How to keep your trailer in shape

Posted by & filed under Trucker's Tips.

Every driver knows that keeping their trailer on the road is critically important. Whether on a long haul or an overnight trip, those wheels delivering goods across the country are just a part of what makes America thrive. Keeping your trailer in good shape will help ensure success and minimal downtime.

To that end, here are four things you’ll want to inspect on a regular basis to make sure your trailer stays on the road:

Tires

There’s a great deal of debate about over-inflating and the benefits or negative effects it can have on tire life and fuel economy. But there is one thing that everyone can agree on: underinflated tires are a disaster waiting to happen.

Adhere to your fleet’s regulations when it comes to how much you inflate your tires beyond the minimum, but never let them run flat. Be sure to check your tires regularly, and inflate them to proper safe minimum pressure whenever they run low.

Air system

Part of your pre-haul checklist should include inspecting the vehicle’s air system. This includes hoses, the compressor, gauges, valves, and more. Contamination can disrupt airflow to the suspension system and brakes. If any part of the system is in need of repair, be sure to have it addressed right away.

Electrical systems

Before you head out, make certain that your trailer is properly powered from your cab. But even more critical is to inspect that system on a regular basis. It might be easy to assume there are no problems, but a brake light out is a surefire way to find yourself being pulled over and ticketed. Prevent this by making sure there is no corrosion on the wiring and that all connections are properly secured.

Interior

So based on an exterior inspection, everything seems good to go. Does this mean you’re now ready to head to the loading docks? Not quite.

Have you taken the time to inspect the interior of your trailer? All things wear over time, and the materials used to support the inside of your trailer are no different. Look for obvious signs like cracks, dents, or even holes, but also be on the lookout for broken supports that can lead to greater damage down the road.

The phrase “a little bit of prevention goes a long way” is as true with a truck as it is with a passenger vehicle. Take a bit of time before each trip to inspect your trailer and keep it in shape. If you do find your trailer in need of emergency repair while on the road, we can help. Take a tour of our Parts and Service division to learn more about what we can do for you.

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