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Not Totally Suspension…WINTER TRAILER MAINTENANCE

February 2, 2017

snowThis has been a relatively mild winter  in our section of the country, but it’s still winter and the weather could take a turn for the worse at any time.  It’s a smart idea to practice good cold weather maintenance of your trailer so that you’re always prepared.  Here are some tips from front to rear:

Check that all trailer lights are working properly so they can be seen in adverse weather conditions and in the dark (which falls earlier in the winter months).  The light check should include marker lights, brake lights and turn signals.

The ABS (anti-lock brake system) controls braking so that all wheels don’t lock up simultaneously.  Sensors measure the speed of all wheels and send a signal to the computer, which, in turn, will make any necessary adjustments.  Make sure the ABS is working properly so you don’t have uneven braking which could be catastrophic on slippery road surfaces and could cause jack knifing.  Sensors should be replaced if necessary.

To maintain the air systems, make sure air tanks are properly drained of air and water; freezing could cause bad valve functioning.  Do not add any oil based substance to air tanks which could get into air valves and combine with dust and dirt particles.  If an air line freezes always use an antifreeze designed specifically for air lines.

As a side note, if soot or oily contaminants are found in the air tanks it could be from a bad dryer on the tractor.  Remember that the tractor supplies air to the trailer air tanks.  If the air dryer is faulty on the tractor, it can cause contaminants to enter the trailer air tanks.

Tires are critical in all seasons and winter is no exception.  They should always be filled to the correct PSI.  Check for good, or even, tire wear.  If it’s uneven, have the alignment checked.  Lastly, make sure there is proper tire tread for good traction.

And brakes should be checked for sufficient brake lining.  Make sure that drums are in good condition for optimal braking.

With proper maintenance and a little pre-planning the winter driving season can be a safe one for the trailer driver and everyone else on the road.

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