Utility trailers are an essential tool for transporting goods and equipment, and they are commonly used in a variety of industries and for personal use. However, like any other piece of equipment, utility trailers require regular maintenance to ensure that they are safe and functional. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive maintenance schedule for utility trailers that will help you keep your trailer in top condition.
Each time you plan to tow your trailer, inspect and service the following items:
- Check the tire pressure
Tire pressure is crucial for the safe operation of any trailer, and it should be checked regularly. The recommended tire pressure can be found in the trailer owner's manual or on the tire itself. It's essential to ensure that the tire pressure is correct to prevent tire damage or blowouts while driving.
To check the tire pressure, use a tire pressure gauge to measure the air pressure in each tire. If the pressure is too low, inflate the tire to the recommended pressure. It's also essential to inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, bulges, or punctures. If you notice any damage or excessive wear, replace the tires to avoid any potential accidents.
Once per month, inspect and service your trailer for:
- Check the flooring
The flooring on the utility trailer can become damaged over time, especially if it is exposed to harsh conditions. Inspect the flooring at least once a month for any signs of wear or damage. Repair or replace any damaged sections of the flooring to prevent accidents.
- Inspect the lights
Proper lighting on the utility trailer is essential for safe operation, especially when driving at night. Check the lights at least once a month to ensure that they are working correctly. Replace any bulbs that are burnt out and clean any dirty lenses. It's also essential to check the wiring and connections to ensure that they are not loose or damaged.
- Inspect the tires
Inspecting the tires is just as important as checking the tire pressure. Tires that are worn or damaged can cause accidents and increase the risk of tire blowouts while driving. Inspect the tires at least once a month to check for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any damage, replace the tire immediately to avoid any potential safety hazards.
- Check the hitch
The hitch is an essential component of the utility trailer, and it's essential to ensure that it is secure and in good condition. Check the hitch at least once a month for any signs of wear or damage. Check for any signs of rust, corrosion, or other damage, and replace any parts that are worn or damaged. It's also essential to ensure that the hitch is properly lubricated to prevent damage.
- Lubrication – Lubricate gate and door hinges if your trailer is equipped.
- Clean the trailer
Cleaning the utility trailer is essential to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating, which can cause rust and other damage. After each use, or as needed.
EVERY SIX MONTHS
At six-month intervals, inspect and service the following areas on your trailer:
- Grease the bearings
The bearings on the utility trailer should be greased every 6 months or as recommended by the manufacturer. This will help prevent wear and ensure that the trailer runs smoothly. If the bearings are not properly lubricated, they can cause damage to the axle, which can result in costly repairs.
To grease the bearings, remove the dust cap or hub cover and wipe away any old grease. Then apply a fresh coat of grease to the bearings until they are completely covered. Replace the dust cap or hub cover and repeat the process for each wheel.
- Check the brakes
The brakes on the utility trailer are essential for safe operation, and they should be checked regularly to ensure that they are working correctly. Check the brakes every 6 months or as recommended by the manufacturer. If you notice any problems, have them repaired by a professional.
To check the brakes, apply the brakes while driving at a slow speed. If the brakes make any unusual noises or do not respond correctly, have them checked immediately by a professional mechanic.
Make sure to inspect the following items on a yearly basis:
- Maintain the brake shoes and drums on your trailer
- Inspect shoes and drums for wear, clean with brake cleaner, lubricate contact points, adjust according to manufacturer instructions, and test before reattaching wheels. Regular maintenance and professional inspections can prevent problems.
- Drop-Leg Jack (if equipped) - Grease the gears located at the top.
- Structure Frame Members - Examine all frame members, bolts, and rivets. Replace any damaged, worn, or broken parts.
- Structure Welds - Inspect all welds and repair them if necessary.
- Wheel Bearings - Disassemble, inspect, assemble, and repack. If they have been submerged in water, replace them immediately.
- Wheel Rims - Inspect for cracks and dents and replace them as necessary.
- Axle Attachment Bolts - Have them inspected by your dealer.
- Brake Wiring - Check for any bare spots, fraying, or other damage and replace them as necessary.
Furthermore, trailers should receive a professional inspection once a year, as well as after any incidents involving impact.