Archives for September 2019

What is the Best Way to Repaint a Utility Trailer?

When times are tough you can’t always afford to buy new equipment for your business or personal use, but nobody wants to drive around or arrive at a job site dragging a rusty old trailer. It just doesn’t set the right tone. But that does not mean you have to spend unnecessary money on a new trailer. If you have a perfectly well-functioning rusty single axle utility trailer that is safe to use and still gets the job done but looks a bit long in the tooth, maybe it is time for an overhaul. A rusty trailer can be restored with a good repaint that will extend its lifespan and usefulness by a few years.


The key to any successful paint job is preparation. You need to remove as much of the rust as you can before you apply your new coat of paint or all your hard work will be for nothing. Use a hard-bristled wire brush to get rid of as much of the rust as possible. Once you have removed all the biggest bits, you can use a steel wool pad to get rid of the smaller pieces in the hard to reach places. If you can’t get rid of all the rust, you should consider sealing the worst affected areas with a commercial rust sealer before you start painting. The more rust you can get rid of, the better your trailer will look and the longer it will last.If your single axle utility trailer has a wooden deck you will need to tackle this as well. You can remove every board and sand, treat and paint it individually before putting it back in place or you can use an orbital sander to sand the boards in situ before painting and sealing them.Once you have tackled the rust and sanded the wooden bed of the trailer, you need to hose everything down with water and wash it with auto soap. This will remove any grease and dirt as well as any dust and rust particles that you have created while preparing the trailer for its new coat of paint. Once the trailer is completely dry, you need to use painters tape and old paper to tape off the areas where you don’t want to paint.


If you are painting in your driveway, make sure to put down plastic sheeting or a tarpaulin to keep the area around your trailer paint-free. And don’t spray paint on a windy day as you might end up with more paint on the side of your house than on your actual trailer.You will probably need to spray at least two layers of paint on your trailer to get complete coverage. Make sure that you paint all the corners and edges. After you have applied the first coat of paint, allow it to dry completely before applying the second layer. To add a nice finishing touch and complete the look you can also paint the white part of the wheels so that they don’t look out of place on your newly painted trailer. Once the paint is completely dry you can remove all the painter’s tape and your trailer should look as good as new and you will no longer be embarrassed to be seen towing it.Remember a paint job can only do so much to restore a trailer and if your trailer has reached the point of no return or is unsafe, then you need to replace it. At McFarlane’s, we have a wide variety of new and used single-axle utility trailers and we will help you find something that fits both your needs and your budget.

Keeping the Hydraulics On Your Dump Trailer in Great Shape

A dump trailer may seem like a relatively simple piece of equipment, but it does have a number of moving parts and keeping everything in good working order is important. Good, regular maintenance will pay off in the long run and increase the longevity of your trailer. The hydraulic system is a central component on a dump trailer and when your hydraulic equipment is well maintained, it operates at a higher level of efficiency, generates less heat and will ultimately last a whole lot longer.


The hydraulic system is crucial for the proper functioning of your dump trailer and without the right hydraulic pump, your trailer will not be able to do the job you need it to. The hydraulic pump is the component that produces the flow that allows the hydraulics to operate effectively. The rate of flow from the hydraulic pump determines the operating speed of the hydraulic system. An undersized pump might get the job done, but it will be slow and frustrating. This, however, does not mean that bigger is always better and an oversized pump could work too fast and be dangerous to operate. An oversized pump could also lead to overheating and reduce the life span of all the components of the hydraulic system. It is important to choose the right size hydraulic pump for the specifications of your dump trailer and the work that you do.


The force generated within the hydraulic system is determined by the operating pressure. This means it is important to ensure that the hydraulic system on your dump trailer is always operating within the manufacturer’s specifications. The hydraulic pump you choose must be compatible with the hydraulic system on your dump trailer and be able to work effectively under the systems operating pressure. In order to prevent twisted pump shafts and unnecessary gear housing cut-outs, you need to ensure that your hydraulic pump is up to spec and well maintained.You need to know the duty cycle of your hydraulic equipment. The longer the duty cycle, the higher the temperatures produced by the system and you need to have the correct reservoir capacity to dissipate the heat effectively. If you have a longer duty cycle, you need a larger reservoir. You also need to consider the reservoir material, aluminum tanks are more effective than steel or polyethylene when it comes to dissipating heat.Hose size specifications and routing also need to be carefully considered and the hose diameters must be based on system flow. If your inlet hoses are undersized it can cause damage to your pump as pressure builds up in the system and the heat increases. This will shorten the lifespan of your hydraulic equipment. Steel hydraulic tubing is often preferable to hydraulic hoses because it reduces friction and dissipates heat for effectively. When placing hydraulic hoses, it is important to minimise the use of fittings and keep the hoses as straight as possible.Oil is another important consideration of your hydraulic system and your choice of oil can significantly increase the life of all your hydraulic components. You should always follow the manufacturer’s specifications and use the oil that is recommended for your climate and operating conditions. You also need to clean the reservoirs and replace your oil and filters at appropriate intervals. If you use the correct oil and keep it clean, you can potentially reduce two of the common causes of hydraulic pump failure; contamination and overheating.Your dump trailer works hard for you and it is important to ensure that all the components are well maintained and in good working order. At McFarlane’s our technicians can help you keep your dump trailer on the road for many years.

