Here we’ve broken this down to daily, weekly, monthly, semiannual and yearly needs. *Variables exist with miles traveled.
Daily: (AKA pre trip inspection)
- Tire pressure, set according to vin label or PSI stamped on tire side wall. Inspect tread and look for any imperfection on side walls.
- Lights/lighting, be sure all are working properly. Best to test as many function simultaneously as feasible. Reflectors and reflective tape must be visible, wipe of if covered.
- Breakaway system ( applies to trailer equipped with electric brakes only) be sure battery has charge and switch is operational, Cable must be connected to towing vehicle but not any part or portion of the hitch. Inspect cable for condition, replace if frayed. Do not wind this cable within safety chains
- Inspect trailer cable and plug, be sure in good condition and lid of outlet engages with tab on plug to prevent it from pulling out during travel.
- Kick each wheel on your walk around, this will help gauge tire inflation and check for any free-play in hubs.
- Be sure all latches, pins and cargo is secure. Be sure coupler is latched closed!
Test electric brakes while moving forward and pressing panic bar on brake controller.
- Load distribution and tongue weight are proper, 10% on tag 15% or greater G-N
Safety chains not worn or allowed to drag on ground, crossed and connected, coupler latched.
- apply a coating of grease to trailer ball
- inspect suspension components for wear or any loose hardware
- inspect floor or deck of trailer for worn or weak areas
- pump up bearing buddies and or EZ lube hubs ( every 3000 miles or sooner)
- check all hitch components for wear or fatigue
- Adjust breaks for equalization. ( Every 2,000 miles)
- Check torque on lug nuts
- Refer to trailer owner’s manual for specific details and specs.
- Inspect frame, fenders and entire chassis for wear or fatigue.
- Repack wheel bearing, this varies depending on mileage, axle size and or type ( 5-15,000 miles) refer to owner’s manual
- Wash trailer exterior and interior if livestock type. ( horse cattle) pay attention to underside of floor mats.
- In most cases the weekly process is completed here depending on amount of use/miles traveled.
- Lubricate all moving parts, doors, latches, grease zerks
- Touch up any paint that has chipped or peeled away to prevent corrosion.
- Check and inspect safety chains for wear.
- Service any generators or installed accessories.
- Check sealant on roof of enclosed trailers.
- Lube adjusts and inspects weight distribution bars and head. ( if so equipped)
- Review list of daily and weekly needs also.
- This is needed if more than 9,000 miles are traveled in a 6 month period and or the use is extreme and fully loaded to capacity, refer to yearly list A-L
- Trailer should be placed on jack stands, remove wheels and hubs. Wash and clean bearings, lube, inspect and adjust brakes ( repair or replace worn parts) inspect bearings for wear or heat discoloration, replace if in doubt. When bearings are replaced it is common practice to replace bearing cone also.
- Look over entire frame and chassis, prep and paint worn areas, repair any cracks or damaged parts.
- Service all moving parts, lubricate them.
- Check, repair or replace door seals.
- Inspect floor and under structure.
- Aluminum trailers should be acid washed if any corrosion is evident
- Check all fasteners, replace if worn.
- Be sure all load securement components are sound and properly anchored.
- Give the trailer a good overall look, repair/replace anything needed.
- Consult your owner’s manual or dealer for additional knowledge
- This work should be performed by a qualified individual/ expert.
- In most states an annual safety inspection certificate is required. In New York state this must be completed by an” inspection station” with a certified inspector.