Trailer wheel bearings: They will kill you!

As an authorised Blue slip inspection station we deal with our fair share of trailers. There is no one size fits all, everything from campers, boat trailers, caravans and even DIY fabricated rickety metal frames welded together by some retired presbyterian minister. Whilst a lot of what we see is about as road legal as making your own convertible by taking an angle grinder to your Holden VL Commodore on your grandmothers front lawn, almost every trailer owner has neglected the routine servicing of the trainer wheel bearing.
 
What is required.
Depending on the trailer usage, compliance is often just a case of removing the bearing, cleaning and repacking the bearing, replacing the hub seal and reassembling it with correct adjustment. If this is done on an annual basis there will rarely be a need for anything more than that.
 
What happens if you don’t do it:
Worst case scenario, is the bearing grease looses its a ability to lubricate and cool. The heat created while driving on a bearing with insufficient lubrication and cooling causes the bearing race to weld itself to the spindle through friction, this happens very quickly and after that the bearing shatters. The result is the wheel now departs from the trailer and overtakes you up the free way whilst your dragging the trailer behind you throwing sparks out the back and digging a huge trench in the road.
 
Why is this happening:
Clients regularly roll in with a trailer, no lights working, wheel bearings hanging out and a rust riddled frame and are unsure as to why they have to spend funds that exceed the value of the tailer in order to make it comply. The reason for this is, for years rego inspection stations, with no level of accountability are kicking tyres and passing trailers without inspecting them properly. A quick buck and your on your way. The result is for years now, these trailers have never has a decent safety inspections and the result is either catastrophic failure of the spindle and bearing assembly or a large invoice to repair all of this.
 
Boat Trailers:
This problem is made worse for boat trailers, constantly entering salt water amplifies the problem. Bearing buddies can reduce this but only partially. Boat trailers that frequent salt water will need to have this maintenance carried out more frequently.
 
How to stop it happening:
As previously mentioned, service your trailer once a year. Arrange to leave the trailer with your mechanic when he does the annual safety inspection. Get it serviced and you won’t have this problem.
Book your trailer and bearing service in today.
(02) 9979 5933

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