Basic Trailer Maintenance

Basic Trailer Maintenance

The trailers we use to​ haul our boats, horses, equipment and​ other toys are one of​ our most overlooked and​ under maintained possessions. We rarely think about them until we need to​ take our boat out to​ the lake when the weather warms and​ even then, most of​ us are lucky to​ just check the tire pressure. Keeping your​ trailer in​ good running shape really isn’t that hard and​ can save you​ from at​ best a​ minor inconvenience to​ at​ worst a​ serious accident.

The most common​ maintenance item is​ the bearings. They are without a​ doubt one of​ the more critical items on​ the trailer, especially if​ you​ have a​ boat and​ are submerging your​ wheels in​ the water at​ the boat dock. Once a​ year, you​ should have your​ hubs disassembled and​ thoroughly inspected and​ cleaned. you​ can either do this​ yourself or​ take it​ to​ a​ local auto shop. Whoever works on​ it​ should inspect them for​ wear marks, pits, or​ gouges that could have developed over the last year.

Now that you​ have the wheels off to​ clean the hub assemblies, you​ can get under the trailer and​ inspect the axle and​ springs. Check the axle to​ make sure it​ is​ not bent and​ make sure the springs look to​ be in​ good working order.

Once the hubs have been cleaned and​ repacked and​ the axle has been inspected, you​ can grease the axle. Keeping your​ bearing properly greased can head off a​ lot of​ problems and​ make your​ trailer last longer and​ ride safer. you​ should keep a​ grease gun handy so you​ can always add a​ little to​ the bearings. a​ cordless grease gun might be a​ good investment if​ you​ own a​ fleet of​ trailers. a​ cordless grease gun can make quick work of​ a​ long and​ tedious greasing job.

Also after you​ have been driving for​ a​ while, it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ check your​ hubs and​ bearings for​ excessive heat. an​ over heated hub indicates that something serious is​ wrong and​ causing a​ lot of​ friction. a​ wheel can come completely off a​ trailer and​ cause a​ bad accident. a​ good rule of​ thumb is​ the hub should not be hotter than a​ morning cup of​ coffee. if​ it​ is​ hotter than that, do not drive on​ it​ until the problem is​ corrected.

Trailers are not as​ fun or​ sexy as​ our boats we carry with them, but without a​ properly maintained trailer we would not get very far.

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