Helpful Ways to Winterize a Cargo Trailer

Helpful Ways to Winterize a Cargo Trailer

How To Winterize Your Cargo Trailer

Once you have purchased aluminum trailers for sale, you want to protect your investment. Winter can be hard on trailers, so what do you need to do to keep cold temperatures and precipitation from damaging your trailer? What you do to winterize your trailer depends on whether you intend to put it in storage during the winter months or keep using it for hauling all through the season.

Winterizing a Trailer That You Intend To Put Into Storage

Your trailer isn't as susceptible to winter damage when it is in storage as it is if you intend to continue using it throughout the year. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to make sure that it is ready when you take it out again in the spring.Do you know where you are going to store your trailer? Ideally, it should be somewhere inside, such as a storage shed or a garage. If you aren't able to store your trailer indoors, you can protect it from falling leaves, branches, snow, ice, sun, and wind by parking it under a roofed area, such as a carport, and covering it with a tarp.Remove any personal items as well as any supplies that could go bad and anything that could freeze or leak. For example, removing the battery and storing it in a separate place where it is exposed to consistent temperatures and can be charged as needed can keep it in good shape so that you don't have to buy a new one when winter is over.Wheel bearings, suspensions, and springs are areas of your trailer that could be susceptible to corrosion. You can prevent this by adding lubricant to these areas before putting the trailer in storage. You should perform a general maintenance check of your trailer to identify any areas of concern. Before putting your trailer in storage, you should have these issues looked at, prioritizing those that could get worse during months of inactivity.

Winterizing a Trailer That You Intend To Keep Using

If you intend to continue using your trailer for hauling throughout the winter, then winterizing it means protecting it from weather conditions as well as making sure that it is safe for you to use.Ideally, you should perform maintenance on your trailer throughout the year. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to perform an extra maintenance check right before winter, focusing particularly on the tires, lights, and hitch connections. If you haven't been performing regular maintenance on your trailer, you should perform a check to identify any problems that could compromise your safety before winter sets in. To prevent breakdowns, you should perform a maintenance check of your towing vehicle at approximately the same time. You are unlikely to get very far if your trailer is in exemplary condition but your towing vehicle is not.You also need to give some consideration to the cargo you intend to haul during the winter. If it is sensitive to the cold, you may need to have a heater installed in your trailer to maintain a consistent temperature for hauling. A trailer heater can also help keep you warm and comfortable if you spend time working in your trailer, but if a heater is not possible, you can at least insulate it with silver board, blue board, rugs, or curtains to make heat transfer more difficult.In addition to preparing your trailer for winter, there are also things that you need to do to keep safe on the road:
  • Check the weather forecast prior to departure
  • Carry an emergency winter kit with extra blankets, food, and water
  • Budget extra time during inclement weather
  • Maintain safe stopping distances between you and other vehicles
  • Wear your seatbelt when driving

Find Aluminum Trailers For Sale From McFarlane

The type of trailer you need depends on what you intend to use it for. However, we have a number of different trailer types available, and one is sure to suit your needs. Learn more about the different product lines available from McFarlane Trailer Sales.

Tips for Protecting an Aluminum Trailer During the Cold Weather Seasons

Tips for Protecting an Aluminum Trailer During the Cold Weather SeasonsWhether you store your trailer through the cold winter months or use it as part of your workday, the cold temperatures and elements are rough on aluminum. Aluminum trailers are pretty easy to maintain, but you do need to do the work. Here are some tips for maintaining your trailer through the winter. If you’re looking for aluminum trailers for sale, contact McFarlane Trailer Sales.

Keep Your Trailer Clean

After each use, hose your trailer off with water after sweeping it out. If the temperatures are going to get below freezing, wipe off any excess water. Periodically, you want to do a deep clean. Use a mild soap and scrub brush to scrub off dirt and grime. If you are dealing with caked-on mud or stubborn stains, you might need a power washer and stronger detergent. If you are storing your trailer, do a final fall cleaning before storing it. When spring comes around, you’ll be ready to go.

Polish The Trailer

Although aluminum doesn’t rust, it can get dull or discoloured. Use a polish made for aluminum. They come in spray and paste forms. Use a rag to apply it to a small area. Buff the area with a different rag while the polish is wet. Repeat over the rest of the trailer. You can stop there or use a coat of paste wax on the trailer to extend the time the polish lasts.

Check The Tires

When the temperatures drop, tires lose pressure. Before taking the trailer out on the road, check the pressure and reflate if necessary. Don’t rely on your eyes. Get a tire gauge, because you can’t tell if a radial tire is under-inflated just by looking. If you store your trailer over the winter months, the part of the tire that touches the ground can deteriorate faster than the rest of the tire. Remove the tires and store them in a dry place over the winter to make the tires last longer. Check the wheels and lug nuts for tightness during the winter months, too.

Inspect The Safety Chains and Connections

If you’re storing your trailer through the winter, ensure all the safety chains and coupler hitch balls are clean before being put away. If you’re using the trailer, visually inspect the chains for wear and damage.

