A Simple Guide to Maintaining Your Truck Trailers

When you work in logistics, your trucks and your trailers are the most important parts of your business, so it is essential that these are properly maintained at all times. This is not only to keep them in good working order but also to stay within the law and to ensure that they are safe to be on the road.

Whilst a lot of attention is paid to the truck itself, many drivers can overlook the trailers that they are pulling, but these are just as important. In this article, FleetEx outlines the essential checks that you need to make for your trailer, and we will provide you with our top tips on keeping it well-maintained.

What is a truck trailer?

A truck trailer can refer to flatbed trailers, enclosed trailers, refrigerated trailers, side kit trailers, low loader trailers, and step deck trailers. They are unpowered vehicles that are towed by a powered vehicle and so they will make up the main part of any truck or lorry. They require careful maintenance as they are where the load of any truck is kept, and so it is important to ensure that they are always safe and up to the task.

Check your tyres

Before setting off on any journey you must make sure that you check all of your tyres, including the ones on your trailer. You should look for any signs of damage, such as tears that could lead to a blowout whilst on the road. You also need to check that they have a safe and legal amount of tread and that the air pressure is correct, as properly inflated tyres are more fuel efficient and extend their life.

Brakes

A trailer can be extremely heavy when it is fully loaded, which makes it a difficult thing to bring to a halt. You therefore need to ensure that your brakes are fully functioning and in good order. Make sure that you inspect the brake pads, rotor, and fluid levels to be certain that you can stop quickly in the event of an emergency.

Oil and filter changes

It is always important to check your oil levels and change it regularly to keep everything lubricated and running smoothly. It is also necessary to replace the oil filter when needed, as this plays an essential role in keeping contaminants and debris out of the oil, as this could cause damage to the engine or system.

Electrical safety

It is important to check the electrics throughout your truck and trailer to ensure that everything is working properly. This should include testing your battery terminals, alternators and starter motors, as well as any electrical supply that the trailer needs.

Lubrication

Your vehicle will need a number of lubrication fluids such as gear oil, differential oil, and transmission fluid. You should always check the levels of these before setting off and ensure that they are topped up if needed.

Suspension checks

Your suspension system is what keeps your trailer stable and ensures a smooth ride, which can be important when it comes to protecting your cargo. You therefore need to make sure that you regularly check your bushings, shocks, and struts replace them as necessary, and check that the suspension is set at the correct ride height.

Fuel system maintenance

Your vehicle needs the appropriate levels of fuel to keep it running properly so the fuel system will also need its own maintenance checks. This will involve looking at the fuel filters, lines and injectors to make sure that there is no damage and that they are free of any blockages.

Cooling systems

To keep your truck and trailer running at a safe temperature, your cooling system will need to be in good working order. This means keeping regular tabs on your coolant levels as well as your hoses and radiators.

Straps, ties, and locks

It is important that your load is always secure before you set off. If anything becomes loose while you are on the move, then it can present an incredibly dangerous hazard. You therefore need to check that the locks on doors are in good order and that any clips are all working properly.

Make sure that you check any straps and ties for signs of fraying and damage as there is a risk that these could snap whilst in transit. Once your trailer has been loaded, you should check everything again to make sure that it is all securely in place before you set off.

Wear and tear

You should also make sure that you check the trailer thoroughly for any other signs of wear and tear that may present a problem. You should pay close attention to these, as they could be an indication of a problem elsewhere.

Keep it clean

Whilst cleaning your trailer may not seem as essential as some other things, it can help to prevent rust and corrosion. By washing and waxing it on a regular basis, you can help to keep costly repairs at bay, as well as enjoy a vehicle that you can take pride in and show off your brand.

Checklist

To make sure that you don’t miss anything, you should have a checklist of items that you need to look at. This allows you to record the dates and times of when the maintenance checks were carried out, what condition everything was in, and what remedial action you needed to take. This means that should an incident occur; you can show that you took all reasonable measures to make sure that the trailer was in good working order and in a safe condition.

Checks on your trailer are essential to keep yourself and other road users safe. A failure of any sort could lead to an expensive repair bill, the inability to meet a deadline, and massive inconvenience, but it can also have potentially deadly consequences. It is therefore vital that you have a regular schedule for maintenance checks and that you record all of your findings.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.