Expert Advice: Maintaining Your Trailer - Tips from Reid Cone of Ozark Trailer MFG & Sales
Maintaining Your Trailer
HARRISON, AR - If you're a trailer owner, regular maintenance is essential to keep your trailer safe, functional, and in optimal condition. Reid Cone, General Manager/Service & Sales of Ozark Trailer MFG & Sales, and his team, offer valuable insights and tips on what to check when maintaining your trailer to ensure it stays in top shape.
Key Checks When Using Your Trailer:
. Levelness: If the trailer is empty the front of the trailer should be slightly north of level to allow for suspension travel when the trailer is loaded. Check that your trailer sits level when hitched to your towing vehicle. An uneven trailer can affect stability during transport.
. Cargo Securement: Always tie down and anchor any cargo securely. Loose or shifting cargo can be dangerous and affect the balance of your trailer.
Your trailer's deck is typically constructed with #2 Pressure-treated Pine lumber, a preferred choice among trailer manufacturers. To maintain your deck:
• Pressure Treatment: The wood is treated with MCA (Micronized Copper Azole), enhancing its longevity and resistance to decay and insects.
• Sealing: Apply a quality sealant of your choice at least once a year to prevent cracking or warping.
• Storage: If possible, store your trailer in a dry and sunny location to reduce exposure to moisture.
• Avoid Damage: Be careful not to drag or scrape heavy loads across the deck, as this can lead to board damage. If a board is damaged, replace it promptly.
• Check Regularly: Examine your safety chains to ensure they haven't been dragged on the ground or worn through.
• Proper Fastening Make sure they are properly fastened. Cross the chains to eliminate any droop that might catch on obstacles.
All Latches, Hinges, and Pins:
• Regular Inspection: Check for damage, it will make uneven wear. This includes gate latches, storage ramp pins, coupler pin, and kicker ramp pins. Ensure that they are properly latched and secured.
• Regular Inspection: Inspect your trailer tires every 3 months or 3,000 miles.
• Replace Every 6 Years: Even if your tires have low mileage, replace them every 6 years to ensure safety.
• Check for Damage: Examine tires for cuts, bulges, worn treads, or exposed belts.
• Inflation: Keep tires inflated to the manufacturer's specifications for optimal performance.
• Wheel Inspection: Inspect wheels for cracks, dents, or distortion. Torque wheel lug nuts to proper specifications.
• Regular Inspection: Inspect the brakes every 10,000 miles.
• Breakaway Batteries: These have a limited life expectancy, so have the battery on the breakaway system tested annually.
• Frequency: Inspect axles every 2 years or every 5,000-6,000 miles.
Idler or Brake Axles:
• Bearings and Grease Seals: Clean, inspect, and repack bearings, and replace grease seals at least every 2 years or every 5,000-6,000 miles.
• Proper Function: Check that the brakes are working properly and adjusted for your loaded weight.
• Brake Pads: Inspect for cracked brake pads or unusual wear in the drum.
• Correct Ball Size: Ensure you are using the correct size ball, as indicated on the coupler.
• Regular Inspection: Due to friction during operation, inspect for excessive wear yearly.
• Lubrication: Consider greasing the inside of the coupler or the ball for better operation.
Jacks: Ensure Jack is fully stowed or in the upright position before towing the trailer.
• Tongue Jacks: These also require lubrication. Ensure they are not bent or damaged.
• Regular Check: Inspect the hitch for cracks and check the bolts for signs of wear.
• Secure Ball: Make sure the hitch ball is tightly secured in the receiver, and the receiver pin is locked in place.
• Electrical System: Plug in the electrical system and check running lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
• Inspect Wiring: Examine trailer wiring for wear or damage, as a frayed wire could short out against the frame.
• Pivot Points: Apply lubrication to all pivot points. Lubricating moving parts can help prevent damage from friction.
Reid Cone of Ozark Trailer MFG & Sales emphasizes that regular maintenance is crucial for safety and the longevity of your trailer. For any questions or concerns regarding trailer maintenance, don't hesitate to contact the experts at Ozark Trailer MFG & Sales at 870-280-2709. Your safety and the efficiency of your trailer is their top priorities.