How to Safely Backup with a Tandem Axle Trailer

Towing a trailer is not easy and can be stressful at the best of times. But backing up a trailer can be even worse, and the mere idea is enough to make some drivers break out in a cold sweat. If you have ever tried to back up a tandem axle trailer you will know exactly how challenging it can be to get the trailer to move in the direction that you want it to go.


The number of axles on the trailer isn’t that important when it comes to backing up, but the design of the trailer hitch plays a significant role in how difficult it is to back up a tandem axle trailer. Most vehicles and trailers are connected via a ball hitch and the ball-and-socket connection enables the trailer to turn with the vehicle. If you had a solid hitch between the vehicle and trailer, you would have an extremely long vehicle with an unrealistic turning circle. The ball hitch provides the manoeuvrability you need but when you need to back up, it feels like the trailer develops a life of its own; it moves off at weird angles and in the worst-case scenario it can even jackknife.Fortunately backing up a trailer does not have to be difficult or scary, with enough practice you can master the art and get the trailer to do what you want it to.


Backing up a tandem axle trailer does not come naturally and the greatest trick that you can learn is to be patient and train your brain to steer the vehicle in a counterintuitive direction. Remember, when you are backing up and you turn the wheel, you are actually turning your vehicle in the opposite direction from what you normally would. That means if you want to go left, you need to turn the wheel to the right. When you add a trailer to the mix, however, this scenario works in the opposite way. When you want the trailer to go to the left, you need to turn the wheel to the left. The reason for this is the ball hitch; when your vehicle goes left the trailer move in the opposite direction.The most effective way to back up a trailer is to place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel then gently and slowly turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to end up. Don’t rush the process and make small steering movements then wait for the trailer to catch up. If the trailer is turning to the left when you back up and you need it to go right, then turn the wheel counter-clockwise, and always make small corrections.Understanding the theory and doing it in practice are two very different things. Before you take your trailer out on the open road and get yourself into a difficult position, go to a large (empty) parking lot or open area and practice backing up until you feel confident that you can do it properly.


If you are an inexperienced driver or have never backed up a trailer before, ask a friend to help you. It is much easier when you have someone that you trust standing outside the vehicle directing you. They can also warn you if you are getting too close to another vehicle or any other obstacle or object. When backing up a tandem axle trailer, the key things to remember are to be patient, drive slowly and make small steering movements.At McFarlane’s, we have a wide range of new and used trailers to suit all your needs. Call us today to find out how we can help you.

Finding the Perfect Used Trailer

Finding the Perfect Used TrailerUtility trailers are extremely versatile and can be used to transport a wide variety of cargo. You might want a utility trailer to haul your weekend toys, like motorbikes, snowmobiles, and four-wheelers around the country or you may require one for your landscaping or construction business. Whatever the reason, a utility trailer can be a great asset. A new trailer, however, might be out of your price range but don’t fret, there are plenty of good, reliable used trailers for sale if you know what you want and where to look.


When you start your search for a used trailer for sale, you need to know what you need and what it is going to cost you. The type and size of the trailer that you are looking for will be determined by what you intend to do with it. Before you rush out and buy the first trailer you see, you should do some research and check the prices of both new and used trailers online. This will give you an idea of what you should expect to pay. The type, brand, size of the trailer, the age, the make, the features, and any unique design details will all play a role in determining the value of a used trailer.The whole idea behind finding a good used trailer for sale is to save money or get more value for your money. Before you buy a trailer, you need to give it a thorough inspection and make sure that there are no mechanical problems that will cost you a lot of money to fix. You don’t want to end up paying more for a used utility trailer than you would for a new one.


Always begin your trailer inspection at the bottom and be thorough. Unfortunately, this requires getting down and dirty and crawling around under the trailer, but it is worth it.
  • Check the trailer floor and frame and ensure that it is stable and not showing signs of rusting through. Remember to check that there is no rust on the pillars and that the suspension, leaf springs, and spring hangers aren’t broken, cracked or showing visible signs of repair work. Damage to the suspension could be an indication that the trailer was overloaded or involved in an accident.
  • The brakes, shoes, drums, and magnets need to be inspected closely to make sure the brakes are working properly, without proper functioning brakes you could find yourself in all sorts of trouble on the road.
  • Inspect the tires for any problems. Check that there are no cracks, plugged holes, dry rot, uneven wear or bulges. Make sure the bearings are properly lubricated and sealed.
  • Take a close look at the hitch. Test it to make sure that it latches and unlatches correctly and is mounted properly, this is an important safety issue.
  • Check that all the electrical items are working.
  • Check the paperwork of the trailer. The responsibility is on you to make sure that the title is clear. This will not be a problem if you are buying your used trailer through a dealer with a good reputation. A dealer should have done their due diligence but if you are doing a private deal, you need to contact any previous owners to make sure the trailer is legit and not stolen.
Buying a new or used trailer is a big investment and you want to make sure that you get what you pay for. Finding a used trailer that is for sale from a reputable dealership will help you protect your interests; a dealer does not want to risk their reputation by selling you a dud. At McFarlane’s, we have a wide variety of new and used trailers for sale.