Most trailers are not marvels of modern engineering, but they do require more attention to maintenance procedures than you might think to keep them safe and functional.  The simple fact that many trailers sit for extended periods of time between uses make them particularly vulnerable to breakdowns.  You should always perform a trailer safety inspection before taking it on the road to uncover any needed maintenances and/or repairs.  

That brings us to our first and most important trailer tip:

Trailer safety begins with a safety inspection

You’ll never notice what repairs or maintenances your trailer may need if you never take the time to look.  Torklift Central recommends and performs a complementary 10-point safety inspection that covers the critical components of your trailer:

Read now:  The top 10 safety inspections your trailer needs - get it for free

  1. Breakaway system – Inspect rust damage and bearing grease
  2. Braking system – Includes inspection of the wiring, brake shoes, magnets, wheel cylinders and more 
  3. Bearing tension – Don’t let loose bearing tension cause your bearings to fail quickly 
  4. Tires and air pressure – We inspect for weather cracks, over or under inflated tires cause uneven tire wear, poor braking, bad fuel economy and dangerous handling 
  5. Suspension inspection – Vibrations from the road cause things to become loose.  Inspection of springs, link plates, U-bolts, shackle bolts, axle straightness and spring hangers is critical.  
  6. Lighting system – With proper working lights, your safety and the safety of others are protected  
  7. Grease fittings – Keep those parts lubricated to ensure longevity and lifespan of your parts
  8. Ball coupler – Prevent potential trailer disconnect 
  9. Safety chains – Inspect for proper length when towing as well as for wear and tear
  10. Chassis and frame – Inspect trailer for fracture points, cracks, tears or rust in the frame

Don’t neglect bearing maintenance

A blown wheel bearing

Bearing failure is the number one cause of trailer breakdown yet one of the easiest and most affordable to prevent. Trailer hitch manufacturers and professional facilities such as Torklift Central recommend a trailer bearing repack service at least annually. 

Read now:  Bearing repack – prevent the #1 cause of trailer breakdown

Trailer brakes give warning signs before failure

Trailer brake cutaway

If your trailer is equipped with trailer brakes it is critical that they function properly.  Your trailer manufacturer installed the brakes because they are either required by law to do so and/or don’t recommend using the trailer without them.  In either case there are a number of telltale signs that your trailer brakes are failing and you are in need of trailer brake repair.  Identifying the warning signs is key to avoiding a serious accident.

Read now: Do you know what’s wrong with your trailer brakes? You might be surprised

Boat trailers require unique maintenance procedures 

Boat trailers require a unique set of maintenance procedures to keep them from deteriorating after being continually dunked in water.  Trailer brakes, lighting systems, bearings and structural components all have particular needs for boat trailers.  Identifying and correcting signs of failure before they occur is key to keeping a boat trailer on the road for years to come.     

Read now:  How to maintain a boat trailer

Trailer safety starts with a safety inspection.  Visit Torklift Central’s Trailer Center today to learn more about how we can help you Get Out and Go trailering like a pro.

Torklift Central

315 Central Ave N 
Kent, Wash. 98032

[email protected]