Proactive Maintenance: The Key to Keeping Your Trailer in Optimal Condition

Proactive Maintenance_ The Key to Keeping Your Trailer in Optimal Condition

Maintaining your trailer isn't just about keeping it looking shiny and new; it's a matter of performance, longevity, and, most importantly, safety. Even the most top-of-the-range trailers can present inconvenient and sometimes dangerous issues if not properly cared for.

This is why McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service, your Ontario dealer, emphasizes the need for proactive maintenance as the key to keeping your trailer in pristine condition.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the importance of regular inspections and closely examine how proactive maintenance can save you several headaches and potential repair costs. It's about stopping small issues before they escalate into severe problems that take a toll on your time, energy, and wallet.

Recognizing potential issues early on and addressing them promptly is the hallmark of proactive maintenance. This not only enhances the performance of your trailer but also prolongs its useful life.

And guess what? All the knowledge you'll gain will empower you to keep your trailer in top-notch condition efficiently and effectively. Read on because this knowledge-packed guide is about to unravel.


What Are The Common Issues That Trailers In Ontario Typically Face?

As a trailer owner, you might wonder about the typical problems that trailers in Ontario face. Understanding these issues is the first step towards ensuring proactive maintenance and optimal performance of your property.

The issues can range from straightforward wear and tear to more specialized problems related to individual components. Incorrect tire pressure, for example, is a common issue that can lead to poor fuel economy, increased tire wear, or even a blowout. Additionally, brake failure due to worn pads, rusted discs, or low brake fluid is another regular occurrence that can be catastrophic if left unchecked.

Further, faulty lights and electrical problems caused by frayed wires, a blown fuse, or incorrect connections frequently plague trailers. It's important to inspect the lighting system to ensure all signals are functioning properly as they play a critical role in communicating with other drivers on the road. The bearings, which reduce friction and handle the pressure on the wheels, must also be regularly checked. Neglected bearings may cause the wheels to seize up, leading to costly repairs and a potential accident.

Ontario's harsh weather conditions can also lead to other problems. Freezing winter temperatures can cause water to freeze and expand within the pipes, leading to pipe rupture, while the summer heat can lead to cracks in the roof sealant or fading paint.

All these issues highlight the importance of regular inspections and proactive maintenance. Identifying these problems early on can save you from expensive repairs in the future. But remember, effective trailer maintenance goes beyond solving problems; it involves preventing them from happening in the first place.


What Are The Benefits Of Regular Inspections?

Regular inspections are crucial to maintaining your trailer in optimal condition. It's not just about looking for visible signs of wear and tear, but it's more about identifying potential issues before they become major problems. The benefits of these proactive inspections are multifold.

  • Preventive Maintenance: Catching minor problems early on can save you from costly repairs in the future. This not only saves you money but also time that you would otherwise spend on extensive repair work. By conducting regular inspections, you can ensure your trailer is always ready for the road. Proactive maintenance is an investment that pays off by keeping your equipment in tip-top shape.
  • Longevity: Regular inspections can significantly extend the lifespan of your trailer. By addressing issues promptly, you maintain the function and integrity of your parts and accessories. Proactive maintenance maximizes your trailer's potential and saves you substantial money in the long run by preventing costly repairs.
  • Safety: Regular safety checks ensure it is safe. This is particularly important for commercial trailers, which must adhere to strict industry regulations. Moreover, even personal trailers can benefit from these routine inspections as they greatly reduce the risk of on-road mishaps. Plus, safety checks rule out potential hazards that could compromise your journey's success.
  • Efficiency: Ensuring it is in top-notch condition promotes optimal performance. This includes factors such as fuel efficiency and load capacity. By investing in regular inspections and maintenance, you'll enjoy smoother, more reliable trips and save money in the long run. Concurrently, you can greatly reduce the risk of costly, unexpected repairs down the line.

What Are Some Practical Tips For Identifying Potential Issues Early On?

