Important Things To Consider Before Buying a Used Utility TrailerApril 25, 2022 by Kyle McFarlane
When looking at used trailers for sale, you should thoroughly inspect any potential purchase. While buying used can save money, there’s the risk of worn or damaged parts. If you don’t get them replaced or repaired, you compromise your safety and that of fellow motorists. A trailer can be dangerous if it becomes unhitched or interferes with your driving, and you don’t want to risk harm to you and your passengers.
How can you verify the trailer you’re looking at is in good condition? The answer is to follow this checklist.
Look at the Suspension
The suspension ensures your trailer performs on the road. If there’s something wrong, you’ll have trouble steering it. Additionally, a poorly maintained suspension can lead to other issues, such as the alignment being off. Even if you’re not in immediate danger, a damaged suspension means a rough ride, which can affect your cargo.
To ensure the suspension is in good shape, look for the following:
- Cracks in the frame
- Breaks in the spring hangers and leaf springs
- Damage to electricals
Inspect the Brakes
Trailers need their own brakes to ensure they don’t collide with your vehicle when you come to a stop. Since brakes work by friction, they wear down over time and need regular replacement. Make sure you inspect each part of the braking system:
You should also check the brake fluid, which is essential for a quick stop. Check the reservoir to ensure it’s filled to the maximum line and examine the fluid to determine if it needs changing. Brake fluid should be clear. If it’s brown, it’s old or dirty and needs replacing.
Check the Hitch
The hitch connecting the trailer to your truck needs to be in peak condition, or you risk losing both your vehicles. A hitch in poor condition can break under pressure, sending your trailer out of control. Even in the best-cause scenarios, you may lose or damage your cargo.
When you check the hitch, you should be able to latch and unlatch it easily. Rust and broken pieces can interfere with this function. If a hitch sticks when you latch or unlatch it, check if it needs oiling or if there’s a deeper issue.
Study the Bearings
Bearings are essential to smooth wheel rotation. Broken or worn bearings can suddenly give while you’re driving, causing the wheel to stop spinning and wrenching the vehicle out of your control. To ensure the bearings on a trailer are up to par, check the following:
- No vertical motion
- No horizontal motion
- Proper seating
- Thorough lubrication
Consider the Trailer Floor
The trailer floor needs to support your cargo, so it can’t be damaged or rusted. If it fails while you’re driving, it can affect the chassis. A damaged chassis can cause problems throughout the trailer, requiring expensive repairs.
Examine the Tires
Tires may be one of the easiest things to replace on a trailer, though high-quality ones are bound to be expensive. Check the tread on the tires, as worn tread is incredibly dangerous. Tread creates friction between the rubber and asphalt, giving you control over a vehicle. If tires are worn to less than two-thirty seconds of an inch, you’re in danger of hydroplaning in wet weather and slow braking in any element.
Additionally, tires need to have adequate air pressure. Low air pressure makes tires vulnerable to blowouts and decreases road friction.
Are you in the market for a used trailer? If so, look no further than McFarlane Trailer Sales. We have a wide selection of high-quality trailers for all your hauling needs. For more information, give us a call. Go online to see our trailers for sale.