Anyone had a trailer wheel work loose?

I was driving back from the ramp yesterday when the trailer started handing a bit funny, before I could find a spot to pull over and check someone came up along side me and said the back wheel on the trailer was about to fall off. That got me off the road pretty quickly and sure enough, the back left trailer wheel (tandem trailer) was very loose.

I remember there was a vid getting on fb a while ago regarding someone who had their lug nuts loosened at the ramp, was wondering if anyone has experienced this in Perth? 

Hubs were replaced 18months ago and apart from the coral bay trip which followed, Ive only done trips to the ramp since. All other lug nuts were tight on the trailer and we’re all originally tightened by myself. I know these things can happen but at the same time I couldn’t help but be suspicious. I’ve never seen it happen on a trailer other than the fb post.



aka Nick

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Sun, 2019-01-13 10:37

 You'll never know unless there is CCTV footage but beside that even if it happened to someone else, doesnt mean it was done to yours.
If there hasnt been a spnner on them in 18 months, it should be obvious if someone has put one on it, doesnt look that way in the pics though?


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


carnarvonite's picture

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Sun, 2019-01-13 11:35

 Agree with Rob, rust wouldn't happen in the  few hours since the trailer was dipped on launch and retrieve.

All it takes is one nut to be slightly loose and over time it gradually undoes and affects its neighbours, then bingo the wheel starts to wobble and they all start to unwind together'


Never in some 50 years of owning trailer boats have I heard of someone loosening peoples wheel nuts randomly, all this in my opinion is trying to shift the blame away from lack of maintenance

Paj man's picture

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Bad luck

Sun, 2019-01-13 12:06

im thinking it’s probably more bad luck then

Was thinking it could’ve been down last weekend at the ramp but seems pretty unlikely 


aka Nick

Paj man's picture

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That’s what I was thinking too

Sun, 2019-01-13 10:43

but there was some fresh rust on the lugs and if it’s had a dunk in between the lugs being loosened then maybe? 

Just to be clear I’m not blaming, more wondering.


aka Nick

Rick's picture

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Hard to say

Sun, 2019-01-13 11:28

Not easy from the photo, but doesnt look like it was done recent, maybe the bearing is failing and that started it ?


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Paj man's picture

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Could be bearing

Sun, 2019-01-13 12:06

although they were tight when I checked a couple of months ago 


aka Nick

Cruise Control's picture

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Was it a right hand wheel ?I

Sun, 2019-01-13 12:22

Was it a right hand wheel ?

I had a right wheel come off a trailer many, many years ago. I was told, whether or not it’s right I don’t know, that the right hand wheel nuts can loosen under some circumstances. Something to do with direction of rotation of the nut on the thread.

I had recently done the bearings myself but I was a bit of a novice and I think that I had not tightened the lug nuts adequately so if this was the cause I have no one else to blame but myself. I now regularly run a brace over the lug nuts before travelling. Lesson learned.

Paj man's picture

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Left hand

Sun, 2019-01-13 12:28

Was the left handed wheel which to my understanding shouldn’t get loose with the rotation. But I’m sure a busted bearing could spell things differently haha.

I’ll be checking the wheels a lot more frequently now for sure. 


aka Nick

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Sun, 2019-01-13 12:29

double post


aka Nick

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Lost a wheel off a cruiser

Sun, 2019-01-13 12:32

Lost a wheel off a cruiser years ago, my fault as should have rechecked the tension after a few k's. Use a tension wrench now and always recheck them.

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wheel lose

Sun, 2019-01-13 13:15

I had one wheel (tyre and rim) come off on my single axle trailer travelling at 100Kph through that windy road between horrocks and port Gregory, was a bit of a scare and I initially thought someone one had tampered with them, but really I was staying in an isolated area and its extremely unlikely anyone had motive or pppurtunity to touch it. I had never had this issue before

Also why wheel on the LHS of the trailer ended up on the opposite side of the road so I am lucky nobody was coming the other way

