If you operate a small- to medium-sized trucking company, you probably own some semi-trailers that you or your drivers use regularly. Keeping your trailers in good shape is critical, but you may need to find a semi-trailer repair shop or truck shop that can take care of the trailer for you.
Semi-trailers often have many miles on them, and over time, parts can wear out and break. Keeping your trailers ready to go is essential, and in many cases, basic maintenance allows the technician working on the trailer to find problems before they become so bad that the trailer needs to be side-lined.
There are some common areas of concern that the shop handling your semi-trailer repair should check every time the trailer is in the shop to avoid a breakdown when the trailer is loaded. When you take the trailer in for maintenance, the tech will go over the entire trailer and let you know if there are problems so that you can decide how best to fix the trailer or if you need to park it.
Common Trailer Failures
Some of the most common problem areas on semi-trailers start with the suspension system. The springs or airbags on the trailer support a lot of weight, and over time, the strain can cause fatigue that can lead to a spring or bag failure. Every time the trailer is in the semi-trailer repair shop, the suspension should be inspected for potential problems and repaired to eliminate breakdowns on the road.
Brakes are another critical component of the trailer that the tech should check regularly. If the brakes stop working, the truck that is pulling the trailer will have to handle controlling the truck, trailer, and load, and while you may be able to do that in an emergency, the truck's brakes were not designed to do that.
Most modern braking systems will lock up if the air pressure falls too low, but the trailer brakes could have pressure and not work because of some other issue, so it is crucial that they are checked often.
The lights on the trailer need to be working as well. If the trailer lights are not functioning, the semi-trailer repair tech needs to correct this before the trailer leaves the shop. If the trailer lights stop working, the vehicles behind the truck can't tell when it is braking or making a turn. The truck's lights are under the trailer when the trailer is attached and, in most cases, completely blocked from view.
Often, lighting issues are related to a bad bulb or a ground wire that is corroded and can be quickly fixed, so if you have any lights out on the trailer, let the tech know to check them for you.