Summer Maintenance Tips for Your TrailerJuly 21, 2022 by Kyle McFarlane
As spring comes to an end, it’s time to make sure that the wear and tear from winter’s cold and spring’s rain will not affect your summer hauls. Pay special attention to your brakes, tires, grease, and suspension, as these will be the most likely to break down if not treated with care. You can avoid a large headache and expensive problem by prioritizing trailer service and repair before the summer gets into full swing.
Think back to the last time your brakes were replaced. Has it been more than 12 months? If so, you should definitely consider replacing them, for safety reasons. Also, think about how much wear and tear has gone into your brakes during the last year. Have you been in a lot of traffic, therefore braking more frequently? Have you been descending steep grades? Measure the thickness of your brake pads and determine your next steps. Usually, you can hear the squeal or grind when you apply your brakes, but sometimes the road noise prevents you from getting this warning. As always, don’t wait until you know there is a problem. Proactively prevent problems before they become major issues.
Tires are expensive, but a necessary expense to keep your fleet operating efficiently. Walk around your trailer and check the depth of each tire tread to ensure the tires are not going bald. Also, check the pressure. A visual inspection of rocks, thorns, nails, screws, and other punctures may prove wise here as well. Having a blowout on a highway in the heat of summer is no one’s idea of a successful haul.
Keep in mind that some small punctures can be patched, while others may require the tire to be replaced. If you need to replace a tire, consider also replacing the other tire on the same axle, to ensure that the two tires wear evenly. If the expenses catch you off-guard or worry you, just imagine how much more worried and stressed you will be if your entire rig breaks down due to something that you could have prevented. Remember the old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Gears and hydraulics simply have to operate smoothly if you are to stay in business. If the gears grind together, you will be facing a major mechanical malfunction. Remember which type of grease you originally used, and apply the same. New applications of the same grease type will wash out the old, dirty residue and keep your trailer operating efficiently and safely.
In order to keep your ride moving along smoothly, and to ensure the stability of your load, all high-impact elements of your suspension system should be inspected. Visually assess any fasteners, welds, and overall levelness of the trailer. Ensure that all bolts are secured where they should be and that there is no component interference with the pivot connection. Air springs, axle connections, and shock absorbers should all be without bend or rust. If any fasteners are loose, tighten them to the correct torque specifications.
Visit MacFarlane for Expert Trailer Service and Repair
Many aspects of trailer maintenance can be attempted on your own, but if you find yourself out of your element, give us a call or schedule an appointment on our website. We will be happy to diagnose any problems we see, offer you a good deal on the parts we have in stock and provide potential solutions if a new trailer is what you need. We have at least 10 different types of high-quality trailers, including flatbeds, single-axle, tandem-axle, and tilt-beds.