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TOP 5 Trailer Checks for Winter

As with any other vehicle,  trailers need regular maintenance in order to help keep them safe, roadworthy and in order to help retain their value. Not carrying out maintenance on your trailers, especially in the winter season, can result in serious damage for both the driver, the trailer and other users on the road. Regular trailer maintenance is the best way to protect your fleet and keep your valuable assets operational throughout the winter months and beyond.

Here, we recommend some key areas of trailer maintenance to consider, although the fine detail should vary depending on various things such as trailer type, size and usage, including mileage and cargo weight.

 

  1. Lighting:

First and foremost, make sure all your trailer lights are working properly, whatever your trailer type is. During winter, days are shorter and darker and, for this reason, it is more important than ever to check lights are functioning properly. Checks should include any side marker lights fitted and any other additional lights that may have been added.

 

  1. Tyre tread and tyre wear:

Worn tyres reduce traction and affect the safety of your vehicle on the road. It is good practice to ensure your tyre tread depth does not get below 3mm.

Worn tyres can also burst on the road, especially at high speeds. Therefore, it is crucial to check your tyres’ life expectancy, and watch for these two wear signs:

  • centre wear, which can indicate an over-inflated tyre
  • outer wear, which can indicate an under-inflated tyre

 

  1. Tyre pressure:

Ensuring good tyre pressure is crucial to ensure safe and reliable operation, whilst reducing fuel consumption. Each manufacturer has its own tyre pressure requirement, which is either indicated on the tyre’s sidewall, in your trailer’s owner manual or on the tyre manufacturer’s website.

Tyre pressure must be checked a few hours after parking the trailer in order to get an accurate reading and rating. Low pressure can result in blowouts.  

To further save costs and reduce vehicle downtime, you can install a tyre pressure monitoring solution for trailers (TPMS). It helps maintain tyre pressure, detecting slow punctures early, maximizing tyre life and allowing tyres to be repaired rather than be replaced.

 

  1. Brakes:

Check your brake operations and brake air pipes. When the weather gets colder, the brake connections and airlines can freeze or split due to the condensed water in the brake system. This in turn can lead to two major issues:

  • failure of the braking operation, which can cause a serious accident
  • excessive brake lining and drum/disc wear

Therefore, it is highly recommended to check the sealing rubbers of the coupling hands at regular intervals for leaks. We advise you to always have a spare in the trailer: the yellow and red and the air coils.

Finally, the air tank of the trailer should be checked regularly for condensation, which can easily be removed via the drain valves of the air tank underneath.

 

  1. Vehicle and trailer body:

Finally, the last maintenance check is your trailer body:

  • Check condition of doors, including all seals, cables, latches etc.
  • Check roof condition; keep it clean (it must be free of snow) and inspect seals, the roofing membrane for damage and so on
  • Check registration plates; it must be correctly affixed to the trailer and clearly visible

More generally, we advise you to regularly wash and clean your trailer. There might be dirt on your body, on your chassis or on your roof, especially in autumn and winter when driving on dirt roads.

 

Protect your fleet with TIP

TIP Trailer Services is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programs. We have been servicing trailers for over 50 years. We offer our customers maintenance and repair services with or without a contract. Our programs provide cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of qualified technicians trained on the latest technologies.

 

For more information on TIP maintenance and repair or on our TPMS solution, please send us a maintenance request or contact us.

2021/11/30

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