Archives for January 2020

Hauling Your Snowmobile Safely With Custom Made Enclosed Trailers

Hauling Your Snowmobile Safely With Custom Made Enclosed TrailersAll types and ages of people enjoy snowmobiling, thanks in part to over 3,000 clubs across North America’s Snowbelt that bring together like-minded people for rides and social activities. Snowmobiling is for anyone who embraces the beautiful northern winter by getting outdoors, and participation is increasing as more people discover what fun it can be for families.Because not everyone is lucky enough to live near a trail where it is possible to ride, half of all snowmobilers use a trailer to bring their sleds to suitable riding areas. Thus, anyone interested in taking up the sport must also consider how to manage transportation. Everyone has seen a snowmobile in the back of a pickup truck, but this is an unsafe practice not recommended by most experienced riders. Carrying a snowmobile like this could cause an accident if the machine were to come loose. Additionally, you can be fined if the snowmobile hangs over the edge of the truck bed or if it is not tied down correctly. Using a trailer is the best choice for personal safety and for protecting your valuable property against damage.

Choosing a Trailer

Since towing your sled is such an integral part of the snowmobiling experience, it is important to purchase a trailer you trust and will be happy with in the long term. Factors to consider include:
  • Number of sleds and distance to transport them
  • Whether to use steel or aluminum build
  • Desired deck height and width
  • An open or closed trailer
  • Off-season storage

Open Trailers

Open trailers are popular for their economical price and ease of use. They can be used safely if they are designed specifically for snowmobiles, but using a hauler built for a different purpose can be risky. For example, accidents can occur when loading onto an open trailer if the driver goes forward or stops too quickly, potentially dislodging the sled itself.  It is also possible that salt and road debris thrown up by the truck’s tires will land on the snowmobile and possibly damage it.

Closed Trailers

There are many reasons that some people prefer a closed trailer:
  • Avoiding potential injuries associated with loading open trailers
  • No need to worry about the snowmobile coming loose and falling off the trailer while driving
  • Harder to steal: According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 1,592 snowmobiles were stolen between 2015 and 2017, with only 57% of machines ever returned to their owners.
  • Closed trailers make a nice impromptu shed should you need to change a spark plug or do other repairs in the field.
  • Closed hauling can also serve as a semi-permanent storage space to store your snowmobile during warm weather.

Custom Made Enclosed Trailers

Whichever style you choose, you can haul your snowmobile safely by making sure that your trailer was intended to do the specific job you want it to do. McFarlane Trailer Sales and Service understands that your snowmobile is an investment, and we are happy to help you choose among the wide variety of manufacturers we carry in stock.We can also explain how to select a number of special features, such as rear or side doors, an aerodynamic shape, whether the trailer rests between or atop the truck’s wheels, type of off-ramps, seating, lights, and much more. Join the thousands of Canadian snowmobilers who will make tracks through fresh snow this year by calling or stopping by McFarlane’s today.

How Often Should I Grease the Wheel Bearings of My Trailer?

Whether you have a small, single axle utility trailer or large enclosed hauler, you need to take care of your trailer to keep it working optimally. One of the most important maintenance tasks is greasing your wheel bearings. This will keep them rolling smoothly and protect them from excess wear. However, if you are like a lot of trailer owners, you aren’t sure how often you need to grease them.

Greasing Regularity

How often you should grease your wheel bearings depends on the trailer size, wheel size and weight load. At the very least, you should grease your axles once per season. Most trailers need greasing every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. A single axle utility trailer may need less frequent greasing than a large K-trailer.On the other hand, boat trailers with small wheels may need more regular greasing. In some cases, they may need greasing every 2,000 miles. Smaller wheels spin faster, which puts more stress on them.If you are using your trailer in extreme heat or consistently at the load limit, consider greasing more often. These circumstances will cause the grease to get used up more quickly.

