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Overheating Bearings, a Common Trailer Problem, can lead to wheel loss...

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"There are many reasons trailer components fail, and most can be avoided with careful maintenance and a keen eye." - Travis Godfredson, Without a Hitch.

In the article 'Trailer Failures and How To Avoid Them', published on the Without a Hitch webpage, March 2017, Travis Godfredson explains the top 7 Trailer component failures to look out for before towing.

He discusses the perils of incorrect tyre pressures, perished tyres; broken suspension and suspension leaf spread; the dangers of poorly adjusted breaks; rust and the damage and wear caused by rough, corrugated roads. However the number 1 issue on Mr Godfredson's list is Overheated Bearings. He states that this is THE most common trailer problem:

"A bearing is designed to hold grease or oil, lubricating small rollers within a housing. Over time the grease will dissipate due to extreme heat and seepage. Without grease, water will enter the bearing and corrode the steel. Then, under load, the bearing will overheat and collapse and your wheel will either seize up or fall off."

Mr Godfredson goes on to say;-

"The two indicators for bad bearings are noise and heat. Keep an ear out when towing, and check for excessive heat when you stop. This is more likely to occur when touring.

Did you know NutWare's Loose Wheel Nut Indicators are dual purpose? They are designed to discolour at 123 degrees to indicate excessive heat caused by overheating bearings and sticking breaks.

Mr Godfredson advises the reader to "change your bearings once a year." Fitting a set of Wheel Nut Indicators will certainly assist in the early detection of excessive heat before wheel seizure or wheel loss occur. When a component failure is rectified early, time and money can be saved. And most importantly, your trailer or caravan (and yourself!) are as safe as they can be.


Read the whole article here.


Blog updated 27.5.21

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