The Saga of the Trailer Wheel

‘Why can’t things just be simple?’ I complained to my husband for what felt like the hundredth time this month. Our lives right now feel like a television drama. You know the sort; someone is murdered every week and you wonder how anyone even lives in the area any more. Or every villager has to get a gory injury or a weird tropical disease every single series just to keep the village doctor busy. In our case, something always has to happen, and when it does, it’s either 3 things at once, or one thing that is not that simple to sort out. Or three things, one of which is proving to be a pain. To catch up, read about our latest adventure here.

So to recap quickly, we have a 3-wheeled trailer and one totally knackered wheel. The wheel nuts were still firmly secured to the spindles on the hub, and the hub turned as I tried to loosen them, making it impossible to undo them. Over the weekend DH priced up a new wheel and some wheel nuts. The wheel came up at £117 and the wheel nuts at £3.50 each. As we were potentially looking at replacing all 20 wheel nuts, this was going to be an expensive job, and money’s a bit tight at the moment what with DH unable to work and his insurance hasn’t paid out yet. We headed up to a nearby industrial estate on Monday to try our luck at sourcing some second-hand parts. The vehicle scrap yard came up with a hub that looked like it should fit, he said we could take it away to try and if it fit come back to get the tyre swapped. Win! Next stop was the trailer specialist shop for wheel nuts. I went in and explained the issue, and he told me that there were about 8 choices when it came to wheel nuts and that I should bring one in if I could. We went home, tried the new hub and got a wheel nut off one of the other wheels. It appeared that proper wheel nuts were used on 3 wheels, and the missing wheel had normal nuts on, which is why it ripped off.

Next day, we went back, armed with the old wheel, the new hub, and a wheel nut. We got the tyre swapped to our new hub, and went on to the trailer shop for some nuts. He gave me 5 free of charge, and we headed home to regroup.

The nuts were the wrong size. It was Tuesday afternoon, I had to go to work, I had work on Wednesday morning, we were due to take the trailer to the garage to get them to take the old nuts off, and we needed a fully functional trailer for Thursday, as we have to gather all our sheep in, vaccinate and drench them and move them to new grazing. It was too late to do anything on the Tuesday, so we were wracking our brains trying to think of somewhere we could get wheel nuts that fit.

On Wednesday morning I asked my boss if he knew where we could get some wheel nuts, and he suggested trying a neighbour who runs a construction business, but also does bits of mechanics and tractor contracting. I took a wheel nut over after breakfast and spoke to his foreman. He found me some that looked similar, said I could try one and if it fitted, take the trailer over and he’d get the wheel changed. The nut wasn’t quite right, but close enough to fit, and we desperately needed it on the road for that evening. I took the trailer and the new wheel over, and he very kindly switched it over for me, breaking quite a sweat in the process. It turns out that none of the wheels are actually the correct ones, and now one wheels-worth of nuts are not the correct ones either. I think we’re going to have to save up and get a full set of dealer-approved wheels in the future.

Anyway, by late morning on Wednesday we were up and running again, which was just as well as we needed to go and gather up our first batch of sheep after work in the evening. ‘It’s all about the little victories’, as DH keeps reminding me every time I say ‘Why can’t life just be simple?’ That was our Wednesday victory, as little did we know at the time, but things were about go get far less simple. But that’s a story for another day!

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