Fortunately I had a spare hub on the front drop down wheel as my stud threads and rim were completely flogged out, and I had a mate stop who had an extra jack as on a single axle on the side of a crappy road it difficult to get a flat area to jack the trailer up high enough

after that trip I put the torque wrench on them and tightened them so hard that I thought it was possibly going to snap the stud 80lb/ft IIRC
just last week I changed my wheel bearings and noticed the stud nuts weren't as tight as I had done them some 12 months previous, so my lesson learned is to periodically check them and give a tighten especially before long trips.

glad you didn't have the full inconvenience I had

quadfisher's picture

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Sun, 2019-01-13 17:59

 Yep was going to mention that , at work ( mining) they had a few wheels loosen , so I happened to mention that most manufactures give a exact tension reading 

 for wheel nuts , so they bought a tension wrench instead of the old crossbar wheel brace and bingo , no more loose wheels. 

 Gq patrols used to have the same thing happen, esp to old caravan boys whose arms maybe had lost some strength , so the fix was a 2 part tension sequence

 starting at 40 lbs  all round followed by 80lbs or something with a proper wrench. 

 I did it with mine , and as mentioned it feels lots more than you would do with a stanard wheel brace.

 I do believe the tension is required to just stretch the stud enough to lock it up preventing loosening.



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Check the angle of the wheel

Sun, 2019-01-13 13:18

Check the angle of the wheel nuts. I believe wheel nuts come with 2 angles and any trailer place should let you know. Checking your wheel nuts should be part of scheduled maintenance. 

tot's picture

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Sun, 2019-01-13 13:25

got to 3 mile to discover the spare on the drop down was no longer the spare on the drop down.. and that was after a couple of checks on the way in.

What a piss off!! The bastard must have bounced as was nowhere to be seen when I drove back to where I had the last piss stop/crack a freshy.

Got lucky borrowing one for a few days then into ctown and bought 2. Now always have a spare for the spare which is a good habit to have in the nw regardless.

Have had the car wheel nuts rattling in the hub caps after a new set of rubber. I think 3 nuts were off that time. 


Reverse cycle a/c supply and install - Ducted and wall splits

ranmar850's picture

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I've had a few loosen for various reasons over many years

Sun, 2019-01-13 13:26

 1) nip them up then drop off the jack and forget to tighten properly. They loosen REAL quick like that

2) alloy wheels on boat trailer were always corroding, needed constant re-torquing as they would shuffle and loosen off. Forgot to do it once, 600k after refittting, dropped a wheel on the Exmouth road. Meant to re-torque at Carnarvon.

3) tandems stress their centres enormously when you are turning tightly, I believe they are more prone to loosen, due to the centre flexing.


But yeah, tighten them up well when you check your bearings annually, then re-check afterwards.


And no one had asked the obvious question, or am I missing something--what happened to your bearing buddy/cap? Rim couldn't have come into contact with it.

z00m's picture

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Sun, 2019-01-13 13:37

Looking at the pic it looks more like a bearing issue caused a vibration that loosened the wheel nuts. There is grease every where flung from the bearings when the bearing cap vibrated loose as well. 

Scotte's picture

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looks more like the wobble on

Sun, 2019-01-13 13:51

looks more like the wobble on the wheel has caused the hub cap to come in contact with the axle nut, blowing the cap off at speed.

Paj man's picture

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Bearing buddy

Sun, 2019-01-13 17:18

came off in between the ramp and when I pulled over. Max speed was 70km/hr and I figured the lose wheel flopping about had something to do with it. 


aka Nick

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Good thing old mate let you

Sun, 2019-01-13 18:20

Good thing old mate let you know.

I had a wheel come off once after buying a trailer for my dinghy and getting the old "bearings have just been done". Drove to Waroona and back, East Freo and back al9ng the freeway and it fell off pushing it into the garage after a washdown. So, so lucky.


Officially off the Pies bandwagon

Paj man's picture

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Far out

Sun, 2019-01-13 18:59

Yeah I’ll owe him a beer if I see him in the pub 


aka Nick

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 Your getting a good innings

Sun, 2019-01-13 20:18

 Your getting a good innings out of them tyres, 11 and a bit years :)

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Link attached.

Mon, 2019-01-14 14:30