Far too few people that own and use trailers give much thought to the safety of their driving condition. While it may become second nature to give regular service checkups to your car or truck, you also need to ensure that your trailer is given the same attention. When it is being used, your trailer is simply an extension of your vehicle and needs to be treated with the same care and attention that you give to your actual car. This is more than simply ensuring that you load and attach your trailer correctly. Rather, it’s about having regular maintenance checks that will make you aware of issues and ensure that you resolve them before they become a danger to you and other road users. Here are the top three areas that are most often neglected when it comes to trailer maintenance.
Check Your Mirrors
Extending your vehicle to the extent that a trailer does means that your fitted car mirrors are no longer suited to the task they were designed for. As a driver, you are expected to be able to see all areas of the road around you, and a trailer can hinder that. Do a safety check before your first trailer journey and make sure that you can see all that you need to. If you are unable to see beyond your trailer, then you will most likely need to some additional mirrors installed. These can be a variety of permanent fixtures or temporary ones, depending on the extent that you use your trailer.
Do a Weight Check
Vehicle manufacturers love to boast about the capabilities of their vehicles and for that reason alone you should always consider the weight aspect of your trailer use. Never assume that your vehicle is capable of pulling your loaded trailer simply because you were told that it can. While trailers are capable of many things, what they can’t do is work effectively if your towing hitch hasn’t been checked. When it comes to towing a trailer, you need to ensure that each link is up to the task, which is why it’s a good idea to make use of a Tongue Weight Tool. Make sure that your vehicle is up to the job of towing your trailer, and do your weight checks so that you can drive with greater confidence.
While doing weight and mirror checks are fairly standard (although often neglected), not enough attention is ever paid to the condition of a trailer axle. The fact is that the axle is one of the most important elements of your trailer setup, and if there are any issues with your rig, then the chances are that the problems started with your axles. Axles are notoriously difficult to tackle when they break mid-journey, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you minimize that risk. The main problem for trailer axles is that moisture can build up around them very quickly, which in turn dilutes the grease and makes your trailer far more likely to suffer damage. You can buy trailer axles if you spot potential issues, but failing to do regular maintenance checks will guarantee that you are caught out at the worst possible moment.
Driving with a trailer is very different from driving without, so it’s essential that you take your time learning how different the experience is. Although they are incredibly useful, they also need a greater control when it comes to decreased acceleration and the performance of your brakes. This is why you should always make sure that your trailer is as roadworthy as it can be.