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Marine News from the Great Lakes

How To Properly Maintain Your Trailer

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018
By: Megan Straw-Meisler, Sales & Marketing Director of Loadmaster Trailer

You own a boat trailer, now what? How do you ensure you are keeping your trailer safe to tow and store your boat? Every manufacturer uses different components and accessories on their trailers but often, the core fundamental maintenance is the same. It is common that boaters remember to do the proper safety procedures on their boat — change the spark plugs, winterizing, etc. — but, often the boat trailer gets forgotten.

Below you will find a checklist I compiled for the magazine a year ago to help educate boat trailer owners on proper care and guidelines. It was such a big hit that it bears repeating!

  • Always check your tire pressure to make sure it is set to the maximum suggested rating by the tire manufacturer.
  • Always tighten/torque your lug nuts to the suggested rating to prevent the loss of a tire.
  • Check your tread for wear, dry rot, or other issues that could cause a real safety concern.
  • Inspect, grease, and replace your bearings, if necessary. Every trailer manufacturer utilizes different styles of bearings and grease systems so it is imperative to know the maintenance schedule to prevent any overheating or failure of the bearings.
  • Inspect your lights and make sure they are working properly. Look for possible shorts or loose connections.
  • Inspect the trailer brakes. There are numerous styles available in terms of activation or drum vs disc so you will want to consult with your trailer manufacturer or trailer manual first to be sure you know what you’re looking for.
  • Whether you have a bunk, roller, or screwpad style trailer, you will want to make sure the supports are fixed, tight, and secure to prevent any issues with the hull support.
  • Boat trailer frame constructions all vary. Some manufacturers build out of aluminum I beam, C Channel Steel, Box/tube steel, etc. It is always a good idea to double check the frame itself to look for any signs of rusting or strength issues to prevent frame failure.
  • Take a peek at your winch strap and tie downs and look for signs of dry rot or wear to prevent them from snapping or breaking.
  • Renew your trailer registration, if necessary.
  • If you have a break away battery on your trailer, make sure you test it to be certain the battery is functioning properly in case of an emergency.

Happy Boating! I hope to see you on the water!

Have a question on trailering or boat trailers? Please feel free to email me at [email protected].

 


tags: Boating 101, Do It Yourself (DIY), Trailers

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