Preventive maintenance procedures for platform trailers

Preventive maintenance procedures for platform trailers

It is important to perform preventive maintenance inspections to ensure safe operation of the trailer. Every trailer owner and/or operator should have an organized Trailer Preventive Maintenance program...


It is important to perform preventive maintenance inspections to ensure safe operation of the trailer. Every trailer owner and/or operator should have an organized Trailer Preventive Maintenance program. DOT requires that maintenance records be kept on every commercial highway vehicle. Caution: Maintenance must be performed only by trained and qualified mechanics following these instructions and those specified in the component manufacturer’s instruction manuals.

The following instructions were contributed by East Manufacturing, and provide a general description of the proper preventive maintenance procedures, which must be considered before loading your flatbed or drop deck trailer. East recommends that you follow your specific platform trailer manufacturer’s instructions for preventive maintenance procedures.

Weekly Inspection

The technician’s weekly preventive maintenance procedure includes the following:

  1. Inspect for any damage.
  2. Verify that all lights function and are in place and not obscured.
  3. Lubricate the fifth wheel. Check the fifth wheel and the kingpin for cracks and unusual or excessive wear.
  4. Lubricate the support legs. Inspect the support leg mounting plates and the bracing for cracks.
  5. Check that torque on suspension hanger bolts is 225 ft./lb.
  6. Visually inspect all air springs, airlines and hoses for chafing.
  7. Check the brake valves for leaks, and ensure proper operation.
  8. Check the brakes and lubricate the brake cams.
  9. Check for and remove any foreign material from within the dust shields.
  10. Drain condensation from the air reservoirs.
  11. Check the tire air pressure. Inflate according to tire manufacturer’s recommendations.
  12. Verify that the wheel lug nuts are tight.
  13. Check the oil level in the wheel hubs to ensure proper wheel bearing lubrication.
  14. Inspect seals/hubcaps for leaks.
  15. Grease all Zerk fittings.
  16. Check to make sure that all fasteners on the trailer are tight.

Monthly Inspection

For monthly inspection, perform the following procedures in addition to those required for Weekly Preventive Maintenance Inspection:

  1. Check all welds for cracks.
  2. Inspect the suspension system bushings for excessive wear and freedom of movement. Remove and replace all worn bushings.
  3.  Check the wheel bearings for the recommended adjustment.
  4. Check fifth wheel plate for corrosion between plate and main rail.
  5. Check fifth wheel plate and kingpin for tightness.

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