Daily Checklist & Service Schedule

By Lynn Witteveen

Do you know what checks you should be doing when towing your trailer?  There are some very basic checks you can be doing everyday you are towing your trailer and others that should be done periodically before you go anywhere with your trailer.  These checks apply to your most basic of box trailer all the way up to your biggest of camper trailers.  We sell all of these products and have a few others that are in between and we have put together some basic guidelines no matter what type of trailer you have.

Daily Checklist

  • Check trailer & load mass to vehicle capacity
  • Check Light / Power plug is connected to vehicle
  • Check safety chain is connected, and crossed over if there are two
  • Check tow coupling is secure
  • Check handbrake is released (If fitted)
  • Check tyre condition, tread, sidewall cracks cuts etc.
  • Check wheel nut & indicators (If fitted)
  • Rock wheels on axles to check for excessive movement.
  • Ensure jockey wheel is in travel position
  • Ensure number plate is clearly visible, and registration is current
  • Check operation of all lights
  • Check load is secured
  • If it doesn’t look right, it often isn’t !!

3 Monthly Safety Inspection

To be Carried out By Competent Person…

  • Check tow coupling for excessive wear, cracks & other damage
  • Visually check coupling is secure & its mounting bolts are tight
  • Check operation of  jockey wheel & its mounting
  • Inspect trailer for any signs of cracking. In particular the drawbar & areas where the drawbar attaches to the frame
  • Inspect for any other damaged or missing components

Jack Up Each Wheel and Remove Dust Cap

  • Check that wheel rotates freely and there is no abnormal bearing noise
  • Check there is no free play in bearings
  • Check for free play by rocking hub/brake drum assembly with hands positioned at 12 and 6 o’clock
  • Check condition of grease in outer bearings & dust caps
  • If free play is found in the bearings, the bearings are too tight or the grease is badly discoloured, then the bearings must be serviced
  • Inspect suspension components for wear, and replace bushes etc as required

6 Monthly service/Safety Inspection

To be carried out in conjunction with Daily & 3 Monthly Service

  • Service wheel bearings. Replace any components that are not serviceable. If one bearing component is not serviceable, then replace them as a set.
  • Inspect all brake components
  • Check the brake linings, brake drum for crazing & condition of all mechanical linkages.  All faulty or worn components must be replaced. Linings with remaining service life shall have all brake dust safely removed, and be deglazed.
  • Adjust brakes and check operation & adjustment of parking brake.
  • Inspect the following axle & suspension components for breaks, damages, wears and cracks. Lubricate where required.
  • Physically check all nuts, bolts, U bolts & locking devices on the axle and suspension components for the correct tension rather than just carry out a visual inspection.
  • Springs, Shackles, Shackle Pins and Nuts, U Bolts, Plates, Suspension Arms, Axle, Shock Absorbers, & Bushes
  • Grease Jockey Wheel