We all make sure our car is keep in good condition and is roadworthy, we know the consequences of not doing so can be fatal. The MOT and warranty servicing usually makes sure we don’t forget! Trailers and caravans don’t require any form of MOT so its up to the owner or user to keep it in a good roadworthy condition. Just like your vehicle there are benefits of regular servicing, like avoiding expensive repair bills, increasing the lifespan, increasing its residual value, reduce the risk of failure and causing and accident which in turn will allow you to tow with confidence and peace of mind (we have read on many towing forums of people being relieved to have got to their destination in one piece!!)
Did you know that it is an offence to supply, sell, offer for supply or offer to sell a trailer which is unroadworthy? We recently read a report in the local newspaper of a gentleman who had let his neighbour borrow his trailer. The neighbour was consequently stopped by the Police for the trailer not being in a roadworthy condition. The neighbour was fined for using the trailer but the owner of the trailer was fined £600 and had points added to his licence for allowing the trailer to be used in the condition it was – much more than it would have cost to have the trailer serviced we expect!
Apart from the regular service there are some checks that should be done every time you take it on the road. Have a look at the lights, they should all be functioning correctly and any reflectors fitted should be in good condition. The tyres should also be checked both for any signs of wear or damage and also the tyre pressures. Check that there are no cuts, cracks or bulges in them. Also check for any misalignment as this may point to problems with the hub or axle. Inspect the rims to ensure they are sound and not rusted through or badly worn. Old or worn tyres are likely to cause a blowout and this is not something you want part way into your journey – especially if you don’t carry a spare.
You should also inspect your bearings, especially so if they are exposed to salt water. Your braking system should be tested to ensure they are functioning correctly. Check that the coupling head is in a good condition and working properly. If you have a breakaway cable fitted make sure this is fit for purpose and is used every time you tow. Also check the construction of the trailer body and make sure the load you are carrying is not too heavy for the weight capacity of the trailer and try to distribute the weight of the load evenly throughout the trailer. Alternatively, you could hire a trailer. A wide range of trailers which are regularly serviced should be available to assist in moving anything from a car, motorbike, garden waste or help move house.
Follow these simple points to keep your trailer roadworthy and you can enjoy hassle free towing.