How To Grease Your Wheel Bearings

Greasing wheel bearings is fairly simple, and basic bearing design has stayed more or less the same for 50 years or so. You will need basic mechanical aptitude to be able to perform this job.You will need high-temperature grease, a wheel jack, a torque wrench and a hammer. Make sure your wheel jack is rated for your trailer weight. Additionally, having some jack stands can make the job a little easier. Some rags are also a must-have. Using a bearing packer, you can make the job cleaner, but this isn’t necessary.Most McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service trailers have EZ lube bearings. This makes the process of repacking grease significantly easier.
  1. Jack the trailer and remove the wheel.
  2. Remove the nut retainer, spindle nut and washer.
  3. Pump the grease until you see the outer bearing begin to move or you see the grease seeping through it.
  4. Pump slowly and rotate the hub.
  5. Once you see the bearing move or grease seeping, you can replace the washer, nut and retainer.
  6. When threading on the nut, tighten it to be hand tight then slightly back it off. Alternatively, use a torque wrench to get it to the recommended torque listed in your manual.
  7. Replace the wheel and lower the trailer.
As you are repacking the grease, pay attention to the old grease and bearing. If you notice any metallic, silver particles or any visible damage, you likely need to replace the bearings. You can avoid this damage by regularly repacking the bearing grease.

Getting Help

Doing your own grease repacking at home is sometimes less expensive than taking it to a mechanic. It is a very simple job, though it can be a little messy. If you prefer to get some professional help, bring your rig to McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service. We are happy to help you with your trailer service needs.Typically, having us do the job for you is only a little more expensive than the cost of supplies would be. If you need to buy a jack or torque wrench, you will definitely spend more doing it yourself. So, it is often helpful to have a pro do the job for you.

Learn More About Your Trailer

For any trailer maintenance work or advice, contact McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service. We are here to help you get the most from your trailer ownership experience. Whether you need help with greasing, removing rust or any other service or maintenance task, you can trust our experienced team to get the job done right.

Taking Care of Your Dump Trailer in Winter

Taking Care of Your Dump Trailer in WinterIt is time to say goodbye to autumn and hello to winter. That means that it is also time to prepare your dump trailer to take on the snow, ice, dirt and salt on wintery roads. A little preparation can help keep your trailer in the best shape possible. It will also keep you safer. After all, you don’t want anything coming loose due to rust or corrosion while you are driving.

Start With a Good Cleaning

Clean out your dump trailer thoroughly. Any debris and dirt could become a hot point for damage to your trailer. Additionally, all dump trailers need a good cleaning from time to time. Now is as good a time as any to do so.

Lubricate and Inspect Moving Parts

Check out all the moving parts of your trailer. This includes the wheel, lift, gates and other parts. Make sure everything is thoroughly lubricated. During the hotter weather of the summer and autumn, that grease gets used up quickly. Some fresh lubrication will help to keep those parts moving easily during the cold weather.Pay special attention to the wheels. Since they carry the weight of your trailer and cargo, they tend to take the most punishment from use. Make sure they are in good working order and make any necessary repairs now.Also, make sure your lift is in good shape. As one of the key workhorses of your dump trailer, it needs a little maintenance from time to time. Make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and lubricated for winter.

Address Any Rust

Rust is a reality for many dump trailers. They are designed to take some abuse and keep going. However, as you probably know, rust worsens if left unaddressed. Deal with minor issues now and you won't find your trailer rusted through later in the winter or next spring. During the colder, wetter months, new corrosion can happen quickly.

Repaint It

If your trailer is painted, that coating helps protect the metal underneath. However, dump trailers are often used hard. We design our trailer with galvanized heavy-duty flooring, but some of the sides are painted. While we use robust paints, it can still get scratched up throughout the year. That scratched and chipped paint can be where rust and other issues begin.Give your trailer a fresh coat of paint. Since you cleaned it for the winter anyway, this is the perfect time to deal with a new paint job. If you are unsure what type of paint to use for your trailer, feel free to contact us.

Store It Properly (If You Aren’t Using It)

Many people don’t continue to use their dump trailers much in the winter. For example, if you use yours for a landscaping business, you likely have a slow period in the winter. If you won’t be using your dump trailer, store it properly. Take the battery out if it has one. Find someplace like a garage or shed that will keep your trailer out of the elements for the next few months.

Keep It Clean (If You’re Using It)

If you are using your trailer during the winter, make sure to wash off the salt, snow and ice regularly. These factors can easily make your trailer rust if left unattended. A thorough rinsing should usually be enough. However, you may need to scrape off persistent ice.

Winterize Properly, You’ll Be Glad You Did

Dump trailers don’t last forever. They are intended to be used for hard work. However, with proper care, your McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service dump trailer will continue to serve you well for many years to come. Reach out to us to learn more about properly winterizing your trailer.