Bookmark and Share

3 Ways To Keep Your Trailers In Tip-Top Shape

When one thinks about semi-truck maintenance, the first thought is generally geared towards the tractor. After all, that's where the engine, transmission and brakes are located, so obviously it makes good sense to regularly check and repair its components. However, a tractor can only do so much. In order to move cargo, you need a trailer, whether it be a flatbed, dry van or refrigerated unit. These integral parts of the equation also need regular maintenance in order to perform safely for the long-run.

Check Those Tires

A pre-trip inspection should be completed every time a trailer is used to haul cargo, and that should start with the basics. Tires are vitally important to the safe operation of the trailer and therefore should be the first thing that is checked. A visual inspection is necessary to determine if the tires are damaged or worn. Any tire that shows significant wear should be replaced immediately to avoid a blow out while traveling down the road. It is also vitally important to check the air pressure on each tire to assure that it is within acceptable limits and add air as needed.

When it comes to trailers, Morgan, says in this article 9 Tips for Better Trailer Maintenance, prevention is important. “Look for little symptoms that if fixed prevent big damage.” Or as Hopper put it, “If it moves, slides or goes up and down, it needs to be inspected on a regular basis.”

Trailer Lights

Trailer lights are one of the easiest things to overlook, but they are some of the most important components. Burnt-out lights, or improperly functioning lights are a sure-fire way to get pulled over and can result in costly fines. Therefore, before every trip, and whenever the truck is stopped, it's wise to check to see if all the lights are functioning properly. This includes the running lights, brake lights and turn signals. Changing a light bulb, or having new wiring installed, is certainly less costly and time-consuming than dealing with law enforcement for an infraction.

The Trailer Body

Trailers truly are designed and built to handle the demands that are put on them whenever they are loaded with cargo. However, that doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to wear and tear. The truth is, de-icers, road salts, and the elements all can wreak havoc on a trailer's body. The most important maintenance step a trailer owner can take is to keep the trailer clean and free of debris inside and out. Checking for holes in the ceiling, walls and doors and repairing any that are found will help keep the trailer operable longer.

Let's face it, trailers are not cheap and it makes good sense to keep yours in the best condition possible for as long as you can. As with your tractors, take the time to inspect all of the components of the trailer at regularly scheduled intervals and address any issues immediately. Not only will you find that your trailers work and look better, but also that they last longer.