How to Service Your Trailer

Do you take your trailer for granted? If so, you may realise that you need to service your car or truck as there are so many different mechanical, electrical and electronic parts that can go wrong. A well-made trailer will certainly stand you in good stead for many years of use, but if you don't pay reasonable attention to its condition, then it may also leave you stranded by the side of the road. To be a little more proactive, you should come up with a checklist so that you don't overlook this crucial area again, but what should you consider?

Where to Start

You can break down the trailer into three separate areas:

  • one or two axles connected to braked or unbraked hubs.
  • a rudimentary suspension system.
  • a lighting system to include the brake lights and indicators.

Hubs and Brakes

Every couple of months you should take the wheels off and look at the condition of the bearings. They may need to be adjusted and, on occasion, will need to be repacked. You should also grease the hubs while you are there and remember to correctly torque the wheel nuts when you replace the wheels.

Some hubs will be equipped with a braking system, and twice per year you will need to check to see if the drum brakes are still in good condition. Occasionally you you will need to replace the friction shoes or will need to adjust to them to take up the slack. Most trailer brakes these days are self-adjusting to a degree, but may still need the occasional manual input.

Suspension System

Typically, a trailer like this will have a basic leaf spring suspension system. Twice per year have a look at the bushes that carry the leaf springs and if they look worn, they may need to be replaced. Quickly look over the springs themselves for any cracks or other signs of weakness.

Lighting System

Your trailer lighting system is connected to the host vehicle through a single loom and, in general, will not need any maintenance at all. Just make sure that it is carefully covered and properly connected to the trailer frame to allow for a certain amount of movement through everyday use.

You should always check that your lights are working before you get on the road, especially at night. Occasionally, you will need to replace a bulb but shouldn't have to worry too much otherwise.

Outsourced Help

You may find it easier to outsource all of this work instead, so that you have one less thing to worry about. If so, schedule a date so that you can take the trailer in to a trailer servicing specialist.