Cargo Trailer Maintenance Tips

Purchasing a cargo trailer is an investment, so taking care of it should be a priority and you can do that using our cargo trailer maintenance tips.

Just like regularly changing the oil in your car or having a tune-up done, your enclosed trailer needs attention for it to last a long time.

Many of these maintenance tips can be performed by you. Some of the more complicated ones would be best handled by a professional. Let’s start with the basics.

Cleaning and Washing Your Trailer

This one easy to overlook tip can help your trailer stay in great condition. When do you need to do this? Every time you feel your enclosed trailer needs to be washed & cleaned. If you tow your trailer down dirt or muddy roads, it’s a good idea to wash it. This ensures that your body & chassis stays clean.

Most cleaning can be done with household dish detergent and water. Using hard bristle brushes is not recommended, because your outer trailer is more like an automotive finish, and you wouldn’t want to scratch it up. Stay away from high-pressure sprayers, like pressure washers, as they could do more harm than good.

Check Your Trailer Tires

Tire pressure is vital when it comes to performance. With low pressure, stability and load carrying capacity is reduced. Check on the side of your tires for the manufacturer’s specifications.  Look for the numbers with PSI (pounds per square inch). Use a tire pressure gauge that can be purchased at any automotive store. You may already have one for your vehicle.

Another important thing to check with tires is the wear & tear. Replacing tires when its time is crucial. No one wants to have a blowout when driving down the road, especially if you’re loaded with precious cargo.

Cargo trailer maintenance tips - trailer tires

If you decide you want to rotate tires, it may be best to take your trailer to a professional. Most newer tires need to be rotated in a specific way. Otherwise, you may end up with the tires on backward.

Next on the tire list, is to check the lug nuts. Check your lug nuts on your new cargo trailer before leaving the plant, re-check 50 miles and 100 miles. This should be 2-3 times during the first 1,000 miles to make sure no loosening of the lug nuts has occurred. Then check periodically after that.

Check The Lighting

Check your brake lights, turn signals, and taillights periodically to ensure they are working. No one enjoys being pulled over for faulty lights. Bulbs are easy to replace, making this a simple maintenance job you can do. There are different trailer bulbs, so be sure to check yours to see the type you have with your trailer lighting. Before changing your bulbs, make sure your hands are clean because the oil on your fingers can lead to early burnout.

Wiring on The Trailer

If you have checked the light bulbs and your lights still aren’t working, then you have a wiring issue. This could be as simple as a dirty or loose connection. If you've checked these two and your lighting is still not working, then you may have a severed wire.

Testing your wiring harness is the next thing you would want to do in your troubleshooting. This can be done with a miltimeter or voltage tester. Once you have properly grounded the tester, put the probe to the wire connection or plastic insulation. If there's electricity there, the test device will light up. If it doesn't there's an issue with your wiring. Next is a trial-and-error process, working toward the battery to find a break. If this is not successful it would be best to take it to a professional. 

Lubricating the Necessary Components

A trailer has moving parts that create friction. Proper lubrication will reduce friction, which will cut down on wear and tear. How to apply lubricant and what lube to use are 2 important things to know. Components that are sealed, like wheel bearings will require grease that is applied under pressure with a grease gun. Only use grease designed for wheel bearings.

Other components such as gate or door hinges need a lighter oily lube. Choose one that doesn’t trap or attract road grime. Move the joints back and forth when applying to get the lubricant inside.

Cargo trailer maintenance tips side doors Cargo trailer maintenance tips ramp door

Look Over The Frame and Body

Periodically inspect your trailer frame and body from top to bottom, tightening any loosened bolts and fasteners. If you see any major problems with the coupling system or suspension, it would be best to take it to a professional.

Do Not Attempt These Trailer Repairs Yourself

Brakes – new ones or repairs

Suspension, Coupling, and Breakaway Repairs

It’s great to save money doing some of the simpler repairs yourself, but when it comes to the safety of your trailer, it is best to let a professional handle the work they are trained to do. You wouldn’t want to do anything that could jeopardize road safety or legal compliance. If you are thinking of modifications, a professional will know what modifications can be done to keep your trailer legal for the road.

Reedy Branch Equipment Co LLC can help you with selecting a trailer. Call us today  call us 912-422-7092.

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