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Trailer Bearings Failure

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  • #21
    Ok , misspelled the flooring . . .RUMBER flooring: http://www.blueridgetrailer.com/blog...mber-flooring/

    Dealing with trailer people (or house cleaners, or any other service people) --as I said, I live in the Trailer Capital of the World --Elkhart IN. There are trailer sales/repair places on every corner --but there is also a lot of turn over of employees. Like you, my trailer is really, really important to me. So I go to the trailer repair place that has been here the longest and has the least turn over --I know the repair people well --had their kids in class. Even so, I always keep a running list to take in with me on my once a year visit ---a check list. I have two copies --one for me and one for them. If you look on line you'll find a number of "things to check on a trailer" lists. I compiled mine and take it each year along with anything else that needs fixed or touched up ---missing screw --new drip guards --add a horse tie to the outside. Another suggestion is to buy your parts yourself. Take them in with you. The trailer repair guys charge me by the hour --if they need to go to Merhow to buy a part, I get charged for that time --if they have to search on-line and order a part, I get charged. So I have all the parts laid out for them to replace if needed. At $75/hr labor --I save a bit. When I pick up the trailer, we go over the list to make sure everything has been done and is working how I want it to --always check replaced lights that they work. Everyone is human and this is a busy place. I know a lot of the minor repairs get send "down' to the newest, least experienced person --so I want to check them out and make sure everything is right. Then always ask: Is there anything you found on the trailer that I need to watch? Usually the answer is no, but sometimes it's "Well, next year you'll probably want to replace the tires," or "We found some rust on a back corner --might have to patch that place next time . . ." --My trailer is 16 years old --it does have a couple of cosmetic issues I keep an eye on.

    As to your tires --I don't know the answer --this is one area where I totally trust the "tire store" --again, local place, owner has been there forever --had his kids in class too ---I take my trailer there for tire repair and evaluation --please know that trailer tires are not car tires --no matter how far you drive on them, have them replaced every 4-5 years --do your research --it's not a complicated subject. I replace all tires and rims every 4 years and sell the old ones --never a problem because someone will buy used trailer tires for a boat trailer or hay wagon even though they have lots of wear. By selling with the rims (new rims are inexpensive), I get new rims and the buyer of the used tires can put them on himself ...anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.

    Comment


    • #22
      Um, post was unapproved? Simply explained that RUMBER flooring is a rubber composite that has (I think) better qualities than my aluminum floor in my current horse trailer does. Secondly I suggested that OP make a list of what he/she wants done and looked at on the trailer --there are lists on the WWW for "what to have checked on a horse trailer." She should make her own, make a copy, and give it to the trailer repair person. When she picks up the trailer, review the list to make sure all items were checked, and fixed if necessary. Oh, I always ask for a call about how much it will be (estimate) before the work is done. When picking up the trailer, ask "Is there anything you saw that I need to be aware of?" --this sometimes lead to conversations about possible concerns --"may need new tires next year " or "the battery might need replacing," ---last --always try to acquire any parts that will be needed before the repair date as the time to locate and purchase such items may be charged to the trailer owner (my trailer repair people do that).

      As to the tire question --I defer to experts who sell tires --never hurts to have two of them look at the tires in question. I reminded OP that trailer tires are different than car tires and expect to replace, regardless of mileage, every 3-4 years --said I replace tires and rims, then sell the old tires/rims used --people with hay wagons, boat trailers, etc will buy used tires and rims. That way I get some $$$ back and new rims with my new tires! My unapproved post was much more witty. FYI

      Comment


      • #23
        So, Dexter recommends 3 months / 3000 miles, most folks will not do this mileage or service so do at least once per year or more

        do not rely on greasing only thru an EZ lube ( you can over do and ruin your brakes if you push out the grease seal, that is something designed for boat trailers due to getting in water all the time )

        On sealed bearings it sounds like a good idea BUT if you have a failure parts are harder to find without ordering AND you must use a press to remove and replace them, regular bearings may be a better idea as most any hand mechanic can do the job

        IF you travel much or far it is a GREAT idea to carry at least 1) bearing kit for your trailer with you, if you have a failure on a weekend you might find that handy repair person and you would have parts that you likely would not be able to get in a hurry.

