Routine Trailer Maintenance - Why It’s Important
Keeping your trailer properly maintained is of the utmost importance. Not only are they what keep your cargo safe and secure, but any sort of malfunction or failure can leave you stranded for hours. Not to mention the repair bills that could have been avoided had you proactively maintained your trailer. Keeping your trailer in good condition is a matter of protecting its body, bearings, wheels, suspension, and brakes, amongst other things. At Schroeder, we offer a wide variety of trailer maintenance services that are bound to keep your trailer issue free for years to come. But first, let’s dive into the specifics, shall we?
Why is trailer maintenance crucial?
A trailer is liable to wear and tear, much like any other kind of vehicle or piece of machinery. However, aging may be postponed with routine maintenance, ensuring that the trailer is usable for a very long period. Your trailer will only perform optimally and safely if adequate preventive maintenance is performed. Additionally, it may aid in preventing or delaying significant issues and pricey repairs. Therefore, every minute invested in maintaining a trailer is beneficial.
The good news is that many of these trailer maintenance jobs may be completed by you in your spare time. To do simple trailer troubleshooting, you don't require costly or sophisticated instruments. Minor repairs and maintenance are done by hand rather than using tools.
Regular chores like monitoring tire pressure and cleaning and washing the trailer's inside and exterior are simple to do. Although they may need some simple equipment and knowledge, typical activities like changing light bulbs, lubricating moving components, and diagnosing problems with trailer cables may still be completed. It would be better to seek expert assistance for larger and more complicated operations, such as brake repair, replacement of the full 7-core trailer wire system, and spot welding.
Tips for routine trailer maintenance
Cleaning and washing your trailer on a regular basis does more than just make it look good on the outside. External cleaning prevents the accumulation of contaminants on the body or chassis. Rust may ultimately emerge when dirt and various chemicals are deposited into the metal components of the trailer. It may also give the façade of an aged appearance.
The items you need, including a bucket, hose, brush, and detergent or truck cleaning shampoo, are readily available at most auto part stores. It is preferable to use soft-bristled brushes if the body of your trailer has a truck finish. Be extremely cautious when using stiff-bristled brushes since they may harm the thin lining where the wiring system often runs and expose it. The same rule applies to pressure washers: never use them to clean inside surfaces.
Lubricate Moving Components.
Moving components are prone to wear and strain. Take care to thoroughly clean and lubricate the joints and axles before returning the trailer to the road. Make sure you keep your bearings, races, and other similar components lubricated as well.
It's crucial to use the proper oil for the component you're lubricating. Use pressure from a grease gun to apply lubrication to sealed components like wheel bearings. Meanwhile, oily lubricant sprayed by spraying is advised for hinges (door and gate).
Examine your exterior lights
To keep your trailer safe, do another simple maintenance task: solve any issues with the trailer lights. Check the condition of the light bulbs first, then work on the trailer cable or connection. Typically, just broken lights need to be replaced instead of the 5-core trailer wiring.
Check your trailer's lights often, especially the taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Driving with damaged lights increases your chances of being in a truck accident and may result in a stop and a fine. While you examine the trailer lights to verify whether they are operational, ask someone to handle the brakes and signals. Usually, a broken light or lamp is the cause of a broken light. Meanwhile, you might notice a problem with the trailer wire or wiring system if there is a delay or if many lights switch on at once.
The light bulb replacement process involves screwing and unscrewing. Trailer light bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including LED, halogen, and incandescent varieties. Make sure you get the same kind of bulb and treat new bulbs with care.
Examine the wiring in the trailer
If the light bulbs are functional, but the lights aren't working, there may be an issue with the tow vehicle's controls, the trailer connection, or the trailer cable. Detach the connection first, then clean the attachment head. The connection could sometimes be mis attached or loose. There may be some wires that need crimping or tightening. If this straightforward troubleshooting does not resolve the problem, corrosion or a damaged trailer wire may eventually be suspected.
A probe-style test light or a 12V circuit tester is required to check the integrity of a 5-core trailer wire. Local truck shops and hardware stores carry these toolkits. They are simple to use as well. Simply connect the ground wire to the trailer frame, pierce the wire connection with the sharp probe, and see whether the gadget illuminates.
If it doesn't light up, your cable wiring most likely has a problem. By starting with the lightbulb and working your way back to the battery until you locate the break, you can narrow down the issue. You won't risk electrocution since the trailer has a 12V electrical system. Once the damaged area has been found, you may replace it with a scale wire. It may be better to seek expert assistance if you are unable to identify the primary issue. Never buy a new trailer cable if the issue hasn't been resolved.
Examine the tires
We often leave trailers parked in the garage for an extended period of time while waiting to go. It is rare to inspect the tires during this protracted pause. Therefore, be sure to check the tires before using your trailer.
Look for worn, cracked, bulging, or damaged tires. When moving quickly or with a heavy load, these tires are susceptible to blowouts. Tires with these flaws should thus be changed. Check the tread depth as well. Major grooves shouldn't be larger than 2/32". Next, make sure all tires are properly inflated. Tire wear issues may result from uneven tire pressure. In a similar vein, worn centers may result from overinflated tires. So, make sure all tires are fully fueled.
An excellent technique to make sure that all tires wear down equally is to rotate them. Observe a planned switching. You may require specialized tools and the assistance of a mechanic if you need to reverse the rims.
Now you know how to go ahead with routine trailer maintenance and keep your trailer in the best condition. Adhere to these tips, and you will surely like the results that come on your way.
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