How to Maintain Your Semi Truck Trailer

Posted - August 15, 2022
Row Of Semi Truck Trailers

Most truck drivers know the importance of maintaining their big rig, ensuring it’s safe for them to operate and safe for other vehicles on the road. They put time and effort into performing extensive maintenance; many even run through a checklist before hitting the road.

But what about your trailer?

Don’t let tractor-trailer maintenance fall by the wayside. Here are a few helpful tips for ensuring your trailer is in the same excellent condition as your commercial truck.

Don’t Neglect Air Pressure

Tires are one of the most significant costs associated with running a truck. Since tire air pressure can correlate with tire longevity, it makes sense to ensure you’re running an appropriate pressure.

Consider purchasing a tire pressure monitoring system and verify that the system pressure is at the correct setting. Don’t forget to check the supply hose connection regularly, look for leaks, and even inspect the shut-off valve position.

Check your regulator pressure every few months and your power fuse frequently. Without power, you won’t be warned about problems with your tires.

If abnormal tire wear isn’t corrected with regular air pressure and system checks, you might find that the problems aren’t with your tires. Instead, issues might relate to the axle alignment, undercarriage, or even the shock absorbers.

Lube It Up

If you want your trailer to function at its best, don’t underestimate the importance of lube. Depending on which one is more suitable for your trailer, you will need a lithium complex-based grease or a calcium-based grease. If you’re unsure which lubricant to purchase, consult with grease suppliers about those that provide the best performance.

Most truck drivers use tacky, thick grease, almost the same consistency as spreadable butter. When you add it to your semi truck trailer, ensure you add enough to remove the old grease, which may no longer be as effective due to dirt and debris.

Don’t Forget Your Security Accessories

A secure load is a safe load, and it’s not always about the techniques you use. You also have to ensure your tools for the job are in excellent condition. Get into the habit of regularly inspecting ratchets, winches, chains, and tiedown straps.

In particular, look for loose stitching, cuts, rips, holes, or tears. Ignore the dirt! It can be tempting to wash dirty tiedowns, but most manufacturers advise against it as grit can grind into the nylon strap fibers, affecting their strength. Instead, just make sure you regularly lubricate and oil your winches and ratchets.

Check Your Suspension

You might not think to check your suspension if they are already set at your defined ride height position, but it doesn’t hurt to include suspension checks as part of your regular maintenance routine.

Check the air springs, looking for wear, tear, and heat cracks in the springs. It’s also essential to make sure nothing is touching or interfering with the suspension. While you’re looking, take a moment to make sure the pressure in your air springs is sufficient.

Look At the Brakes

When you’re hauling heavy loads, your brakes need to be at their best. You already have an extended stopping timeframe compared to other drivers on the road, and this might be further extended if your brakes aren’t in excellent condition.

If you have spring brakes on the wheel ends, inspect the angle of the air chamber push rod and slack adjuster. If it’s not 90 degrees, you will need to fix your brake adjustment. It’s also a good idea to check the drum condition and ensure there’s plenty of material available until your truck and trailer unit is due for its next maintenance inspection.

Sell Your Truck and Trailer Unit With TruckVin

Whether maintenance requirements are getting too much or you’re ready for an upgrade, now might be the right time to sell your commercial truck and trailer unit. Contact TruckVin today for a competitive cash offer. We buy trucks, trailers, specialty trucks, box trucks, and more!