Being proactive is the best approach when it comes to maintenance. Knowing what problems to look out for and catching them before they escalate into major issues extends the life of your trailer and saves you time, effort, and funds in the long run. Here are some useful tips to help you identify potential issues early on:
  1. Inspect the tires: Tires are one of the most critical components. Regularly inspect your tires for wear and tear, proper inflation, and tread depth. Balding tires can cause poor traction and blowouts.
  2. Check the lights: Always make sure all trailer lights function correctly, including brake lights, signal lights, and marker lights. Broken or burnt-out lights can lead to costly fines and unsafe conditions.
  3. Always check brakes: Ensure the braking system is operating correctly. If your trailer pulls one way when you brake or if it pushes your towing vehicle while stopping, you need to have your brakes checked.
  4. Inspect suspension: The suspension system is key to a smooth and safe ride. Look for any signs of damaged springs, broken hangars, missing bolts, or worn bushings. Unwanted noise while driving and uneven tire wear are warning signs of suspension problems.
  5. Look at the frame: Regularly examine the frame for signs of rust, damaged welds, or cracks. These can seriously impair structural integrity.

How Can Proactive Maintenance Prevent Minor Problems From Escalating Into Major Repairs?

Proactive Maintenance 1

Imagine hitting the road with your trailer, only to be stopped in your tracks due to an unexpected malfunction. Scary, isn't it? But it doesn't have to be this way. Proactive maintenance is your ultra-shield against such heartbreaking situations. This approach prioritizes regular inspections and upkeep helping you identify and rectify minor issues before they snowball into major problems.

  • A stitch in time saves nine: By catching potential problems early on, you get the chance to fix them promptly—a practice that can prevent more significant, potentially costly breakdowns. Regular inspections are intrinsic to this approach, as they allow us to identify any worrisome signs before they evolve into severe issues.
 By catching small maintenance needs early, you can save yourself from more complex, costly repairs down the line. It's about taking smart, proactive measures that ensure your trailer's optimal performance and longevity. This is all part of a preventative maintenance mindset that aims to save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches.
  • Decrease downtime: Keeping up with regular maintenance diminishes the likelihood of unexpected failure, which means less downtime and more productivity. Not only will regular upkeep reduce your overall repair costs, but it also plays an essential role in extending the lifespan.

Having a well-maintained trailer means you'll be less likely to face disastrous breakdowns and the hefty costs associated with them. Furthermore, knowing that your trailer is in good condition offers peace of mind during your travels, ensuring you can focus on your core business operations without worrying about unexpected malfunctions. To guarantee optimal performance and longevity, it's crucial to remain vigilant in carrying out proactive maintenance and inspections.

  • Maintaining Optimal Performance:  In addition to preventing roadside disasters, proactive maintenance is essential in ensuring longevity and optimal performance. This involves routine parts and accessories checks, such as tires, lights, brakes, and more. Regular maintenance tasks might also include things like cleaning, lubricating, and replacing worn-out parts. Remember, the goal is not just to fix problems but to prevent them. This approach keeps your trailer in a constant state of readiness, giving you peace of mind every time you hit the road.

Why Choose Mcfarlane Trailer Sales & Service?

For efficient and effective proactive trailer maintenance, you need a partner who knows what they're doing. As a leading Ontario trailer dealer, McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service boasts experienced mechanics and a comprehensive suite of repair services.

Our commitment to customer satisfaction goes well beyond basic service and repair. We'll also educate you about specific equipment needs and guide you through its maintenance process to equip you with the necessary knowledge to keep it in top shape.

Ready to take a proactive approach to trailer maintenance? Contact us today to learn more about how our dedicated team can help maintain your trailer's optimal condition.

How Often Should You Repack Trailer Wheel Bearings?

How Often Should You Repack Trailer Wheel Bearings?

McFarlane's service department is here to help you keep your trailer safe and ready for its next job. We offer a wide range of services, including wheel bearing maintenance and repair. Many trailer owners need more information about how to pack wheel bearings on a trailer. Here we will summarize what wheel bearings do for you, how to repack trailer bearings and provide overall tips on travel trailer wheel bearing maintenance.

