If you’re a truck driver or the owner of a fleet of commercial trucks, your truck maintenance probably focuses more on the tractor rather than the trailer. The technology used for trailer design has come a long way over the last couple decades, but it’s still important to keep up with proper preventative maintenance to make sure they remain safe for use on the road.
Here are a few tips from our semi trailer repair center in Ocala, FL to help you keep up with trailer maintenance:
- Engage in proper lubrication practices: Every now and then you’re going to need to get underneath the trailer to inspect the components of the undercarriage. Lubricating these components to the proper levels is crucial for good trailer operation. You’ll need to make sure you’ve selected a grease that has the proper thickening system, performance rating and grade for your use. When adding new lubrication, make sure you add enough of the grease to purge the old grease, dirt and debris.
- Check the suspension: You should regularly perform a visual inspection of all suspension components, paying special attention to signs of irregular wear, cracks and tears. All air suspensions have a special designated ride height position, and if the height is incorrect, you might find yourself unable to clear low-clearance areas, or might have the trailer riding on the suspension’s bumpers, which could damage the system.
- Check air pressure: It is crucial to make sure the trailer’s tires are always at proper inflation levels. Tires can be expensive, so it’s important to keep them at the correct pressure so they don’t wear down quickly and cause you to have to replace them prematurely. You should also make sure you have pressure monitoring systems installed so you are alerted whenever the air pressure in your tires dips below acceptable levels.
- Check your brakes: Given the size of the vehicle you’re driving, it’s crucial for the brakes to be in good operational condition. Check the conditions of the drum any time you perform brake or wheel service. You can measure the drums to ensure they have enough material to last you until your next inspection; if you’re unsure, it’s better to just replace them. In addition, the angle formed by the slack adjuster and the air chamber push rod on wheel ends with spring brakes should be close to or exactly 90 degrees.
- Check the lights: It’s important for all electrical connections to work properly so your brake lights are functional. Part of this is a matter of preventing moisture and corrosion, which can eat away at electrical connections, but you should also just check the bulbs to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- Check security features: Make sure you inspect tie-downs, chains, winches and ratchets so you can be sure your trailer and everything inside of it is constantly protected from the elements and from would-be intruders.
Interested in learning more about tractor trailer maintenance and the steps you must take to keep your equipment in good condition? J & M Trailer Repair can help—contact our semi trailer repair center in Ocala, FL today.