Test the Brakes and Any Electrical Components

When you use the trailer, check the connections for the brakes to ensure that everything is working correctly. Listen for noises when you’re applying the brakes. It’s easy to check the rotors during tire rotation. If it’s been more than 12 months since the brakes were replaced, you might ask your mechanic to do a double check before driving on snowy or icy roads.

Check The Suspension

Your trailer will move smoother when the suspension works effectively. Check all the components of the suspension, the fasteners and welds. Make sure the trailer is level. Check the springs, axles and shock absorbers before the winter season. If you see any rust, it is probably time to replace them. Make sure all fasteners are properly tightened.

Don’t Forget to Check The Towing Vehicle

Protecting your trailer on the road means driving safely during all types of road conditions. Make sure the towing vehicle. Go through the same checklist on the towing vehicle, brakes, tires, connections and suspension. It doesn’t take long to double-check before getting on the road, but it can save you a lot of headaches later on.Extend the life of your trailer and make sure that it holds its value. Shop for new and used aluminum trailers for sale with McFarlane Trailer Sales.

How To Drive Safely With a Trailer

How To Drive Safely With a TrailerHooking up a trailer takes practice. Driving with a trailer takes even more practice to be confident when you’re on the road. Check your driver’s manual to make sure your vehicle can handle the weight of the trailer and the cargo. We recommend practicing in your driveway without any cargo in the trailer to get used to backing up and parking with the trailer. McFarlane Trailer Sales has a wide variety of aluminum trailers for sale to fit the cargo you haul most often. Here are some tips on driving safely with a trailer.

Tow Mirrors

Although regulations may vary by province and community, tow mirrors are important whether the law requires them or not. You want to be able to see the back end of your trailer with your mirrors. If you can’t adjust the regular mirrors out to be able to see the car behind you, you should invest in tow mirrors. Larger trailers and/or closed trailers make it more difficult to see the car behind you. Get tow mirrors before you start driving around.

Don't Rush

Drive below the speed limit when you are hauling a trailer. Stay in the right lane. Remember that it may take longer to accelerate with the weight behind you. Don’t get in a rush. Stay relaxed. Many drivers without trailers have accidents when they get stressed and are trying to go too fast. The trailer will make it even more difficult to drive defensively. It’s better to get to your destination safely without damaging your vehicle, cargo, or another car than to try and rush. Plan more time than your GPS allows.

Take Corners Wide

A trailer changes the length of your vehicle, so you’re going to want to take corners a little wider than you’re used to. Pay attention to where your wheels are. It’s easy to hit the curb or a post on the corner when you’re driving a long trailer. Generally speaking, it’s not the vehicle that will be the problem. It’s the trailer. The wider you can take a corner, the more room the trailer has to get around the corner. When you’re on a two-lane road, turning onto another two-lane road, wait for other cars to get out of your way, to have more room to turn. Once you get more familiar with how the trailer handles, you may find that corners are easy.

Keep Distance

Just as more weight makes it difficult to accelerate, it will also make it more difficult to slow down and stop. Put more distance between you and the car ahead of you. Three to four vehicle lengths are recommended, but the more weight you have, the more distance you should leave. Other drivers aren’t often aware of the distance rule for vehicles with trailers, so you may find yourself having to make adjustments when other cars pull in front of you.

Double-check Everything

Before getting out on the road, make sure the trailer is hooked up correctly. Check the brake lights. Drive for about 15 to 20 minutes. Get out and check everything again. Sometimes, the load can shift, which can change how the trailer handles. If you didn’t hook up the trailer right, you have a chance to fix it before you get out on the highway. Check the tires again. It’s just safer to do a double check on all the connections to catch any problems before you take the trailer too far.Find a large inventory of aluminum trailers for sale at McFarlane Trailer Sales. Not sure what you’re looking for? Ask our team to help you find a trailer that suits your needs.

Tips To Safely Secure a Motorcycle on a Trailer

Tips To Safely Secure a Motorcycle on a TrailerSummer is coming in hot, so it's time to whip out the motorcycle. Ideally, you'll be riding your motorcycle everywhere you go. However, in the event that you need to transport your bike, a trailer will be your best friend. Always follow these tips to safely and adequately secure your motorcycle on a trailer.

Start by Choosing Your Trailer

The trailer you choose to use is a tool in itself. There are many options to consider when looking into a new trailer. For example, open trailers use fewer materials, so they'll be more affordable, but enclosed trailers add an extra level of security. If you don't already have a trailer, we recommend checking out McFarlane's selection of aluminum trailers for sale.

Use a Ramp 

With any luck, you have purchased a trailer with a ramp; most trailers include one that folds down. If your trailer does not have a ramp, try to acquire one that does. If you aren't ready to buy a whole new trailer, we offer a variety of add-on ramps that would make a great addition to your setup. Wrangling a motorcycle can be intimidating enough as is, and a ramp will most definitely help make the process smoother. 

