How to Best handle Trailer Maintenance7 April 2022
Truck drivers often focus their attention on the maintenance of the tractor part. However, even if trailers are built to last, they should still get the attention they need, in order to remain in optimal functioning order. Here are a few of the actions that should be done regularly.
Most Important Action: Check the Tire Pressure
There is no maintenance more important on a trailer than to check the air pressure inside the tires. If it is not as it should be, it could become the cause of many problems. In fact, it is so important that you should be using a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) at all time. This is the only way to guarantee that you will never have any issues with your tires. Even then, you should still inspect for potential leaks, by inspecting the system as well. To do so, you will first need to confirm that the system pressure is set correctly. Then, check on auxiliary battery switch (ABS), as well as at the system shut-off valve position.
If air tire pressure is not perfect, you will find that your tires won’t last long. On a trailer, that is also a potential source of accident. If one of them blows up, while you are driving, the rubber material could hit a car that is coming behind you and cause it to go off the road, either from the impact or by trying to avoid it. A wrong tire pressure will also be the cause for greater consumption of gas. With the cost of energy being so high right now, that is definitely something you don’t need. Keeping the right air pressure in the tires will also limit your emissions of CO2, which will help the environment, at the same time.
Suspensions need to be inspected carefully and regularly, because they affect other parts of the trailer as well. For example, if the ride height is too high, it could change the total height of the trailer, which could cause an accident when you cross an overpass. Too little air will also have a potentially dangerous impact, as the trailer will find itself riding on the suspension’s bumpers, which will end-up damaging other components.
When you proceed to the visual inspection of the suspensions, you need to look at the air springs and search for signs of wear, tear and heat cracks. Make sure that nothing comes in contact with the suspension that could interfere with its movement. Finally, take a look at the air springs pressure to ensure that it is sufficient and equal in all of them.
Ensure that the brakes are in Order
Trailer brakes are naturally of first importance. If you find yourself with a serious brake issue, it could be disastrous. Here is how to do a proper inspection:
You need to look at the angle that is formed by the air chamber push rod and the slack adjuster, on wheel ends, while the spring brakes are applied. If they do not form a 90° angle, it means that the break is out of adjustment and the issue needs to be fixed, right away. As for the drums conditions, they need to be checked at the same time that the brake or wheels are being inspected. You simply need to make sure that there still remains sufficient material on them to last till the next maintenance scheduled.
A trailer should always be cleaned entirely, as often as possible. There are many issues that can be caused by dirt on various parts. The same way that the tractor cabin has to be dust free, the rest of the truck should be as well. It is the only way that you will easily notice if anything is about to go wrong.