Trailer Maintenance

Yup, it is that time of the year again when we pull out the toys for a few warm months of fun……(screw you guys in “California” or “Florida” and your warm weather year round:) ). Doesn’t matter if it is to the track, or to the lake, but before you head out on that trip out of town, it is very important to give your trailer a good inspection and service to ensure it will not leave you stranded on the side of the road with a cooked wheel bearing or blown tire. Bearings should be greased at least once a year, and the tires inspected very closely for age related cracks. Typically trailer tires don’t run out of tread, but rather dry rot. A rotten tire will no doubt leave you on the side of the road with a blowout. This is also a good time to make sure all your lights are in working order. Just remember, you likely have a very expensive piece of equipment on that trailer, so make sure you protect it!

My buddy Mike was heading out to the lake tomorrow, and asked me to take a look at his boat trailer quick. There are certain people that just always brighten your day. Mike is one of them. It was a fun conversation, that I think went something like this. Sometimes I take mechanical knowledge for granted, and forget not everyone is an expert in the same field.
“Mike, how old are your tires?”
“uh….the boat is 4 years old”
“So you haven’t ever replaced them?”
“uh…..its a bass tracker”
“Mike, the tires?”
“It’s 4 years old, so no”
“So, where is your spare?”
“It’s a bass tracker…..”
“When did you pack the bearings last?”
“Stop using your big words with me.”
“So never?”
“uh….ummmmmmmm nnnooooo?”
“Lets check the lights” (Right taillight/turn signal dead)
“Ok, i’ll get a new taillight for it. What are these other wires hanging here for?”
“Umm…i think there were lights there…they fell out”
“ok, just let me have it.”

So I pulled it out of storage and gave it a good going through.

mmmmm exactly what I was talking about. This boat sits in a warehouse year round when it isn’t being used, and the 4 year old tires are extremely dry rotten and cracked, so even out of the elements, rubber still rots. He wouldn’t have made it 50 miles.

So I ran up to the trailer shop and got a new set of tires, and a spare rim/tire, and we got them all mounted and balanced, greased the bearings, and tomorrow I’ll get some lights installed. Then off to the lake she goes!

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April 5, 2013 at 2:04 AM

“I’ve never had a problem with the hubs on any car I’ve owned or driven, but for trailer manufacturers, coaxing a spinning wheel to reliably support a load is an unsolvable riddle. If Vegas took odds, I’d put money on the perfection of cold fusion before the advent of trailer bearings that last longer than a round trip to the local Dairy Queen. ”


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