Is it time to bring your trailer out of storage and get it back on the road?

If it’s been a while since you last used your trailer, it’s essential to give it a thorough check to make sure everything’s in good working order.

Chances are, if it’s been stored for more than a few months, it might need a little more than spiderweb removal to get it ready for the road.

Before you load up your trailer and hitch it to your vehicle, make sure you go through these basic safety and maintenance trailer checks to get where you’re going safe and sound.

Trailer Checks To Get Your Trailer Ready For The Road

Check Shackles And Couplings

One of the first things you should check is the shackles and coupling. How is the coupling looking? It should be clean and pristine with no cracks, warps, or chips. It can be helpful to apply some grease to the inside of the coupling to make it easier to hitch and unhitch.

While you’re at it, check the tow bar and hitch ball on your vehicle, the shackles and safety chains to make sure there’s no rust, breaks, or cracks.

Check The Tailgates

The trailer itself may be roadworthy, but that’s not all you should check. You also need to establish if it can safely contain the load you’re carrying. Ensure any attachment points for ropes or tarps are secure and not rusted. Plus, double-check the tailgate stays securely in place.

Do Some Basic Maintenance Trailer Checks

It’s a good idea to do regular maintenance on your trailer, even if it’s not used regularly. When standing for a long time, your trailer tyres may degrade or develop flat spots, especially if it’s stored outside. Inspect the tyres for cracks or rot, check the pressure, and make sure the lug nuts are sufficiently tightened.

Hitch the trailer up and double-check that the lights are all functioning as they should be. Give the structure a thorough once-over to check for rust – particularly around the key safety areas.

It’s a good idea to test the trailer in action before you hit any main roads so that you can pick up on any issues before they can endanger you or anyone else.

For more maintenance tips, head over to our general trailer maintenance blog.

Check Your Bearings

Even if the tyres are in good nick, your wheel bearings may need attention. If they are not lubricated enough, they can damage the entire wheel and axle. When test driving the trailer, keep an ear out for squeaks or grinding noises coming from the wheels.

Alternatively, jack up your trailer and spin each wheel. If it spins freely, the bearing is probably well lubricated. If it does not, or you hear any noises, it likely needs attention.

Check Your Paperwork

Unlike your car, your trailer doesn’t have to be continuously registered, so you may have let the rego lapse while in storage. However, the law states that trailers must be registered before travelling on the road, so make sure you arrange this before taking your trailer anywhere. You can sort the registration out online on the NZTA website.

Along with the registration, your trailer needs a current Warrant of Fitness, so allow time to head down to your nearest WoF centre before you need to use the trailer.

If you’ve recently bought the trailer, don’t forget to take care of the change of ownership as soon as possible. And lastly, protect yourself and your trailer by getting insurance before hitting the road.

Security is an important consideration when taking a trailer anywhere, so check you’ve got the bases covered by reading our blog on how to keep your trailer safe.

What If It’s Beyond Help?

If your trailer’s not up to scratch and needs a lot of work, it might be time to consider a new model. It is often safer to replace the trailer than to try and repair major issues – especially deep rust.

At Lucca Trailers, we have a wide selection of trailers to suit all needs. Contact us to find out more, or browse our website to pick your next trailer.