Inspect Your Boat Trailer
Please take the time to make your trailer truly roadworthy. Unnecessary breakdowns, especially far from home, are much more costly than routine maintenance. This work should be done by a professional or someone very knowledgeable on trailers.
- Check tires for wear, dry rot and proper tire inflation pressure and be sure the tread is sufficient and that there are no cracks, bubbles or gouges in the rubber. If the tires are dry rotted, replace them. Old tires are tired, so replace them and avoid a costly and dangerous blowout. A spare tire is required.
- Remove wheels and hubs; inspect hubs for wear and rough surfaces, turn drums if necessary.
- Service or replace the wheel bearings. Many breakdowns occur due to neglect in this area. If the bearings have not been maintained on a strict schedule or it has been more than 6 months since they were last checked, please have this professionally done. Travel builds up tremendous heat in bearings that have not been properly maintained, easily causing their failure. Bearings exposed to salt water are especially vulnerable. Remove bearings; inspect bearings 7 races for wear. If you replace bearings, also replace races and seals. If bearings are OK, repack and install new seals.
- Trailers with surge breaks: inspect brakes and hubs for wear, replace brakes and turn hubs if necessary, also check brake fluid level.
- Check springs, shackles and bushings for wear and corrosion, replace as necessary.
- Check all lights, plug must be in good condition, turn signals and brake lights must work properly, all marker lights must work properly, repair or replace as necessary. Check the lighting system for proper operation and make sure wires are in good condition. If repairs need to be made, have them done well in advance of your trip.
- Remember, salt water will destroy trailer wheels, springs and axles if not properly rinsed after each use in salt water.
- Submitted by Gigi Bell, ABLE BOAT TRANSPORT