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Trailering Blog Notes

As summer approaches, trailer usage increases heavily. It could be hauling the lawnmower to mow grandma's yard, taking the boat or jet ski to the river, or the camper on a much-needed vacation. The Agri Supply® team would like to offer you some suggestions on what to check before your trip.

It can be frustrating to have trailer problems while on your journey, and we would like to help you avoid those issues. Let's take a look at some checkpoints to review before your summer travels. We'll start on one end and work our way through to the other.

Ball Coupler:

  • Is the latching mechanism tight for a snug fit on the ball?
  • Is the safety lock mechanism in place?
  • Does it need lubricating to be easy to open and close when hooking or unhooking to your trailer?
  • If a new coupler is needed, check out our Ball Couplers or find Couplers and Repair Kits.

Safety Chains:

  • Are the safety chains properly attached to the trailer's tongue?
  • Do the “S” Hooks that attach to the towing vehicle appear to be bent or out of shape?
  • While we hope they are never needed for you, do they show signs of wear, stretching or decay? If so, this may lead them to be weaker and not help you in an emergency situation.
    • If replacements are needed, view our selection of safety chains in our collection of Hitches and Accessories and we will be glad to help you!

Trailer & Vehicle Wiring:

  • First thing, does the lighting work when plugged into your towing vehicle? If so, shout hooray! If not, follow the steps below.
    • Is the connector plugged in tight and secure?
    • Is there a fuse in the vehicle that needs to be replaced?
    • Is there a bulb that needs to be replaced?
  • Is the insulation covering the wires in good condition, cracking, or deteriorating? Can they potentially rub on something that comes with the vibration of towing?
  • Does any of the Trailer Wiring need replaced or just a minor repair?
  • Do any of your Wiring Connectors need replaced?
  • Starting at one end of the wiring hookup and working your way through the complete system often works best in finding your problem.

Tongue Jack:

  • Is the jack securely attached to the trailer frame?
  • Does the long screw inside the jack (part of the mechanism to raise and lower the trailer) need lubricating for easier turning to prolong its life? If so, check out our large selection of Penetrating Oils and find the proper way to get to a place on or in the jack to lubricate. In some cases, a grease fitting is located near the top of the jack on the side, which makes it easy to access with a grease gun.
  • Does the jack need replaced? If so, check out our large selection of Trailer Jacks

Tire Wear & Spare Tire: 
When checking the tires, it's good to jack up the trailer with appropriate safeguards in place to have a better view while spinning the tire around.

  • Do you have a good amount of tread on your tires?
  • Are your tires wearing out evenly or just in the center or the sides?
  • Have any bubbles formed on either side of the tire?
  • Do you see excessive cracking on the tire's sidewalls? This could indicate deterioration.
  • Don't forget to check your spare tire's condition! Hopefully, you won't need it, but always be sure it's ready – along with the tools and jack needed to change it along the roadways.
  • Lastly, check the air pressure in all of your tires to ensure that they are at the appropriate level (noted on the sidewall of the tire, near where the tire size is noted).
  • Check out our wide selection of Trailer Tires, Wheels, and Tubes

With the trailer still safely lifted and secure:

  • Do a visual inspection on both sides of the hub, looking for any grease leakage. If there is excessive leakage on the rear side of the hub, your seal will likely need replaced. If there is excessive leakage on the front side of the hub, it could mean that your dust cover or Bearing Buddy® is not fully inserted or damaged and needs replacing. Correct either problem as needed, but also keep in mind when needing to go into the hub, it's best to check everything. We'll talk more about that a little later on down our checklist.
  • Position yourself facing the tire's wheel. Grip the tire at 3:00 and 9:00. Push and pull simultaneously (left hand/right hand). If there is much play or wobble there, it's possible that your bearings are slightly (or completely) worn out, or the spindle nut has worked loose. Remove the dust cap and begin removing the hub for further inspection. Act as necessary to get good working components if replacements are needed. These components may involve not only bearings but bearing races/cups or seals. See our wide selection of Hub Assemblies if a replacement is needed.
  • Re-packing bearings is also a good thing to consider to ensure that grease is within the bearing rollers properly. The grease keeps the temperature down that is caused by all of the friction going on inside the hub and keeps things cooler to promote the length of life and smoothness of operation. Feel free to use our How to Grease a Trailer Bearing Video to give you some helpful tips.
  • While the hub has been removed from the spindle, check the condition of the spindle. If it's scarred or if threads on the end are stripped, have it repaired or replaced. Sometimes replacing just the Spindle Assembly is possible, but in some cases, replacing the entire Trailer Axle is more economical. 

Are lugs tight?:
During your inspection of the lug nuts or lug bolts, ensure that they are properly tightened. If one is missing, it is important to replace it to properly secure the wheel to the hub.

 A few things to check out in relation to your trailer springs would be:

  • Are the hangers mounted securely to the frame of the trailer? Check both sides of where it is welded or check to see that the bolt and nut holding it to the frame is tight.
  • Is the nut on the shackle bolt tight?
  • Upon shaking the spring, does it feel like it has a lot of play in the eye of the spring? If so, the plastic/nylon bushing that the shackle bolt goes through may need replaced.
  • If your spring is a slipper-type spring (an eye on one end only and flat or curved on the other), does it appear to rest in the hanger okay and have room for mobility through the hanger when the trailer is in motion?
  • Do you notice any cracks in the spring? Or is there an excessive amount of rust on the spring, making it appear to not be as strong as it once was?
  • Does each leaf in the cluster of the spring assembly appear to be tightened together properly?
  • If needed, check out our selection of Trailer Springs. We will be glad to assist you in selecting a replacement.

Axle U Bolts:

  • Are the u-bolts that wrap around the spring (that allow the trailer spring to rest on or under the axle) tight?
  • Do they appear to have slipped in any way from their original placement?
  • Are they heavily rusted, which in turn weakens them?
  • If new u-bolts are needed, they can be found in our Trailer Axles and Parts category.

Tailgate Latching Methods:

  • Check your tailgate latching mechanism to ensure that it is functioning properly. It should not be missing any pins and the spring portion should be functioning correctly.
  • If your trailer is equipped with a tailgate lift assist, check it over to ensure that it is secured and functioning properly. If you would like to purchase a tailgate lift assist to make lifting that gate so much easier, check out our EZ-Gate™ Tailgate Lift or our Gorilla-Lift™ Trailer Tailgate Assist

Travel Jack and tools/blocks

  • Check your storage area or box to make sure you have a properly working jack, tools, and any blocks that you feel are needed before beginning your journey. Remember, breakdowns don't always happen where pavement is readily accessible – you may be on a road shoulder somewhere.
  • Should you need a jack, consider our large selection of Farm Jacks, Bottle Jacks, or Service Jacks
  • If a Lug Wrench is needed, we'll be glad to help you with those. Our desire is for you not to have a breakdown, and to be better prepared if you do!

License Tag
Last but not least, make sure your license tag is up to date within your state's current guidelines. Oftentimes, we get the renewals in the off-season, set them aside, and then forget about them.

In conclusion, preventive maintenance on your trailers is a good idea and will likely help you from being stalled along the side of the road. At Agri Supply®, we want your trips to be both productive and fun. We hope these tips have given you some insight on what to look for as you prep for the season. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at, call one of our customer care team members at 1-800-345-0169, or visit us at one of our retail locations.
Agri Supply®, its what's inside!

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