Wheel Bearings: A Crucial Part of Your Trailer

Wheel bearings allow the wheels to rotate freely and smoothly, which is essential for safe operation. If your wheel bearings are not properly maintained, they can overheat and fail, which can cause serious damage to your trailer. Here are some of the things that can happen if your wheel bearings are not properly maintained:

  • Overheating: If your wheel bearings overheat, they can warp or seize, which can cause the wheels to lock up. This can lead to a loss of control and a crash.
  • Failure: If your wheel bearings fail, the wheels will no longer be able to rotate freely. This can cause the trailer to become unstable and could cause an accident.
  • Damage to the trailer: If your wheel bearings overheat or fail, they could warp the axle, damage the wheel, or even tear the trailer apart.

How To Pack Wheel Bearings on a Trailer 

In order to pack wheel bearings on a trailer, you should trust a professional., Experts know how to remove the wheel and tire safely, clean the bearing, fully apply high-quality trailer wheel bearing grease, install the bearing and test it for any noise or rough friction.

  1. Remove the wheel and tire. Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts and remove the wheel and tire.
  2. Clean the bearing. Use a wire brush to clean the bearing of any dirt, debris, or old grease.
  3. Apply grease. Use high-quality wheel bearing grease and apply it to the bearing races. Be sure to get grease into all of the nooks and crannies.
  4. Install the bearing. Reinstall the wheel and tire and tighten the lug nuts.
  5. Test the bearing. Spin the wheel by hand and listen for any noise or roughness. If you hear any noise, the bearing may not be properly packed.

Additional Tips for Packing Wheel Bearings

Also, consider these ideas as you seek to deepen your knowledge of travel trailer wheel bearing maintenance:

  • Use high-quality wheel bearing grease. Cheap grease will not provide the same level of protection and can lead to premature bearing failure.
  • Be sure to get grease into all of the nooks and crannies of the bearing. This will help to ensure that the bearing is properly lubricated and protected.
  • If you are not comfortable packing wheel bearings, you can take your trailer to a qualified mechanic. They will be able to pack the bearings properly and ensure that your trailer is safe to drive.

Signs That Your Wheel Bearing Needs To Be Packed

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have the wheel bearings checked by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to determine if the bearings need to be packed or replaced.

  • Noise: If you hear a humming or growling noise coming from the wheels, it may be a sign that the bearings need to be packed.
  • Heat: If the wheels feel hot to the touch, it may be a sign that the bearings are not properly lubricated.
  • Looseness: If the wheels feel loose or wobbly, it may be a sign that the bearings are worn out.

How to Maintain Your Wheel Bearings

There are a few things you can do to maintain your wheel bearings and keep them in good working order:

  • Inspect your wheel bearings regularly. Look for signs of wear, such as excessive heat, grease, or noise.
  • Lubricate your wheel bearings regularly. Use a high-quality lubricant that is designed for wheel bearings.
  • Have your wheel bearings inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic at least once a year.

McFarlane's Service Department Can Help

If you need help with wheel bearing maintenance or repair, McFarlane's Service Department is here to help. We have a team of experienced mechanics who are experts in trailer repair. We use only high-quality parts and lubricants. We also offer a wide range of products for trailers, including:

  • Washing chemicals
  • Lube
  • Oils
  • Wax
  • Silicones
  • Epoxy
  • Full trailer restoration
  • And more!

Contact McFarlane's Service Department Today

If you need help with your trailer, contact McFarlane's Service Department today. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have and help you get your trailer back on the road. Contact McFarlane's today to learn more about our products and services.

Dont Get Stuck With a Broken Down Trailer! Rely on McFarlane’s for Maintenance and Repair

Dont Get Stuck With a Broken Down Trailer! Rely on McFarlane's for Maintenance and RepairAs with any mechanical device with moving parts, your trailer is susceptible to wear and tear. Over time, these can take a toll. Regular maintenance helps keep your trailer working as efficiently as possible. If you choose not to do the maintenance yourself, you can take it to McFarlane's for trailer service and repair.

