So, having finally got to a computer, this is the story.
A few weeks ago I replaced my brake shoes, got everything adjusted and working and out back together. Having had brakes seize on before I was paranoid about overheating so on my journey to hull I checked the hubs a few times to make sure all was well. Everything worked well and there were no issues. I arrived and loaded up the new boat, adjusted the supports and following a hand over, set off on my way.
About 15 mins later, thankfully on slow dual carriageway whilst slowing for lights, the left wheel detached and the trailer hub hit the floor. I stopped and retrieved the wheel and managed to find all of the wheel nuts. Strangely they all landed within 12" of each other, which I find a little surprising. I thankfully has a bottle jack and the truck jack in the boot and a full socket set so re-attached the wheel as quickly as possible and cleared the road. Being a dual carriageway, I was thankfully no more than an annoyance to other drivers, and didn't cause too much chaos. Once slowly on the way I looked for a safe place to pull over and stumbled on an ATS Euromaster within a few hundred meters. They very kindly had a look and agreed that the hub damage was too great to continue as the brakes were rubbing on one spot indicating an oval hub. I called the AA who agreed to come and take the trailer home. It took a few hours but a male in a safe compound is low priority, but the came and loaded my new pride and joy onto the recovery truck and it eventually arrived home at about half past midnight, in pristine condition and no wore off for its drama.
It was a long day but one I shall learn from. I can only assume I didn't check the wheel nit torques properly after I re-fitted the wheel but I was lucky, in a way. Loosing the wheel on the motorway could at best have really damaged the boat or lead to a horrendous accident with lives lost or ruined. What I have learned:-
1. Check wheel torques regularly, particularly before long journeys.
2. Make sure I carry a jack suitable for lifting a floored trailer. I couldn't do it with one jack alone as the lift from the bottle jack wasn't enough. I had to lift, prop, adjust jack (screw top bit), re-lift.
3. Make sure I have the means to remove and re-fit wheel nuts.
4. And one the AA driver mentioned, many people carry a spare trailer wheel, but they are often secured with U-bolts or nuts that aren't the same size as wheel nuts. Make sure you can remove your spare from the holder. Also, security nuts or wheel clamp nuts can be a different heat size too.
Following this I'll be putting together a small tool kit which will travel with the trailer.
Although it was a long day, and far from my finest, it was made a lot easier by the people I met along the way. The guys at Humber were really friendly and helpful, The guys at ATS looked at the trailer for free for me and let me drink their coffee for 3 hours and the AA were very professional, courteous and friendly. A big thanks to them all.
Now, although I have a trailer to repair, I can at least look forward to rigging my new boat and years of great boating. If I, or others can learn from my experiences, all the better!