Date Posted Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Author: Christian Bold
I often get asked by trailer owners “when should I change the wheel bearings on my trailer?”. My first question to the trailer owner is always “When was the last time you had them replaced"? The most common answers to that is "I can’t remember" or " They have not been done since I purchased the trailer 10 years ago".
If your trailer wheel has overtaken you on the road whilst towing the trailer, that is a pretty clear sign that the bearings need to be replaced.... If that hasn’t happened to you and you don’t want that to happen to you then here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
1. Have I had my trailer serviced within the last 18 months?
2. How many times have I backed the trailer into water over the last 18 months? (for boat trailers)
3. How long has the trailer been sitting on the grass or driveway without moving it?
If your answer to 1 or more of these questions is ‘I can’t remember’ then maybe it’s better to be safe than sorry and have the trailer serviced.
There are 3 simple checks YOU can do to your trailer to see if the bearings need to be replaced:
1. Jack one side of your trailer up so that one wheel is off the ground. Place one hand on the tyre at 2 o’clock and the other on the tyre at 7 o’clock. Move the tyre back and forth a few times by pushing the tyre with one hand whilst pulling back with the other hand. If there is movement (also called 'free play') in the tyre, there is a good chance the bearings are damaged.
2. Jack one side of the trailer up off the ground and remove the tyre. If there is excessive grease on the wheel hub, this is a good indication that one of the wheel bearing could be damaged.
3. Hook your trailer up to your vehicle and have someone move the car back and forth whilst you watch the trailer wheels. If you notice the wheels are moving a little wonky, it may be time to change the bearings.
These are just a few things you can do at home to make sure your trailer is going to drive smoothly. The last thing you want is to be broken down on the side of the road when you should be out and about enjoying yourself.
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