Importance of Regular Trailer Service and Maintenance

There are several reasons why you should have regular trailer maintenance. The most important is safety. A trailer that is worn out or poorly maintained could break down and cause an accident in which you or other people could get hurt. Regular maintenance helps you ensure that your trailer is roadworthy. It doesn't necessarily mean that you won't have an accident, but it decreases the likelihood that your trailer is the cause of it.Regular maintenance allows you to identify and fix problems with your trailer before they have the opportunity to become bigger ones. This helps to prevent major malfunctions that are expensive to repair in the future. Avoiding wear and tear on your trailer and fixing small problems before they have the opportunity to become bigger helps to increase the longevity of your trailer, thus protecting your investment.

Examples of Trailer Maintenance You Should Have Done Regularly

Trailer maintenance can be a big job. It helps if you make lists and what needs to be done and schedule when it needs to be done. Here are some examples of the types of trailer maintenance you should do regularly.
Check the Suspension
The suspension protects the cargo from bumps and jolts while on the road. You should inspect the suspension frequently to make sure that the pressure is equal throughout and that nothing interferes with its movement. Check the suspension after loading the cargo to make sure its clearance is still adequate. If not, the trailer may be overloaded.
Inspect the Body and Frame
A trailer on the road experiences constant vibrations as well as occasional sudden jolts. Over time, this can cause locking mechanisms, such as bolts and fasteners, to become loose. These could come apart completely while on the road if not tested and retightened regularly.
Check the Braking System
Not all trailers have braking systems. For a smaller trailer, the towing vehicle's braking is usually sufficient to stop it. However, larger trailers often have their own braking systems so that their inertia does not take them in unexpected directions. If your trailer has brakes, you should check them regularly to make sure you can rely on them in a situation in which you have to stop suddenly.
Inspect the Tires
Worn or damaged tires can cause a blowout while on the road. At best, this is an inconvenience; at worst, it is a potentially life-threatening situation. Check tires frequently for wear and have them rotated so their wear is even. Assess tread depth frequently and have the tires replaced when it gets less than one-sixteenth of an inch. Tires exposed to weather extremes may crack, while tires that have been in storage for a while may deflate. Maintain adequate tire pressure before using the trailer.

Trailer Service and Repair From McFarlane's

We provide comprehensive repair and maintenance services for most types of trailers, including livestock, gooseneck, and open utility trailers. If you discover irregularities with your trailer while performing your own maintenance, you can bring it to us for repairs. We will perform a diagnostic to pinpoint the problem and then repair it in a thorough and timely manner.Another option is to bring your equipment trailer to us for its regular maintenance. We perform a meticulous inspection, and if we find any problems or concerns, we discuss your options with you and get your approval before we go to work fixing it. Learn more about our approach to trailer service and repair.

When to Take Your RV Trailer in for Repairs

When to Take Your RV Trailer in for RepairsHaving an RV is a great way to travel in style and take your home with you wherever you go. Your RV goes with you to many regions and allows you to have many unique experiences while making fun memories with your family, so when it breaks down, you want to have it repaired quickly. Here are seven warning signs that it's time to take your RV in for repairs and how you can resolve the issues quickly and efficiently.


Strange smells may not seem like a big deal when you are living the RV lifestyle, but they often indicate problems with your exhaust system. You need to have the element checked out by a mechanic immediately to keep you in your family from getting sick.


If you feel the floor of your RV starts vibrating, it could indicate a problem with your suspension. An expert can resolve the problem quickly to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

Electrical Problems

If the lights in your RV start flickering or the outlets stop working, you have an electrical problem. Unlike many other common RV issues, electrical problems can be hazardous to your health, so they need to be resolved immediately.

Soft Spots On the Roof

You may not think that soft spots on your roof are major hazards, but they are usually caused by water damage, so they need to be looked at immediately. Periodically check the roof of your RV for soft spots so that you can guarantee the integrity of your vehicle.

Illuminated Brake Lights

Brakes are arguably the most important element of an RV. If other parts of your RV start to malfunction, you can usually refrain from driving it until the issue is resolved. If brakes go out while you're in the middle of driving the vehicle, you may cause an accident that could be disastrous. If the brake light indicator is on your dashboard, you need to have the brakes checked to make sure they are working properly.