        IF you are interested here is a link to Dexter Axle videos, scroll down, this is a good intro / education - various parts and topics https://www.dexteraxle.com/resources/videos

        Risa
        Happy Trails Trailers
        Balanced Ride Trailers
        HappyTrailsTrailers.com
        BalancedRideTrailers.com

        Comment


        • #24
          My Merhow has never-lube hubs. My dad who does some maintenance like greasing the bearings, thought this was great! But, we do have them inspected every year. You're carrying some valuable possessions, it's worth it to have them checked out. But there do seem to be failure prone bearings out there. My parents were driving up to Minnesota with their boat and the bearing went on the trailer and they had to have it repaired. My dad did grease the bearings earlier in the year and this was only the second trip of the year. So I see that as sub-par manufacturing. If you know what you have you can be prepared for future failures.

          Along the same lines of safety, you should have matching trailer rated tires all around. Ideally, you also want them manufactured around the same time as well. Now the mechanics/dynamics of trailer tires are different from those of your car. However, you are exerting significant forces on those tires especially when doing tight turns. Having different tires on the same axle could cause one or the other tire to fail prematurely. Having two different tires on the same side could also cause a premature failure. Again, why take a chance? I see dry rot on tires more often than not - especially on the spare tire! The worst thing for a tire is to not be used! A tire that travels over the road has forces exerted on it to keep the natural oils in the rubber consistent. So as the tire flexes and heats up and goes through heat cycles, it effectively prolongs the life of the tire compared to a spare. We rotated in our spare tire 2 years ago, and it only lasted 2 years before it looked suspect. The other tires had lasted 4 years before needing replacement for simple wear.

          Now as to the difference between 8 ply vs 10 ply, you would have to ask the people that replace your trailer tires. The difference may not be significant for hauling but once you get a trailer manual, it may specify minimum requirements for the tires like ply, rating, load capacity, etc. There are very few manufacturers of trailer tires compared to car tires so specific tire knowledge is important. The trailer place can also tell you trends they have seen - like what brand doesn't last as long or fails more often. That being said for cost reasons, you could have a non-matching tire as a spare. It will work in a pinch till you can get the flat replaced. You just don't want to drive on it for an extended period of time.

          Sorry if this was a bit long, but I used to race cars, so tires were all important. I learned more than I needed to know and applied it to my horse trailer! I would rather be safe. It's not worth the risk to me.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            An update, I need two new axles, a new tire, a new wheel, new brakes among other things. When they hooked up the electricity to it they couldn’t even activate the brakes. For such a new trailer I am very upset that all this needs fixing. This was the 2nd time apparently that the bearings failed on this trailer because there is evidence that the prior bearings were welded off without the axle being replaced so the axles have been ruined this entire time.

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            • #26
              PS for big jobs try to get a 2nd opinion...Sorry for your troubles. Hope you are on the road again soon!
              R
              HappyTrailsTrailers.com
              BalancedRideTrailers.com

              Comment


              • #27
                Hi Gardenhorse , I have a Brenderup trailer and yes, that's what I understood also - bearings were sealed. If you get other information, please let us know!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                  Dexter Axle (made near me) have a sealed bearing axle ---something I will definitely look into if I ever part with my beloved Merhow --that and a RUMBLER floor! Until then, I take donuts to the trailer-fix shop when I take my trailer in --want those guys/girls to look forward to me coming in!
                  Never underestimate the power of donuts, especially upon people who's work is physical labor.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    skydy --donuts are great, but even better are remembering names! As a retired teacher (40+ years) I learned that names are so important -and to use them! But the trailer industry is highly fluid with its employment --good workers are hard to keep --so donuts are a good second choice ---when the mechanics see my trailer is on the list for repair --I hope they think, "Yippeee!." OH and someone PMed me that the sealed axles might not be the best route --guess they can fail and when they do, it's a costly repair.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      New brakes? Trailer brakes are pretty simple and last for years and years. I would assume it's just a wiring issue.
                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Equestrianette View Post
                        An update, I need two new axles, a new tire, a new wheel, new brakes among other things. When they hooked up the electricity to it they couldn’t even activate the brakes. For such a new trailer I am very upset that all this needs fixing. This was the 2nd time apparently that the bearings failed on this trailer because there is evidence that the prior bearings were welded off without the axle being replaced so the axles have been ruined this entire time.
                        PPE. Always on everything.

