With your 4×4 being the focus of your attention, it can be easy to forget to take care of your next biggest asset and biggest 4×4 accessory, your trailer. But just like your 4×4 if you want it to last longer, retain value and not fall apart on your next off-road trip, then it needs a little TLC in the form of maintenance and servicing. It doesn’t have to be too long a procedure, in fact to make it easy for you we’ve listed a simple seven-step inspection checklist.
Nobody wants a blowout (they’re not pretty). A damaged 4×4 tyre is going to get you nowhere, they are unsafe and illegal. It is also worth taking note of the tyre pressure. Having the right pressures will reduce rolling resistance and fuel consumption.
- Look for rips and tears
- Check the spare for rips and tears
- Test the air pressure (recommended pressures vary dependant on the type of trailer and load)
Worn, damaged or bent wheels are very dangerous, not to mention illegal.
- Look at the hub, bearings and axle for damage
- Ensure there are no missing or loose bolts
- Check the whole wheel to make sure it is not bent or buckled
We don’t need to explain this one. Brake lights are factored into this. After all you want to let people now you’re stopping so they don’t plough into your well-maintained trailer.
- Check the brake pads for cracks
- Look at the drum or magnet for damage
- Make sure you have adequate brake fluid levels
- Have a look at all cylinders and brake lines and bleed any trapped airs in the lines
- Check the breakaway system if there is one
- Make sure all brake components are secured to the trailer
4. Chassis and suspension
A bent or damaged chassis is incredibly dangerous, affecting turning ability, making your trailer hard to handle
- Ensure bolts are tight
- Make sure there are no leaks from shock absorbers
- Clean and make sure they are dirt free. This will ensure their effectiveness and avoid erosion
- Look for rusting or damage of the chassis
Sharp edges can increase the risk of injury to anyone that comes into contact with it. That includes you when you’re carrying out your inspection.
- Check the frame and the actual trailer are intact without bits hanging off it
- Make sure there are no sharp edges or protrusions
- Ensure that any repairs that have been done maintain the original strength of the body
6. Couplings and connectors
Regular use and friction can cause damage to connection. Keep couplings and connections are greased up, as lubrication will counteract friction from movement.
- Inspect them for wear and tear
- Check that tow bars are securely mounted to the drawbar, which is securely mounted to the trailer
- Have a look at your tongue jack if you use one
- Lubricate with some grease
Because you want to have the best chance of other vehicles seeing you
- With your trailer hooked up, inspect the lights are working at full power including brake lights, indicators and reverse lights.
- Make sure all wires are good. Including the plug which can get damaged and dirty
- Check that nothing is flashing (no we’re not talking about the indicator)
Pictured: Lightforce 140 Lance
A simple checklist will not only make your trip a safer one, it also prolongs the life and use of your trailer. If you come across any problems, or you’re not sure where to start, you can speak to one of the teams at TJM Perth.
We are a family owned private business that takes pride in providing quality service along with the best quality 4×4 accessories in Perth. We stock all TJM 4×4 accessories along with other top Australian 4wd accessories brands.