Abraham's Auto Blog

3 Useful Tips for Repair and Maintenance of Trailer Wheels and Tyres

Monitoring the condition of a trailer is essential to achieving optimum functionality. Maintenance of wheel bearings and tyres ensures that your trailer remains on the road. You don't want to pull over on the roadside because of problems such as broken axles and malfunctioning wheels. The issues might send trailer owners into a state of panic because they risk incurring enormous costs of replacing parts. Here are some useful tips for trailer repair and maintenance.

Inspecting Wheel Bearings -- A wheel bearing consists of components such as bearing rollers, cup, cone, and hub, which work seamlessly to ensure that the wheel spins freely. Look for signs of wear and tear including pitting and chipping. Also, the bearing rollers will have some discolouration, which indicates underlying issues with the mechanism. Furthermore, check for scoring marks or damage to the cup. All these signs indicate that the bearings are faulty and should be replaced immediately.

Lubricating Wheel Bearings -- When using a trailer, the wheel bearings will often get immersed in water, both fresh and salt. Such water causes corrosion of the bearings over time if you neglect lubricating the components. Owners of trailers should remember to lubricate bearings and hubs as often as possible to prevent rusting and pitting. It is recommended that you check the lubrication before making any trip. Spring-loaded hubs are ideal for your wheel bearing because they prevent leakage of grease since they have an inner seal. Therefore, by maintaining a considerable level of oil for a longer time span, the bearing system continually lubricates itself for thousands of miles before servicing. Remember to use premium grade grease that has the high viscosity to enhance frictional characteristics.

Trailer Tyre Issues -- Unlike car tyres that are made using the radial design, trailer tyres use the bias ply design that enhances load capacity. Also, configuration ensures that the tyres are stiff since they are constructed using nylon belts. One issue with trailer tyres is the dry rot problem, which diminishes the tyre threads. Also, exposure to sunlight will cause the sidewalls to degrade over time. Therefore, it is recommended that you replace these tyres after every six years, which is equivalent to approximately 25,000 miles. Note that since trailers do not cover higher mileage compared to cars, the duration is the preferred indicator as opposed to distance. For this reason, check the manufacturer's date on the sidewall of the tyre. To give the tyres a longer lifespan, always use a tyre gauge to check the pressure and subsequently inflate accordingly since such tyres won't sag if underinflated.