Big Dee’s Webinar Series
Dale from DLMR Trailers in Chardon, OH, spoke during Big Dee’s Anniversary Event about horse trailer safety. Dale has been in business repairing trucks and trailers for over 30 years and has noticed the biggest trailer failures are seen in tires, brakes and lights. Bearings need cleaned and packed every 5,000 miles, tires need to be changed regularly to avoid cracks and loss of tread and light failure is normally due to a bad ground to a bulb, not a bad bulb.
Driving Safety Checklist
– Always have spray on lubricant for hinges, door latches and more.
– Check your safety chains, the S-hook without a clasp is illegal. Make sure the chains are several inches off of the road and are criss-crossed (so if the ball comes off it is caught by the chains).
– Check your breakaway switch, it is essential that is functions properly.
– The battery should be replaced every two to three years.
– Spray the seven wire plug with WD40, if you see white and green corroding on the plug – you’re probably not getting a good connection.
– Check to make sure your lights are working by hitting the hazard switch, if both are flashing, you have both turn signal lights and brake lights since they are connected.
– 90% of tire failure is from people running them too full of air. Start out 10 lbs below what the tire recommends and adjust air pressure based on the payload of weight. If a trailer is stored outside, get a tire cover to protect it from the elements.
– Check your spare tire, an emergency is the worst time to find out it doesn’t have air or is rotted through.
– Adjust the trailer brakes every time you get in your trailer, the amount will change based on the weight getting pulled.
If you hear noise coming from one of your tires/wheels, STOP your vehicle. If you burn up a bearing, you have to buy a whole new axle, ranging in the upper hundreds. If you need to take off a tire in an emergency and don’t have a trailer aid try to find a wooden log to prop it up.
Between aluminum, wood and plastic composite, aluminum is the most common that Dale at DLMR Trailers replaces. Check and remove mats from the floor of your trailer and clean the floor two or three times a year. Ultimately, wood flooring is considered best because it lets the moisture dry up from the undercarriage and from having slight gaps between each board for excess moisture to drip through.
Laws and Regulations
Pay attention to laws and regulations for your state and nationwide. Keep in mind how much you haul, it is recommended to not pull your truck and trailer at capacity every haul. It’s better to never pull full weight and ease the burden on both truck and trailer. Pulling 26,000 lbs or more requires a CDL license. It’s better to err on the side of caution and have your trailer inspected by a professional to avoid letting any damage worsen and avoid hefty fines.