The Trailer Safety Industry Coalition (TSIC) is a coalition of trailer manufacturers formed to identify and address issues that can improve the safety of towable equipment. The TSIC is developing a series of safety tips to assist consumers maintain towable equipment that provides safe and trouble-free operation.
Lug Nut Torquing
Being sure wheel mounting nuts (lug nuts) on trailer wheels are tight and properly torqued is an important responsibility that trailer owners and users need to be familiar with and practice. Inadequate and/or inappropriate wheel nut torque (tightness) is a major reason that lug nuts loosen in service. Loose lug nuts can rapidly lead to a wheel separation with potentially serious safety consequences.
TSIC requests your assistance in eliminating wheel separations.
- Be certain you have a clear understanding of the specific wheel maintenance responsibilities your vehicle manufacturer requires/recommends you, as the owner, must perform in order to insure your wheel equipment is safely maintained. Check the lug nut tightness often, especially during the first few hundred miles of the trailer�s use, and at least twice per year. You should always check torque at the beginning of any long trip and every time a wheel is removed. Refer to the owner�s manual and speak with your dealer if you have any questions about proper torque practices.
- The only way to be certain you have checked the torque or torqued the lug nuts to the proper torque is with a torque wrench. Four-way wrenches, ratchets, and similar tools can be useful for short-term emergency repairs but are not appropriate tools for accurately checking lug nut torque. You must use a torque wrench to accurately indicate the torque that you are applying to the lug nut.
- Keep a record of the date and approximate mileage when you check the lug nut torque. Note any lug nut that has lost torque. Investigate the reason(s) if the lug nut torque is not maintained after 2 or 3 re-torque applications because this indicates there is something wrong with the nut studs, wheels and/or hubs and should be corrected.
- Contact your dealer or vehicle manufacturer immediately if you experience any persistent lug nut loosening or any other lug, wheel or axle problems.
- In the event of a wheel separation incident, notify the vehicle manufacturer and dealer. Seek prompt professional assistance in assessing the trailer and its gear, and retain, but don�t re-use involved lugs, wheels and studs. Don�t repair or service the trailer yourself. Call a trained technician.