tires
Tires that sit for extended periods of time lose air pressure. It is possible that the tires on your ATVs, trailers and lawn equipment have lost enough air that the sidewall of the tires are bulging out more than they would under load at the correct inflation. If the tires were low when the equipment was first parked, or the tires have a slow leak, it is possible that the tires have deflated entirely. The wheel, and weight of the equipment could be pinching the side of the tire. If left for extended periods of time in this position, the cords in the side of the tire will kink and weaken. This can be prevented by simply inflating the tires back to the recommended air pressure. Make sure to replace the valve caps after checking and adjusting the air pressure as valve caps are an extra line of defense against a slow leak through the valve.
Reposition the Tires
Moving the equipment so that it is resting in a different position on the tire is a good idea to prevent flat spots, particularly if you are in a cold climate and the vehicle is stored outside. By doing mid-winter maintenance on ATV tires and moving the equipment, you are reducing the strain on the part of the tire that is taking the weight. If the equipment is large and heavy, you should even consider taking all the weight off the tires by storing the equipment on jack stands. This ensures the tires do not permanently deform and flatten out. Bias-ply tires on heavy trailers and equipment are particularly prone to this condition if left sitting idle for extended periods of time.
Protect the Tires from the Elements
If your equipment is stored outside, the tires on your equipment will degrade because of UV rays and oxidization. You can reduce these harmful effects by using tire covers while they sit un-used over the winter. Another way to combat oxidation is to store your equipment in insulated storage. If inside storage is not an option, good mid-winter maintenance on ATV tires and other tires includes running the equipment to get the tires up to operating temperatures. When in use, tires flex and heat up. This causes the oils in the natural rubber to release and return to the surface of the rubber in the sidewall area. In effect, running the equipment for long enough to get the tires up to operating temperature “moisturizes” the dry outer layer of the rubber. This will extend the life of your tires, and very possibly eliminate the need to replace the tires in the spring due to cracking.
Replacing Worn or Damaged Tires
If you see a problem with your tires during your check and mid-winter maintenance on ATV tires, trailers, or lawn equipment, now is a great time to buy tires. Many retailers like Tires-easy.com offer low prices in February because it is a slower month for tire sales compared to the busy spring change-over period. Tires-easy.com has a huge selection of Power-sports and ATV tires from brands like Carlisle Tires, Kenda, Greenball and Nanco Tires. For trailers, mowers and lawn & garden equipment check out brands like Titan, Deestone and Power King. These brands have a great selection of radial and bias ply tires for you to choose from, all at excellent pricing. Get ready for spring now with new tires from Tires-easy.com.