More than just a popular bumper sticker refrain, “No farms, no food” is a concept that carries a lot of weight. If it weren’t for farmers across this great land making our food supply chain a reality, your local supermarket would look much different from how it does today. For the farmers who’ll soon be gearing up for harvest season, these waning summer weeks are the perfect time to give your gear the once-over. Nothing mechanical runs forever without a little preventative maintenance and with that in mind, it’s time check out your agricultural trailer to make sure all the components are going to work as needed during this busy time of year.
- Electrical systems: Since many farm trailers are road-worthy, you’ll legally need brake lights and turn signals to indicate your movement to other vehicles. You’ll want to take the time to closely inspect the harnesses, plugs and insulation of the wiring that runs to the lights on your trailer. Regular wear and tear can cause wires to rip out of the light socket and the simple passage of time could mean a blown bulb that’s gone undetected.
- The wheel well and brakes: Trailers are designed to carry a lot of weight. However, safely carting around livestock or the bounties of your harvest requires more than the correct tire pressure. From lug hubs and spindles to agricultural bearings, the business end of your trailer’s axle requires special attention. The only way to detect signs of serious wear on your bearings or races is to pull them out for an inspection. A simple cotter pin is often all that you need to remove to start the disassembly process. If all appears to be in working order, make sure to re-pack the bearing assembly with grease before reinstallation. If your brakes appear to be a little on the weak side or non-functioning, you may need to bleed them and re-fill with synthetic brake fluid or see if the surge actuator on the hitch is doing its job.
- Planning for the unexpected: Farm trailers take a lot of abuse. That’s why it’s critical to find the best horse trailer parts on the market. By opting to save a few dollars on a cut-rate product, you could end up with an A-frame coupler that fails on the road; a trickle charger that cuts out suddenly, thus leaving you with a dead battery; a butterfly latch that bends and fails to keep the rear door trailer door closed or a drop leg that isn’t capable of keeping your trailer propped up.
With the onset of fall just a short time away, the demand for many specialty and seasonal products is about to hit full-swing. If you want to set yourself up for a smooth and successful harvest season, follow these tips to ensure your trailers are in working order.