Stop 5 Year Old From Getting In Trouble For Attention Servicing Your Own Trailer – 8 Critical Areas That Need Your Attention

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Servicing Your Own Trailer – 8 Critical Areas That Need Your Attention

With spring on the way and summer on the way, it’s the perfect time to check your trailer’s maintenance so it’s ready to go as soon as possible. You never know when you’ll get the urge to take the boat out, or if you’ll need to clean up the trailer after a summer storm.

The keys to maintaining your trailer cover a number of items across the trailer in a similar way to a car service. The 8 critical areas that require your attention include wheel bearings, tires, brakes (if fitted), electrical wiring and connections, lights, clutch and the physical condition of the trailer body (eg winch cables and rollers on a boat trailer; gate, cage and tool box on box trailer) and signage.

1. Wheel Bearings – These are a critical part of your trailer’s performance and should be repacked every 2 years, or every year if your trailer has a heavy workload (eg you travel long distances or work in harsh conditions). The last thing you need in the middle of working or towing your boat is for a wheel bearing to fail, so it’s best to have it repaired by a qualified mechanic who will remove the bearings, clean and repack them, and replace the seals. .

2. Tires – This is both the condition of the tires and the tire pressure on the trailer plus your reserve. Check tire wear and look for nicks, stones and metal objects that may be embedded in the rubber. Tires need enough grip to brake effectively and to help stop the trailer from “fishing” or blowing across the road. And you don’t want a flat tire, so replace worn tires. Also, keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure to account for the load you expect from them. It’s always better to have your tires inflated a few psi higher than the recommended pressure. This will distribute the tire’s grip more effectively, prepare you for heavier loads than expected, and generally get better fuel economy.

3. Brakes – if you have a large trailer or tow a boat, then properly functioning brakes are an absolute must for safe driving. Even if you have a large vehicle with 4 wheel drive, they are not designed to stop heavy loads on their own without additional braking capacity. Make sure your brakes are clean and adjust them to get the correct brake load. Your local mechanic can help you with this.

4. Electrical wiring and connections – check the wiring to make sure there are no cuts that could otherwise cause corrosion or wiring failure. Clean all connections and check for corrosion. It is recommended to clean with electrical contact cleaner (this is a spray that you can buy for about $10 a can). And then apply dielectric grease to all joints. This protects the electrical contacts, prevents corrosion and keeps them in good condition.

5. Lights – Test and update lights. With the trailer attached to the vehicle, test all brake lights, turn signals and night lights. If you still have old bayonet or crown lights on your trailer (which are usually difficult to maintain), now is the perfect time to upgrade your lights to LED lights, which are more efficient, brighter and last longer.

6. Clutch – clean the clutch and check its integrity and lubricate as necessary. Also check the set screw at the front, this helps reduce the chatter between the cup and the trailing ball.

7. Body – Check the physical condition of your trailer body for wear and rust, treat with anti-corrosion paint as needed. If you have a boat trailer, check the winch mechanism and rope integrity as well as the rollers. If you have a box trailer, pay attention to the condition of the body, side and cover, as well as the rear doors and their hinges, which are highly susceptible to wear. Also check the condition of the cage and tool box if fitted. Apply hinge grease and anti-corrosion paint to areas of potential corrosion.

8. Marking – check your number plate is clearly visible and well lit at night. You don’t need registration tags anymore, put a reminder on your phone or calendar for the due date.

These simple checks will ensure your trailer is ready for work, camping or boating. Your local mechanic can help you maintain your trailer and make sure it’s roadworthy so you can get the most out of your trailer, no matter what type it is.

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