Don't Rely on Brute Strength

Once your trailer is hooked up and the ramp is down, it's time to wheel her up there. Motorcycles typically weigh between 400 and 700 pounds, so you won't be able to push them up the ramp safely without help. Ideally, you'd put your bike into a lower gear and ride it up slowly. If you're genuinely worried about driving off the ramp or, even worse, into the vehicle you're using to tow, it's a wise idea to recruit a friend and have them help you push your bike into place. If they're more comfortable riding it up, have them do that for you. Once the bike is on the trailer, leave it in gear to keep it from rolling around if the ties get dislodged. 

Use Tie-Down Straps

Once your bike is on the trailer, you need to strap it down using tie-downs. Tie-downs are a must-have for securing your motorcycle and should not be replaced with rope or bungee cords. Use ties with thick straps and durable hardware, such as cam buckle straps. While using ratchet straps may be a bit excessive for smaller motorcycles, if that's all you have, they'll work just fine.

Use 4 Tie-Down Points

For the best security, you should use at least four tie-down points: two in the front and two in the back. Attach them higher on the bike rather than lower for added safety. When you begin tying down your straps, use the motorcycle's kickstand to keep it from toppling, and once you've tightened one side, stand your bike up so it's entirely upright before cinching up the other side. Avoid strapping down your handlebars, as doing so has the potential to bend or break them. If your motorcycle's handlebars are rubber-mounted, they may compress during transit and cause your tie-downs to slip. 

Compress the Suspension

Don't forget to compress the suspension to give the bike some resistance against the straps, which reduces wobbling and keeps the motorcycle secure. Do not overdo it because too much additional pressure can ruin your shocks over time. Use roughly half the suspension capacity to avoid injuring your bike. Regardless of the type of motorcycle trailer you use, you can safely transport your vehicle by following these tips. Check out McFarlane Trailer Sales today to get more information on our trailer selection or talk to a professional about other ways to keep your goods safe in transit. 

Benefits of the WhereSafe GPS System for Trailers

Benefits of the WhereSafe GPS System for TrailersAnywhere there are aluminum trailers for sale, there is a risk that they will be stolen. Aluminum trailers are in especially high demand among thieves because of their high resale value and durability. When you install a WhereSafe GPS for your trailer, you can be assured that, in the unhappy event that someone steals your trailer, you'll be able to track its location and recover it quickly. 

What Can the WhereSafe GPS System Do for Me?

One reliable way to prevent theft is to install a WhereSafe GPS system. Hard-wired GPS trackers attach to your trailer with a magnet. They are easy to install, requiring only power, ground, and ignition. OBDII trackers are installed inside the cab of your vehicle. Simply insert them into the OBDII port, usually located underneath the steering column. Another GPS option is a fully battery-powered option for more flexibility. 

Receive Alerts to an App on Your Phone 

This takes away the need for you to manually check on the status of your trailer. Any time the trailer moves after-hours, or if it leaves your geographical zone, you will get an alert in the app and an email. 

Create a Geofence Boundary Around Your City 

You can use the WhereSafe app to draw an invisible geographical line around the perimeter of your service area. If your trailer crosses that line, you'll be notified immediately. 

Know When Your Device Has Been Tampered With

You'll also receive an alert anytime the device has been disabled, or if the battery dies. This is often the first sign that your trailer has been stolen. 

Why Are People Stealing Aluminum Trailers? 

The cost of living is going up in Ontario, and people are becoming desperate. The CBC has reported that since this time last year, carjackings are already on pace to exceed last year's numbers. Some folks are looking for any way to make money by selling someone else's assets. Car thefts, especially, are on the rise.In some cases, trailers are easier to steal than cars and trucks. If there is no hitch lock and you are parked in a remote area, it may be just the right conditions for your trailer to be stolen. In March, Waterloo regional police reported that 17 trailers had been stolen. Thieves are especially interested in stealing covered trailers that may contain other valuable assets such as heavy equipment, snowmobiles, tools, and ATVs. 

What Can I Do To Prevent Theft? 

Several common-sense strategies may help your trailer from being stolen. Thieves want to quickly get in and out undetected, so anything that slows or frustrates their process may encourage them to look elsewhere. Theft prevention strategies include: 
  • Set up Video Surveillance
  • Install Motion-activated Flood Lights 
  • Use Hitch Locks and Tongue Locks
  • Park in Crowded Areas
  • Add an Alarm System
  • Hide GPS Devices 

High-quality Aluminum Trailers for Sale by McFarlane

Once you have considered how to keep your aluminum trailer safe, peruse our website for a variety of aluminum trailers and trailer parts. We have a large selection that covers everything you need for hauling, household, and business needs. Consider popular models such as:Aluminum trailers are lighter than traditional steel, increasing your payload capacity and your fuel efficiency. They are also resistant to weather corrosion and rust, reducing the cost of repair and increasing their longevity. Many aluminum trailers outlive the towing vehicle they're attached to.Contact us today by phone or use this page of our website. Our #1 goal is your satisfaction.