How Often Should I Grease the Wheel Bearings of My Trailer?January 27, 2020 by Kyle McFarlane
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.
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.
- Jack the trailer and remove the wheel.
- Remove the nut retainer, spindle nut and washer.
- Pump the grease until you see the outer bearing begin to move or you see the grease seeping through it.
- Pump slowly and rotate the hub.
- Once you see the bearing move or grease seeping, you can replace the washer, nut and retainer.
- 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.
- 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.
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.