Improper Trailer Axle Maintenance Could Mean TroubleAugust 24, 2019 by Kyle McFarlane
Like any moving, mechanical part, it’s essential that trailers are maintained and looked after during their lifetime. Whether you’re renting your trailer for a short time or buying one to use regularly, you should know that it will need some upkeep. Even if it’s brand new, there are several different ways it can age, and quicker than you might realize. Tire tread, hitch grease, body rust, batteries, and breaks will all need regular maintenance, but did you ever consider the trailer axle? Forget to check and maintain your trailer axle, and you could be looking for new trailers for sale in no time at all.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR TRAILER AXLE IN GOOD SHAPE
Every time you use your trailer, your axle is being worked. It’s a moving part, and anything that moves needs maintaining, otherwise it will eventually fail. However, your trailer axle is in fact only one part of a complex wheel system: if any of these parts wear and begin to fail, then there’s only so much your axle will be able to support it.
One of the most significant parts of this axle-wheel system is the bearings. The bearings are attached to the axle, and in simple terms, when both of them spin, the wheels do too. They’re small in size and generally simple parts, but when they begin to wear and show signs of failure, they have a huge impact on your trailer motion. Bearings should be checked and greased at least once a year. This simple and painless procedure saves a lot of trouble down the line.
Similarly, you’ll need to spend some time upkeeping the wheel hub. The axle assembly slots inside of the wheel hub at either side, with the bearing making the connection. Check that the lubrication is still working effectively. Another thing to watch out for is the axle nuts – they can’t be too loose or too tight.
Spindles, oil seals, tires and other parts of the wheel assembly will all need regular maintenance in order to keep your axle in good shape.
SIGNS OF A WORN-OUT AXLE
When your axle and bearing are worn out, you’ll know about it. The most obvious sign is that your entire wheel system will be making some rather unusual noise.
Any click, rumble, pop or clunking will be a cause for concern. Any of these sounds could indicate damaged joints along the axle, bearing-related issues and problems with the tire assembly. You may also hear a severe grinding – normally when the brakes are applied – which is likely to mean that the bearing components on the axle are out-of-sync. If you or anybody else were able to watch the wheels, it’s also highly likely that you would see wheel wobble and vibrate. It doesn’t take an expert to know that this is also a highly undesired movement on your trailer. Finally, keep an eye on uneven brake pads (a sign of poor axle and wheel alignment) and in some cases, even an inefficient anti-lock braking system (ABS).
There are many different signals of a worn-out axle. You’re not expected to be an expert, but even the most basic knowledge of them will help avoid a much more costly repair.
THE RISKS OF IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
That being the case, our expert technicians at McFarlane Trailers can help make sure you deal with a worn-out axle correctly. Our trailers for sale are guaranteed to be in absolutely pristine condition, but we also maintain and upkeep parts. We can help you prevent any potential axle damage with good practice, and deal with an inefficient wheel system quickly and efficiently in order to avoid more serious damage.