8-Point Trailer Maintenance Checklist

Trailer maintenance ensures you stay compliant with state and federal regulations, saves you money, and increases the safety of you and others around you. 

For complete compliance, refer to your company’s policies and safety procedures.

1. Check Your Tires and Wheels

Perform regular tire inspections. Verify all tires are the same type and adequately 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 can often be remounted and corrected before being trashed.
  • Ensure the slack adjusters, hoses, brakes, brake drums, air chamber mounting, wheels, tandem axle, and suspension are in working order.

2. 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 the proper position.
  • Engage the safety latch. Make sure the release lever is seated.

3. 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, has no tears, and are 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.

4. Check the Gap

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

5. Check the Tractor

  • Inspect under the vehicle for fuel, grease, oil, and coolant leaks. Ande, fill the fluids.
  • Look for windshield cracks.
  • Inspect the driver’s side fuel tank area.

6. 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 easy way to get pulled over.
  • Take the time to perform lighting PM regularly.

7. Check Inside the Trailer

  • Many people don’t spend enough time checking the inside of the trailer for issues. However, 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 lost. In addition, damage to walls can weaken the trailer and damage the cargo.

  • Maintaining the floor’s integrity is very important for load balance, safety, and the trailer weight rating. Ensure your cargo can be properly secured, and the doors will lock.

8. Regularly Clean Your Trailer

Cleaning and washing your trailer can help prevent unwanted corrosion or missed damage before a small problem becomes a bigger problem.

Always sweep and clean off any chemical or cargo debris.

You might be able to find and identify many problems on your own, but you may not have the time or proper tools to fix everything.

So, take your trailer to a professional service shop to perform regular preventative maintenance, referencing your company’s policies and safety procedures to ensure compliance.

Trailers are becoming more sophisticated and require proprietary tools to diagnose problems properly. 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.