The Nuts and Bolts of Cargo Trailer Maintenance
August 29, 2018
Tips for Maintaining Lug Nuts and Fasteners from Cargo Express
Cargo trailers provide a convenient and reliable way to transport almost anything—across town or around the country. But it’s important to remember that, just like your tow vehicle, your enclosed cargo trailer needs regular maintenance to keep it working safely and efficiently.
There are many aspects of cargo trailer maintenance, from the tires to the hitch to the brakes. Two of the most important areas to watch and care for are the trailer’s fasteners and the lug nuts. These nuts and bolts are literally what keeps your trailer together, so proper maintenance is key. Most cargo trailer maintenance is easily done by yourself, but Cargo Express dealers can help you, either by advising you or doing the work for you.
Fasteners and Frame Members
Periodically—as instructed by your owner’s manual—inspect all of the fasteners and structural frame members for bending and other damage, cracks, or failure. Repair or replace any damaged fastener and repair the frame member. If you have any questions about the condition or method of repair of fasteners or frame members, get the recommendation of, or have the repair done by, your nearest Cargo Express trailer dealer.
Lug Nuts keep the wheels on your trailer—therefore maintenance is vital to safe hauling. Proper torque of the lug nuts is very important in keeping the wheels properly seated to the hub. Before each tow, check to make sure they are torqued to the specified rating. Don’t over-tighten.
Metal creep between the wheel rim and hub may cause lug nuts to loosen and could result in a wheel coming off, leading to death or serious injury. Tighten lug nuts before each tow with a torque wrench according to the specifics in your owner’s manual. If you do not have a torque wrench, use a lug wrench (from your tow vehicle) and tighten the nuts as much as you can. At the first opportunity, have a service garage or trailer dealer tighten the lug nuts to the proper torque.
Note that lug nuts are also prone to loosen after first being assembled. When driving a new trailer (or after wheels have been remounted), check to make sure they are tight after the first 10-, 25- and 50-miles of driving, as well as before each tow thereafter, and after any impact incidents. Failure to perform this check can result in a wheel separating from the trailer while it is in motion.
By reading your owner’s manual and following instructions for cargo trailer maintenance, you can look forward to a safe towing experience every time.
Learn more about Cargo Express trailers and proper trailer maintenance by visiting your local Cargo Express dealer.