Trailer Service & Maintenance
Whether you’re getting ready to haul your trailer in the near future, or you just want to make sure it’s ready for next time, here are the steps you need to take on a monthly, semi-annual, and annual basis to make sure you’re properly maintaining your trailer. Make sure to consult with your manufacturer’s instructions in case there are additional maintenance steps you need to take for your specific trailer. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to bring it by Spring Works for an trailer inspection.
Immediately before you haul something
You should get into the habit of checking several things on your trailer before you hook it up and haul it around. You should also inspect these items after you unhook your trailer. The sooner you spot a problem, the easier and less expensive it will be to fix.
Don’t wait until the last minute to inspect your trailer in case you find that you need to have your wheels tightened, your battery replaced, or your brakes repaired. These can all take time.
Take the time before you’re scheduled to leave to have the following items inspected and serviced as necessary every time you get ready to use your trailer:
- Tire pressure and tread wear
- Wheels for dents and cracks
- Ring and pintle check for cracks, flat spots and wear
- Shoe and drum adjustment
- Breakaway battery connections and charge
- Coupler and hitch ball check for cracks, flat spots and wear
- Safety chains and hooks
- Breakaway, electric, and surge function
Every one to three months
Unless you’re using your trailer consistently, you don’t need to do a lot with it every month. If you’re using it every month, you’ll want to run it through the above checklist every time you get back from using it to make sure you aren’t surprised the next time you need to take it out.
In addition, every month or so you should lubricate your trailer’s gate and door hinges, if it has them. This will keep them operating as they should and will avoid headaches further down the road.
Every six months
Every six months, regardless of how often you’re using your trailer, you should check the following to make sure they are in place and working as they should:
- Tires - inspect tread and sidewalls and rotate tires every 5,000 miles.
- Surge brakes - Check master cylinder level and operation.
- Electric brakes - Check wear and draw (current).
- Ring and pintle - Check for cracks, flat spots and wear
- Wheel bearings - Check for looseness, wear, or damage. Lubricate or replace the bearings as needed.
- Coupler and hitch ball - check for cracks, flat spots and wear
- Brake shoes and drum - Adjust
- Safety chains and hooks - Check for wear
Every Twelve Month
Perform all checks same as six months and add the following inspections:
- Leaf springs
- Check frame
- Check welds
- Suspension Components
- Jack - Check operation and lubricate
- Service wheel bearings
Trailer maintenance by mileage
Some elements on your trailer need to be maintained more on a mileage basis than on a timeline. Here’s a guideline of when you should inspect certain elements of your trailer based on mileage, not time.
Every 6,000 miles
Same as six month maintenance.
Every 12,000 miles
Same as twelve month maintenance.
Taking the time to inspect your trailer and ensure everything is in good working condition will make sure you have a safe ride the next time you hitch it up and haul it. Make sure to take preventative maintenance steps so you don’t end up with time-consuming or costly surprises. Treating your trailer the same way you treat your primary vehicle when it comes to making time for preventative maintenance will ensure that your trailer stays in good condition and is ready when you need it.
If you have a trailer, you should have it professionally inspected at least once a year to make sure everything is working as it should be. In addition, if your trailer experiences any impacts while on the road, bring it by for an inspection. If you’d like to have your trailer inspected or serviced, you can see what trailer services and repair options we offer here at Spring Works. Schedule an appointment today for your trailer inspection.