Top 7 Light Trailer Maintenance Tips
By: Leigh M
Light trailers, whether it be a car hauler, flatbed, landscaping trailer or a gooseneck trailer, keeping them maintained will ensure you get the longest serviceable life out of your equipment. Make sure you regularly check these 7 areas of your trailer!
Trailer tires are as important as the ones on your truck, make sure you are regularly checking them for air pressure, tread wear, cracking and general damage. If the trailer has been sitting for a period without use, you’re almost certainly going to need to reinflate them before you hook up and drive off. If it’s been sitting for a very long time, you might even lose the seal on the rim which will need extra time and effort to re-seat and reinflate the tire to get the trailer road worthy once again.
A trailer without functioning lights is a recipe for disaster (and illegal). When you hook up your trailer you should always check to see if all the lights are working. Running light? Brake lights? Turn signals? They all need to be properly functioning to achieve safe operation on the road. If something isn’t working, it’s time to diagnose the issues. Is the bulb burnt out? Is the wiring damaged? Is the connector working incorrectly? There are serval points of failure in the electrical system, and you’ll have to check each one until you find the cause of the problem.
If your trailer has a braking system, whether it be electric, air or surge, it needs to be checked and maintained along with the rest of the trailer. Whether it be disc and pads, or drums and shoes you should check them regularly You’ll also want to check brake adjusters, lines and the other components for wear and tear, and replace them when they reach the end of their serviceable life. If you’re using surge brakes, be sure you keep an eye on the fluid levels too.
Another often overlooked but important system in your trailer is the suspension system. Most commonly, you have the classic spring axles. These systems require that you keep an eye on the mounting brackets, corrosion, cracks, general damage and potential component failure. The trick to keeping your spring suspension in good condition is to keep an eye on it, the deterioration is often slow and subtle but can be catastrophic when it finally gives in.
Another type of suspension system is a Torsion system, it is a relatively maintenance-free system but should still be checked for wear and tear on a regular basis.
Wheel Bearings & Seals
An important part of a functioning trailer and simple to maintain with some grease. A regular greasing of the bearings is going to ensure they run smoothly and don’t wear. If you do notice wear on the bearings, it might be time to swap them before they start to give you an issue mid- trip. Replacing trailer bearings is a simple process and can be quickly done by a Parts for Trucks service technician.
Don’t forget to check your seals too! Make sure they aren’t cracking or experiencing extreme wear & tear.
Frame and Floor
Rotten floorboards? Rusty frame? It’s time you addressed the problem. Floorboards are an easy fix, a few minutes with a saw and a bit of lumber and you’re back on the road however, a rusty frame can be a problem. The frame is the critical structure on a trailer, if it gives out on you while on the road, you’re going to hurt yourself, or someone else. If you see rust building up on your frame, it is time to bring your trailer in and have it looked at by a technician.
Load Securement and Other Mechanisms
Hitches, locks, chains, spare tires, jacks and all the other hardware on your trailer that is mission-critical to your journey should also be checked and maintained on a regular basis. A little bit of wear here and a bit of tear there may seem minor but add it all up and you have a recipe for disaster on your hands. Check it and check it again, this hardware should not be overlooked.
Lastly, simply moving a trailer around the yard every so often will do wonders to prevent components and systems from seizing. It doesn’t need to go far, just get it moving and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches when it is time to hook up for a job.
A properly maintained trailer is a happy trailer and a happy trailer makes for a happy driver. If you have any questions about your trailer or need some work done on it, visit or call any of our locations and we will happily look at it and provide you with the parts or service you need.