                        That said you have put some miles on the trailer since you bought it. I expect that the new wheel and tire are related to the damage done when the axles failed and perhaps the brakes too? Do you know if your trailer brakes ever worked?

                        When I got my new to me truck it had a pin socket for the trailer power cord but the pins were the wrong configuration and only some of the trailer electrical worked. The running lights wouldn't turn on. Had the socket replaced on the truck NBD. I did not pull the trailer with that truck until that was done.

                        But would you know if the trailer brakes ever functioned for you or if the truck has just been slowing the trailer for the past year? Do you know how to test the brakes driving? Do you have the adjustable force brake switch installed on your dashboard?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                          PPE. Always on everything.

                          That said you have put some miles on the trailer since you bought it. I expect that the new wheel and tire are related to the damage done when the axles failed and perhaps the brakes too? Do you know if your trailer brakes ever worked?

                          When I got my new to me truck it had a pin socket for the trailer power cord but the pins were the wrong configuration and only some of the trailer electrical worked. The running lights wouldn't turn on. Had the socket replaced on the truck NBD. I did not pull the trailer with that truck until that was done.

                          But would you know if the trailer brakes ever functioned for you or if the truck has just been slowing the trailer for the past year? Do you know how to test the brakes driving? Do you have the adjustable force brake switch installed on your dashboard?
                          My mistake was having the dealership do the PPE and not an independent shop. They said everything was done, maintenance completed, etc etc.. The trailer has driven the same the whole year. I borrowed a friend's trailer this weekend to get to a show and her trailer DID have brakes and it was a HUGE difference. I can say no my trailer did not have brakes, but I've never had problems stopping. I do have a tow package in my truck with the manual trailer braking system to test it when I get it back. The gain indicator always went along with how much brake pressure I put on my truck, but it must have never reached the actual braking system on the trailer which is weird. The shop said I had no power going to my brakes but I also had none either, in that they were completely worn down and needed to be replaced. A long time ago, coming out of this particular feed store's driveway, my trailer hitch ripped out the emergency brake on the asphalt, perhaps that triggered the brakes and I kept driving? I don't know. I feel like I would know if it pulled different and it never did. I'm just glad I'm getting everything fixed.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Wow there was a lot going on. I think your use is fairly high mileage but definitely the issue was starting long ago. I just had my trailer serviced last summer after having it mostly sitting a few years (I know), and the mechanic said the bearings and the floor looked brand new so to call him in another 3 years unless I start using it a lot more. Ask your shop what they recommend. I think after the repairs I’d check a little often at first and then if that seems ok, with your mileage you are probably fine for once a year. The hardest thing for me to keep up with in my climate is the battery for the emergency brake system. I need to get a trickle charger for the winter so I don’t keep killing batteries.

                            I keep an automotive and marine use fire extinguisher in the trailer.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                              skydy --donuts are great, but even better are remembering names! As a retired teacher (40+ years) I learned that names are so important -and to use them! But the trailer industry is highly fluid with its employment --good workers are hard to keep --so donuts are a good second choice ---when the mechanics see my trailer is on the list for repair --I hope they think, "Yippeee!." OH and someone PMed me that the sealed axles might not be the best route --guess they can fail and when they do, it's a costly repair.
                              Names are a given.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Just an update.
                                I got my trailer back today. Two new axels, new brakes, etc. It cost a lot less than anticipated and although my brakes needed to be replaced the electrical issue was just a dead brake battery. All fixed! Happy to be back on the road.

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