Trailer Maintenance: What Every Driver Must Understand

Proper trailer maintenance is crucial to ensure a trailer remains safe and reliable. Tires are a significant component of any trailer, and adequate air pressure can extend the life of the tires. It is also crucial to check the hubcaps and wheel ends for leaks and water contamination. These issues can cause axle damage or bearing failure.

Check Electricals

When driving a trailer, it’s essential to check its electrical connections, especially its lights. Damaged wiring can affect the towing vehicle, causing a hazard to other drivers on the road. Trailer lights can also fail, rendering brake lights ineffective and turning signals dim or feeble. If you hire a trailer service, they are in charge of inspecting it, such as trailer service pennsylvania.

A 12V circuit tester can test the electricals in a trailer. The test lights should be engaged; if necessary, another person should hire the lights in the trailer. After testing the lights, check the rest of the electrical in the trailer. You may need a trailer converter to fix the problem if there are broken or frayed wires.

In addition to the lights, check for loose wiring on the trailer. Ask your trailer partner to visually inspect the wiring. The wires should not touch the road.

Check Brakes

When driving a trailer, checking the brakes before towing is essential. You should inspect the brakes at least once every 12 months. If faulty, it’s a good idea to take them to a brake shop for servicing. However, as these parts become harder to find, you should check them sooner than later.

You can test the brake magnets with a multimeter. Connect the multimeter’s negative lead to the battery’s positive terminal. If the amperage reading is high, check the brake magnet. If so, there may be loose wire or corroded connections. Be aware that working with electricity is dangerous; this test is not a substitute for routine trailer inspections.

The brakes are the most critical component of a truck, so it’s essential to check them before every trip. A faulty brake system can save money and time, which could mean missing a deadline.

Check Welds

It is essential to check trailer welds, as these can fail due to cargo movement or heavy loads. You should check these welds at least once a year and fix them if needed. Failure to do so can result in an early loss of the trailer. It is also dangerous, as a damaged trailer can cause severe injury or death. Contact your dealer or a qualified mechanic if you need help checking trailer welds.

The frame of a trailer is also an important part to inspect. Check for cracks, pits, and grease. The hinges should be tight, and the pivot pin should be secure. If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure it’s fully mounted. The airline should also be intact. The side and front of the trailer should be free of holes. All rivets should be secure. Make sure that DOT tape covers at least 50% of the trailer.

Check Tow Hitch

Performing routine checks on your tow hitch and vehicle frame is essential. This is because your vehicle’s frame is a big part of the trailer and can become damaged if it’s not maintained correctly. At least once a year, check the frame for excessive rust and bent legs. Pay attention to the area on the frame where the trailer hitch receiver attaches, which can be near the bumper or under the bed. Also, wash your vehicle thoroughly and apply an undercoating before the winter months.

Aside from your vehicle’s engine and transmission, your hitch is another piece of equipment you should take care of. If it’s not functioning correctly, it could result in an unhitched trailer, which can be a hazard to other motorists. In fact, hundreds of people die each year in trailer-related crashes.


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