It’s not exactly a riveting topic of conversation but trailer care is important and should be worthy of at least some consideration from an attentive trailer owner. Too often I see trailers needing major and expensive repairs that could so easily have been avoided had the owner performed some basic checks or maintenance. Here is a quick checklist that can be performed in a couple minutes, starting from the front of the trailer:
- COUPLING – check bolts for tightness and signs of wear, coupling moving parts should be lightly lubricated to ensure smooth and reliable action.
- SAFETY CHAINS – visually check the chains and their attachment pint for signs of wear
- TRAILER WIRING – check electrical connectors for signs of wear or loose wiring/insulation, check that cable is supported and well clear from dragging on the road
- DRAWBAR – check the drawbar for signs of cracks or wear – particularly in the region where the drawbars meet the trailer body
- WHEEL & TYRES – check tyres for wear, check tyre pressure, check wheel nuts/studs for tightness
- SUSPENSION & BRAKES – visually check suspension components for signs of damage or wear, check U-bolts and other fasteners for tightness, check handbrake adjustment, check service brake operation, check emergency (Brake-Away) switch by disconnecting and trying to move trailer, check wheel bearings by rocking top of tyre and checking for bearing play/looseness
- LIGHTS – make sure all the lights function correctly – indicators , tail lights, brake lights, number plate light, reflectors, forward/side/rear markers
- TAILGATE – check that tailgate latches are secure
Any issues observed should be rectified sooner rather than later. Although it is “just a trailer” it is still a vehicle used on public roads and has the potential to cause harm. As trailer owners we have a duty of care to ensure that our trailers are in good serviceable condition each time they go out onto the road.
If you have any queries or comments, we’d love to hear from you, please contact us