Why Wheels Come Loose From Utility Trailers
Please Note:  Recently we have been seeing an increase in accidents when Utility Trailer wheels come flying off. 

Please note: NO INSPECTIONS ON ANY TRAILER ONE POUND under 3,000 GWR even in an inspection state.  We believe that New York is the only State that does inspect on a yearly bases.

In almost every state this issue is going to continue being an ongoing concern.

"HOWEVER, VIRGINIA STATE CODE IS SILENT (and Nationwide)  AS TO ANY DESIGN OR CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS FOR THOSE VEHICLES OR FOR TOWING CHAINS AND HITCHES one pound under 3,000 GWR.  The purpose of this NOTIFICATION is to draw attention to the POTENTIAL dangers of unsafe trailers on roadways in the Commonwealth AND across the NATION  In many cases, towed trailers may be in OBVIOUS violations of safety codes that relate to lighting, braking and inspection requirements.  Wherever possible, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS should be trained in ways to quickly and easily identify such vehicles.  In other cases, a trailer may meet all legal requirements but still be hazardous when used in transportation. 

Our Organization in every state recommends THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE AND OR MEMBERS OF THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY and Other State Assembly's REVIEW THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATIVE CODE AND CONSIDER WAYS TO IMPROVE SAFETY WITH REGARD TO TRAILERS OPERATED ON VIRGINIA ROADS and Nationwide.
    Loose Wheel & Bearing Remnants... What if this would have happened at full highway speed?




    My brother Richard, Patricia Pederson and I had planned to take the boat out today. This would have been our 1st trip of the year. I took my camera with me to take photos of the Mississippi River. We made it as far as the waterfront before the Left (Port) wheel bearing overheated and caused the wheel to fall off.

    Here is a closeup of the left (Port) trailer wheel. The wheel is totally loose but only ½ off. You can see remnants of the old bearing still on the axle. (Most bearing pieces were lost on the road.)

    The 1st step to revove all the damaged parts. Very messy job because of the old grease. At this point once the trailer is jacked up, the wheel can come off hub and all.First order of business was to get the necessary parts. We had no part numbers because of the total destruction of the bearings and loss of parts along the road. We did manage to find the castle nut which would have been the hardest part to find at a store.

    We both knew that measurements would have to be made in order to get the right size bearings. Richard had to improvise and measure with a ruler.

    We went to Oriley Auto Parts first because they were the closest and we still had hope of a quick repair. As expected, they wanted part numbers because it was the only way they knew to get the right part. They were unable to help Richard based on his measurements. They recommended Parts Supply.

    Parts Supply didn't have the needed parts but, they knew what part numbers we may need. They recommended Auto Zone.

    Auto Zone had the Bearings but, not the bearing washer. Richard purchased the bearings and Auto Zone recommended we go to Napa on the frontage road.

    At Napa, we found the washer and dirt cap. At this point we felt we had all needed parts. We too the wheel to Richards house to fix the wheel. However at his house we discovered the outer bearing was right but the inner bearing was not the same as the outer. It was bigger.

    We went back to Napa, found the right bearing complete with cap and seal. At this point we knew we would no longer have any time to make repairs and still put the boat in the water. We went back to the boat to make absolutely sure the parts were right.

    We went back to Richards house, repaired the wheel then took the wheel to the waterfront. The wheel fit and repairs were completed at approximately 15:45 (3:45PM)








    My brother Richard, Patricia Pederson and I had planned to take the boat out today. This would have been our 1st trip of the year. We made it as far as the waterfront before the Left (Port) wheel bearing overheated and caused the wheel to fall off.

    Here is a better view of the obvious slanted wheel. It is leaning and the splash guard is down on the wheel. We made it as far as the waterfront before Richard noticed the problem.

    At this point we knew we would not be able to get the boat back home unless the problem is fixed. Richard and I are both skilled mechanics so we knew we could possibly salvage enough time to get out on the river after repairing the wheel.

    We knew we had only until about 16:00 (4PM) to fix this or we would have to leave the boat at the waterfront. Richard plays the organ at Jacques' Cafe.
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