Maintaining your equipment seems like an obvious requirement, but keeping your rig up to snuff can seem tedious. Trust us, it’s not the most fun job, but it is a necessity to the life of your rig AND surprise surprise, your equipment too! In this article, our experts pulled together four of the most effective steps in maintaining your rig – aside from your standing oil changes, engine checks, and tire checks.
1. Keep It Clean: Washing your spray rig or trailer may seem like an obvious chore, but taking your time to clean and maintain critical areas will further your efforts in keeping your investment in tip top shape.
Clean thoroughly around wheel wells and rear cavities under the floor – since these are the primary areas in which road buildup is collected. Accelerated decay is often seen with road buildup.
Be sure to keep protective coverings up to par such as; undercoating or paint. Cleaning the entire rig will allow inspection of; door closure strips, roof and wall seams, penetrations, and skin damages. Remove road buildup that breaks down sealers over time and to keep leaks from causing more severe damage to the integrity of your rig.
Pressure washers can cause damage as well. Therefore, a garden hose, simple wash degreaser, and wax is all that is needed – along with ladders and brushes for those hard to reach areas. When corrosion or rust is noticed, address these areas with a light sand paper or steel wool – removing surface contaminants and paint with a rust inhibitive paint and matching the color to give your rig a better looks when finished.
Address these concerns at least once a year or as issues arise.
2. Lighting: Always inspect lighting during each hookup. However, inspecting lights while cleaning the rig allows an opportunity to get up and inspect each light for cracks and moisture infiltration. Most new trailers have sealed lights, so cleaning of the lenses are generally not an option.
Further inspection of each wire harness can also be completed, paying close attention to pinch points and torn jacketing or frayed wires. All lights should shine bright and not dim when turned on. Further inspection of the trailer plug will allow corrosion to be cleaned off of the connection points and apply dielectric grease to promote positive contact. These issues can cause unexpected failures at the worst moments.
3. Grease: When you think of trailers, you always think of wheel bearings – and most mechanics understand the importance of grease. Of course, if this is unfamiliar territory, seek professional assistance to assure proper bearing placement and break performance. Often times, trailers and rigs are used under maximum load limits, therefore, we recommend inspecting the brakes and wheel bearings twice a year or every 10k miles.
Greasing hitches and jacks should be routine items as well. For door and ramp hinges without grease fittings, apply an ample amount of grease to a rag and hold the grease to the hinge as it is worked back and forth – in order to work the grease into the hinge. This motion will penetrate to the critical areas with grease.
4. Tires: Always inspect tires before each and every trip, for proper tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can result in premature wear and tires are not cheap! Standard rotations will also allow for quick break wear checks and provide for the maximum use out of the tire treads. When tires wear down, be sure to replace all of the tires at once. New tires will provide for even wear and won’t let you down when you’ve pushed the tires to their limits. Always ensure you have a tire pressure gauge and a tread gauge on hand in your rig. These useful tools will assure tires are properly filled and assure there is at least the legal amount of 2/32 of an inch tread remaining for road use.