Trailer maintenance.

07/15/2015 3:30PM

Trailer Maintenance Tips


Trailer maintenance ensures you stay compliant with state and federal regulations. For complete compliance, refer to your company’s policies and safety procedures. It saves you money and increases the safety of you and others around you. 

  1. Check Your Tires and Wheels

    Perform regular tire inspections. Verify all tires are the same type and properly inflated. This prolongs the life of your tire and saves you money and repairs. By checking your tires, you are also able to identify other issues with your trailer. Tire wear often exposes other issues such as suspension problems, ABS, and other undercarriage issues. Finding tire problems early is important for the tire life, as they are often able to be remounted and corrected prior to the tire being trashed. Regular examination of your tires can help you identify issues with your trailer, so they can be corrected before putting on new tires.

    Make sure the slack adjusters, hoses, brakes, brake drums, air chamber mounting, wheels, tandem axle, and suspension are in working order.

    Inspect the steering system and front axle.

    Check the fifth-wheel coupling system. It shouldn’t have space between the lower and upper wheel. The locking jaws will be around the shank if it’s in proper position. Engage the safety latch. Make sure the release lever is seated.

  2. Look at the Outside of the Trailer

    Check to make sure the trailer support isn’t damaged and will fully raise. Make sure the crank handle is secured. Check for body and frame damage. Make sure placards are in place, clean, tear free and the right color. Remove all old placards if you bought a used trailer. Check the condition of the curb side fuel tank, bottom rail, and sidewalls.

  3. Check the Gap

    Look at the electrical, air connectors and their seals. Ensure gladhands are properly mounted, not leaking, and undamaged.

  4. Check the Tractor

    Inspect under the vehicle for fuel, grease, oil and coolant leaks. Fill up fluids. Look for windshield cracks and inspect the driver’s side fuel tank area.

  5. Lights and Reflectors

    Making sure your lights are properly lit up is very important. Check to see if the lights and reflectors are present and working. Even if the lights seem to look ok, you could have issues with corrosion in your electrical system. Deep inspection of your lighting and electrical system can help prevent this from becoming a bigger problem. A failed light is an obvious and simple way to get pulled over. Take the time to regularly perform lighting PM.

  6. Check Inside the Trailer

    Many people don’t spend enough time checking the inside of the trailer for issues. Spending a few minutes to examine the roof, floors, side walls, and cross members can save an enormous amount of time in repairs, not to mention money. Holes in the roof often cause loads to be ruined and money to be lost. Damage to walls can weaken the trailer and damage cargo if you are not careful. Maintaining the floor’s integrity is very important for load balance, safety, and the trailer weight rating. Make sure your cargo can be properly secured and the doors will lock.

  7. Regularly Clean Your Trailer

    Cleaning and washing your trailer can help prevent unwanted corrosion or missed damage. If you can’t see it, a lot of times you won’t know it’s there. Spend the extra money to clean your trailer before a small problem becomes a bigger problem. Always sweep and clean off any chemical or cargo debris.

  8. Take it to a Professional

    You may be able to find and identify many problems on your own, but you may not have the time or proper tools to fix everything. Regularly take your trailer to a professional service shop to perform preventative maintenance and make sure to reference your company’s policies and safety procedures to ensure compliance. Trailers are becoming more sophisticated and require proprietary tools to properly diagnose problems. PM can prevent large repairs and help keep you on the road!

Utility Keystone Trailer Sales has a full service repair shop featuring 16 service bays and 30 technicians (mechanics). A full time first and third shift allows UKTS to work around the clock to get the jobs done right and on time. Stop in to see our dealership or give us a call at 717-400-7183.

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