Whether you’re using it for personal or business purposes, your trailer needs just as much attention as the vehicle that it’s attached to. If you want it to serve you for many years, your trailer needs to be regularly inspected, properly maintained and repaired when necessary.
So, how do you know when your trailer needs repairs? What are the tell-tale signs that you need to look out for? In this blog, we’re going to look at five signs your trailer needs repairs. These signs should cover all types of trailers including box trailers, plant trailers and more.
- Faulty lighting
This is one of the more obvious signs that your trailer needs repairs. If your trailer’s tail lights are flickering, dimming or not working entirely, you need to get them fixed as soon as you can. These lights allow your trailer to be visible on the road. If you don’t fix them, you will be putting yourself and other motorists at a higher risk of collision. It’s also worth bearing in mind that your trailer can receive a police defect if the lights aren’t working properly.
If there is no damage on the surface (e.g. cracks or a broken bulb), the issue is likely to do with faulty wiring or loose connections. If this is the case, it’s best that you take your trailer to a professional repair shop to get it properly diagnosed and fixed.
- Tyre failure
Just like your vehicle, your trailer needs well-kept tyres. If you don’t take care of the tyres, you can lose control over your trailer, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
One of the most common signs of tyre failure is pulling. This is when your trailer sways to one side of the road while you’re driving. If you notice this issue, be sure to get your trailer checked by a professional as soon as you can. Pulling could be a sign of improper wheel alignment or uneven air pressure.
You should also do a visual inspection on all tyres. Cracks on the sidewalls and air bulges are signs that you need your tyres replaced. Such damage can affect the stability of your trailer over time. Once again, if the problem isn’t solved early, you could be putting other motorists at risk.
- Difficulty manoeuvring
The axle is a crucial part of your trailer’s suspension system as it regulates movement and maintains stability. If you’re having trouble manoeuvring your trailer during turns, you could have a faulty axle. Loose joints as well as a damaged shaft are common problems when it comes to manoeuvring difficulties. It’s also possible that the issue lies with your vehicle.
It’s important that you understand what the issue is before you start working on your trailer. Indeed, a lack of proper understanding could make the issue even worse. Because of this, it’s best to see a professional for major suspension problems.
- Unusual sounds
Naturally, your vehicle and your trailer are going to make some noise while you’re driving. However, when you start hearing unusual sounds like clicking, rattling or gurgling, there could be something wrong with your trailer’s suspension system.
Oftentimes, this issue stems from loose joints or just regular wear and tear. Regardless, it’s important that you get the issue fixed as soon as you can as it can compromise your suspension’s ability to keep your trailer on the road. Compromised stability and a lack of control can be extremely dangerous for you and others on the road.
You can try and fix the issue yourself by locating the source of the noise. There will be plenty of instances where you only need to tighten a few loose parts to fix the problem.
- Cracks and dents
Lastly, you should check your trailer for minor cracks and dents, especially to joins and welds. While these blemishes might seem trivial, they could develop into something more serious in the future. If a crack starts to spread, it could compromise the structural integrity of your trailer.
As a result, you should try and repair these minor problems as soon as you’re able. By doing this, not only will you be avoiding a major problem later on the road, you’ll also be saving yourself some money on repairs.
That was a list of five signs that your trailer needs repair. Ideally, you would want to inspect your trailer on a regular basis. Doing so will allow you to spot issues that may not be on this list. Regular inspections are crucial especially if you use your trailer for business purposes. Indeed, by acting early on these problems, your trailer doesn’t have to be out of commission for a significant period of time.
Once again, if you have further questions, it’s best to visit a trailer repair shop. The professionals there should be able to help you with anything regarding trailer maintenance.