If your trailer inspection and preventative maintenance checks are on point, you’ll likely catch a lot of the summer-maintenance checkpoints as the seasons shift. Coming out of winter, wheel end and electrical issues will be the most apparent.
“During the winter, salt and road chemicals can work their way into small nooks and start to cause corrosion,” said Cory Bogler, customer care manager for Hyundai Translead. “The most common areas that salt and road chemicals attack are the electrical system and body of the trailer. During this time, I recommend washing your trailers thoroughly and frequently. Refer to your manufacturer, or follow current recommendations laid out by TTMA on what types of cleaners you should or should not use.”
“The longer the deicing chemicals sit on metal, the more it will corrode,” agreed Tony Neven, aftermarket field support manager for Great Dane. “After the trailer has been thoroughly cleaned, it is a good time for a thorough brake and suspension inspection as well as lubricating all grease points.”
Turning your attention to wheel ends, leaking wheel seals and gaskets can cause trailers to lose their lubrication in the wheel end. “When the lubrication leaks out, the wheel ends can get hot and cause a wheel end failure,” Bogler said. “If this happens, it will lead to a more expensive repair and the trailer to be out of service longer.”
And remember—the trailers aren’t the only ones exposed to the elements as the mercury rises.
“Technicians are often asked to work on trailers in the harshest of environments: On a hot lot with scorching pavement and the sun reflecting off of white trailers or in driving rain conditions,” said Ian Vinci, president of Innovative Products of America. “Something as simple as a remote control allows the technician to spend significantly less time getting beat on by the elements. This accomplishes a few things. First, the technician is happier and less frustrated—which results in better inspections and fewer errors—and second, the fleet or service provider saves money by spending less man-hours per inspection.”