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How long will air bags last?

Sep 02, 2016 at 09:09 AM CST
Last month I got some good feedback on the life of rears. But I wonder what you all think about how long air bags can last. The ones on my trailer are nine years old. Should I go ahead and replace them when the rig is in the shop or run them until they start to leak? I have seen some on other trucks blow out but I think usually they begin to leak slowly so that running them to a good shop or home might actually be possible. I saw an article in one of the magazines (should have saved it) that claimed an outfit ran ones on a pnuematic tanker for fifteen years. I got a leak in one of the bags on my tractor after 7 years so i replaced them all. A couple guys asked me why i was changing all four when only one leaked. I thought that was obvious.
Thanks folks.
Replied on Fri, Sep 02, 2016 at 11:32 AM CST
Air bags arent all that really expensive to replace when you want to replace them and have time to do it.. .. But they can be expensive when it shuts down your operation.. Alot of it is how the bags look in general.. Age.. And how far one wants to push them after they start to crack alittle.. Best of luck... Jeff
Replied on Sat, Sep 03, 2016 at 09:20 AM CST
Here is my two cents. Deflate the bags, then look for cracks on the bag portion that turns under on the bottom, it makes a U....if they are cracked there I always replace them. Bags are fairly cheap. I do always go with a name brand like Firestone....not sure if China is making them yet, but worth staying away from.
Replied on Mon, Sep 05, 2016 at 06:58 PM CST
- 1
I replace more air bags due to rust through where the upper base bolts to the trailer. Usually it is hard to locate the leaking one with out disconnecting the supply to them individually.
Replied on Wed, Sep 07, 2016 at 08:35 AM CST
Just start replacing them one at a time until you have them all done, for peace of mind sake. If they are looking cracked or frayed replace those first. I have one that is only two years old that I have to replace, small pin hole leak. There really is no set time for them, you got to go with your gut. Like Jeff and Jason said better to replace them at home vs. on the road.
Replied on Thu, Sep 08, 2016 at 01:27 PM CST
Usually,10 years or so,but I do keep an eye on them as they age..Once I see frayed threads I start to get ready and wait for slow leak..They don't blow but will leak,plus I drive the truck&trailer so I know it like the back of my hand...No big deal..
Replied on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 01:08 PM CST
John Bigham,
You nailed it. I had one bag start leaking right where the top meets the frame. I was able to get all four replaced without missing any loads, but that was partly luck. I will probably retire long before these ones wear out.