Strange Noises

You drive your RV often enough to recognize the normal sounds that it makes. If you start to hear strange noises while you drive or when you shift gears into park, there is likely a problem with the suspension. Your trailer would need to be seen by a mechanic immediately for trailer service and repair if you start to hear strange noises.

Bring In Your Trailer Today!

Our team of mechanics is qualified to resolve a wide variety of issues, and because we have unparalleled knowledge of the trailer industry. When it comes to RV repairs our team provides services for items outside of the unit like brakes, suspension, tires, lighting, jacks, axles and wiring.For years, McFarlane Trailer Services has been a top competitor in the equipment trailer industry. Not only do we have a wide variety of trailers in our inventory, but we also offer repair services to keep them in peak condition. Each of our trailers comes with a warranty of up to five years, so contact us today to resolve your trailer problems.

FAQ’s Answered About Trailer Hitches

FAQ's Answered About Trailer HitchesQuality trailer service and repair start with knowing the right questions to ask. McFarlane Trailer Sales receives questions about trailer hitches often, so let us help you with some answers to common questions about them.

What Size Ballmount Do I Need for My Trailer Hitch?

This will depend on the overall weight rating of your trailer. Trailer hitches are tested and rated for specific ball mount sizes. The receiver size will be anywhere from 1 1/4" to  3" within the five classes of weight ratings. The heavier the weight rating, the larger the ball mount. The weights are then broken down into the following categories:
  • Class I: 2,000 lbs
  • Class II: 3,500 lbs
  • Class III: 6,000 lbs
  • Class IV: 12,000 lbs
  • Class V: 14,000 lbs 

What Is a Brake Control?

Electric brake control takes power from the tow vehicle and supplies it to the trailer's brakes. A small control box is installed underneath the driver's side dashboard. When the driver depresses the brake pedal for the tow vehicle, the electronic box sends an electrical current to the trailer brakes.

Proportional Brake Controls 

Proportional or inertia brake controls get a read on how quickly the tow vehicle is stopping and send the same amount of force to the trailer brakes. A brake pedal switch is activated by a pendulum circuit that applies the correct amount of voltage to each brake.

Time-based Brake Controls

This method requires the user to set a predetermined amount of power in the brake box. When the driver hits the brake pedal, there is a time delay before the trailer brakes are engaged. You can be traveling at any speed, and the trailer brakes will engage in the same way every time.

Are Safety Chains Required When Towing?

Yes. Laws require you to use chains or cables when towing. In the rare event that the trailer becomes disconnected from the ball (on a bumpy road), the chains will keep the trailer connected to your truck. Otherwise, your trailer will be loose on the road, creating an extreme safety hazard. Avoid costly trailer service and repair by using safety chains.

What Is Trailer Sway?

Trailer sway happens when the tongue is not heavy enough to create a downward force on the hitch ball. If the weight in your trailer is distributed unevenly, you may experience the trailer bobbing and weaving behind your tow vehicle.Test this by loading a trailer and gradually increasing your speed on the open road. Watch the behaviour of your trailer closely. If it rocks from side to side or has trouble staying in the lane, park and adjust the cargo so its heaviest part is closer to the tongue. If this doesn't work, consider buying a weight distribution system for your trailer.

How Do I Measure My Trailer Ball?

Four important measurements include ball diameter, shank length, shank diameter, and the trailer hitch ball load rating. Start with the diameter of the ball, using a tape measure or ruler. Then measure the ball shank size from the bottom of the base to the end of the threads. Finally, measure the thickness of the base. Make sure this all matches up with the weight rating.

Comprehensive Trailer Service and Repair at McFarlane

When you book a service appointment with us, you avail yourself of our many areas of expertise which include:
  • Axle repair and replacement
  • Brake drums and backing plates 
  • Trailer lighting and wiring
  • Tires and rims 
  • Wheel hitch installations
We will fully inspect your trailer for any areas for improvement, and recommend the highest-need repairs. If you come for a specific service, we will give you a quote that clarifies exactly how we will get the job done. Contact our team to get started.