Truck and RV shops see more damaged tow rigs every day than most of us will see in a lifetime. Trailer repairs can get pricey and you can deal with this by being proactive in how you take care of your vehicle. However, unexpected issues occur and many times they cannot be prevented and that’s why when the worst happens, you should know how to identify the problem and whose services to access. Below is a roundup of some of the most frequent mistakes a driver can make that will have a high impact on their trailer.
Weight-distribution bars come in different strengths for different tongue weights and are extremely customizable. Most truck drivers look at them and are under the impression that the bigger the bars are, the better it is. However, this is not the case here and it is highly important to take into consideration how much the tongue weighs, before you make a purchase. The golden rule dictates that approximately 60% of the weight should go towards the front of the trailer and the remaining 40% towards the rear end. Setting wrongly the weight distribution can cause excessive bouncing between the trailer and the truck which can not only lead to further vehicle damages, but it also poses a risk of road accidents.
Another frequently made mistake, especially by newbies, happens when towing is done with the incorrect size ball. It is important to note that there are three categories of sized balls for standard bumper towing and each of them relates to a different weight amount. To ensure you are using the most appropriate one, check for a stamp on the trailer’s tongue. On this note but a completely different issue arises from wrongly mounting the ball. You would be surprised to learn how many accidents happen because of something that seems like an easy job. Properly attaching the coupling to the hitch is one of the first things you should pay attention to and double check.
Since trailers are rarely used on a daily basis, regular services such as lubing components and checking the breaks might slip your mind. But they shouldn’t. Usually the steel parts, such as axels and steel pivot points require regular oiling. Trailer brakes do not self-regulate like the ones on your normal vehicle would and they are exposed to normal wear and tear just like any brake would. For the highest levels of safety, a brake controller should be installed.
Trailer inspections, repairs and upkeep are the key things you can do to prevent small problems from turning into major problems. Sadly, in many cases undetected malfunctions caused by lack of proper vehicle care are the reasons behind breakdowns or accidents involving trailers. This is why it is of vital importance to have access to reliable mechanical services at least every six months on top of the usually routine you should perform before every journey.