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Check Spare Tires Regularly

I was heading to Regina to pick up a car with our car trailer. I stopped at Davidson at the A&W for a burger and some onion rings, and as I came out I saw that I was blessed with a flat tire. No problem, I thought, I’ve got a spare.

As you can see in the picture, however, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. After finding the lock and rolling down the spare tire I noticed that it was still packed with mud from the previous summer. Not only that, but the mud was frozen. No problem, I thought, I’ve got tools. After 25 minutes of chiselling with a screwdriver and a hammer I could take the spare tire cable out of the tire and slide it out from under the truck. After another 15 minutes I almost had enough mud chiselled out of the wheel to bolt it on.

That’s when reality hit me. I have to be in Regina before four p.m. to pick up this car, and if I kept diddling around I’d be late. The flat tire had to be repaired before I could continue as I didn’t want to head out without a spare. No problem, I thought, I’ve got a cell phone; someone in Davidson must fix tires. After a couple of calls to get the right guy who could do it right away I was rescued by Murray from Kal Tire. He was back shortly with my newly repaired tire and he even brought a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts. Thanks, Murray!

What did I learn from this besides that fact that lukewarm onion rings are still good? Perhaps I should check my spare tire and clean it more often. Here’s a list of a few things to check on that often neglected pickup:

Check the spare tire. Make sure the air pressure is up. If it’s in one of those handy dandy underneath carriers roll it down and clean it regularly. Lube the cable a bit. Be careful not to be too rough on the crank assembly. Those gears in there are made of plastic and are about as strong as cheddar cheese.

Clean the mud out of your spare tire. Our truck has a weird rim for a spare which doesn’t have any holes in it other than for the lug nuts and the centre hole. It’s a real mud trap. We should probably get something different that doesn’t trap as much mud and dirt.

Check your jack, lug nut wrench and jack handle. Do you have a locking device on your spare tire or on the wheels? If you do make sure you have that vital part in your truck and you know how to use it.

Make sure you have a flashlight in your truck. Then make sure it works. It’s also handy to have a chunk of clean cardboard with you. It’s real handy

to kneel on when you’re chiselling mud out of a wheel in an icy parking lot.

One more thing that isn’t related to the truck. In our cashless society carry a little cash. It’s really handy to have some cash on hand to pay a bill when you’re on the side of the road and in a rush to keep moving. (Not only that, debit cards and charge cards do not always work, nor do all businesses accept all cards.)

So there are a couple of ideas to keep your wheels rolling. Enjoy the longer days and good luck with your spring machinery repairs.

RonSettlerfarmswithhiswifeandtwosons atLuckyLake,Sask.Contacthimat:306-858- 2681orat [email protected]

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Check your jack, lug nut wrench and jack handle

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