Basic Trailer Maintenance
Proper trailer maintenance is essential to safe trailer towing and long trailer life. There are many wear components on a trailer, some of which should be inspected daily while others will require semi-annual or annual inspection. An overall inspection must be performed to the trailer prior to operating inspecting areas such as the trailer mainframe construction for any signs of structural damage and/or fatigue, internal and exterior siding for any signs of damage and that all is in good operating condition. Any areas that are damaged and/or showing excessive wear must be replaced or repaired prior to operating the trailer.
Some key considerations for basic maintenance include:
- The usage and mileage of a trailer will affect the frequency of the inspections required for each trailer. If the trailer is hauled regularly over rough terrain, then an accelerated maintenance schedule is recommended.
- Daily inspection for wear, tightness and proper function condition must be performed on such items as the hitch, breakaway kit, lights, brakes, wheels, wheel lug nuts, tire wear, tire pressure, oil levels in oil bath hubs, hangers, hanger nuts/bolts, shackle straps, shackle nuts/bolts, U bolts, U bolts nuts/bolts.
- Ramps, doors, windows, gates, dividers, latches and other such items must be inspected to ensure that they are functioning properly and safely. All locking mechanisms must also be inspected to ensure that they are functioning properly and safely.
- Items that require semi-annual or annual inspection depending upon usage are brake drums, brake magnets, brake linings, brake pots, wheel bearings and races, suspension parts, and trailer electrical wiring. Items found to have excessive wear must be replaced prior to operating the trailer.
- Proper care and maintenance of the wheel bearings will ensure longer bearing life. This includes the regular repacking of the wheel bearing and the replacement of wheel seals. Various capacity axles require different maintenance schedules and procedures. Most axle manufacturers provide an operator's guide in assisting with these procedures.
Key Wearable Items
Axle, Brakes & Tires
- Wheel Bearings
- Brake Drums
- Brake Magnets