With that in mind, here is a list of 7 service and maintenance tips to help you keep your dump trailer working safely and reliably for many years to come.
To perform some inspection and maintenance activities, you will have to jack up your trailer. You will want to place your jacks and jack stands under the outer frame rail to which the axles are attached, being sure to clear any wiring, brake line, and suspension parts in the process.
This is also a good time to clean your trailer. A clean trailer is much easier to inspect. You can wash your trailer with a power washer and a detergent solution.
Now, here are your 7 service and maintenance tips:
Inspect all fasteners and structural frame members for bending and other damage, cracks or failure. Repair or replace any damaged fastener and repair the frame member. If you have any questions about the condition or method of repair of fasteners or frame members, get the recommendation of, or have the repair done by, your dealer.
All welds can crack or fail when subjected to heavy or improperly secured loads. If at anytime you suspect your trailer has been subjected to an especially heavy load or movement of cargo while in transport, immediately inspect the welds and fasteners for damage. To prevent severe damage to your trailer, inspect all of the welds for cracks or failure at least once a year.
Properly functioning brake shoes and drums are obviously essential to ensure safety. These components should be inspected at least once per year or each 12,000 miles. Brake shoes must be adjusted after the first 200 miles of use and each 3,000 miles thereafter. If your trailer has electric brakes, you will also want your electric brake magnets inspected at least once a year or each 12,000 miles.
If a grease fitting is present, use a grease gun to lubricate the jack mechanism. Grease the gears in the top of hand-cranked jacks once a year by removing the top of the jack and pumping or hand packing grease into the gears.
Before each tow, be sure to check all trailer lights and signals for proper operation. This will not only help you stay safe, but can also help you avoid unnecessary tickets.
Inspect your wheels for damage at least once a year, even if no obvious impact has occurred. If the trailer has been struck or impacted on or near the wheels, or if the trailer has struck a curb, immediately inspect the rims for damage. Replace any damaged wheel.
A loose, worn or damaged wheel bearing is the most common cause of brakes that grab. To check your bearings, jack up the trailer and secure it on adequate capacity jack stands. Check the wheels for side-to-side looseness. If the wheels are loose or spin with a wobble, the bearings must be serviced or replaced.
If your axle(s) are equipped with a grease zerk on the ends of the axle(s), the bearings must be greased every 6 months or 6,000 miles to ensure safe and reliable operation of you trailer.
Following these simple tips will go a long way to keeping your trailer in optimal working condition, and ensuring it will serve you well for many years to come.