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Follow These Trailer Maintenance Tips at Regular Intervals to Ensure Reliable Operation

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A trailer is an extension of your motor vehicle, both literally and figuratively. Yes, the trailer extends from the back of your car or truck, but the same care and consideration you put into maintenance of your vehicle should also extend to the trailer. That’s because failing to keep tabs on the condition of your trailer and its many crucial parts could leave you stranded on the side of the road with an albatross to tow home. Even worse, it could cause an accident that leaves you or other motorists injured, or could damage the goods you were towing. Given these unpleasant possibilities, we’re here to suggest regular intervals to inspect or replace trailer parts in the hopes of avoiding a headache or accident.

  • Weekly (or each trip)

- Tire pressure: It’s recommended that trailer tires be inflated to the maximum PSI that they are rated for to ensure safe transportation of your load.

- Lights: Headlights, brake lights and turn signals should all be checked. Enlist the help of a friend to knock this one out in a few minutes at most. If something isn’t working, it’s likely just a blown bulb that needs replacing.

  • Every 3 months

- Check/tighten lug nuts: Whether with a socket wrench or pneumatic air gun, make sure the lug nuts that hold the wheels on are tight.

- Brake adjustment: Although a special tool is required for this process, it’s not a difficult one and requires little more than jacking the trailer up and getting access to the brake adjuster.

- Check  tire condition (tread and wear pattern): Over- or under-inflated tires will present specific and vastly different patterns of wear.  If left unchecked, the tire will wear down to a point where its continued use is unsafe.

  • Every 6 months - check and replace/repair if necessary:

- Brake magnets: A multimeter will come in handy here to help you check the amperage and ohms.

- Brake control: The calibration of brake controllers of any variety should be considered at this interval.

- Suspension parts: All those bumps in the road take a toll on your trailer’s suspension. Bushings and springs frequently fall victim to the use and abuse.

- Wheels: No matter if you kept your tires properly inflated, the rubber wears down after time. Check the tread depth and wear patterns. If either appear to have seen better times, it’s time to start shopping for trailer tires.

  • Yearly

- Change brake shoe/lining: Brake shoes are a critical component of the trailer braking process. To ensure safe and proper operation, consider replacing them annually.

- Check brake wiring: Visually inspect the condition of the wires in the system to predict and prevent the possibility of shortages.

- Hub and Drums: While the brakes are made up of many parts, hubs and drums keep the system contained. Inspecting or replacing them means you’ll rest easy knowing all the components inside are well-protected.

- Re-pack bearings: If a bearing blows out, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. By removing the bearings to care for them, you’re preventing a road-side disaster.

- Change brake fluid (hydraulic brakes): Want to ensure a well-operating system that’s free of debris? Then change the brake fluid regularly and you’ll likely have a safer ride.

Check all of the above at the suggested intervals and you will help prevent issues and accidents, ensuring proper enjoyment of your trailer throughout the year!

Avoid Risky Roadside Towing Troubles With Top-Of-The-Line Boat Trailer Parts

CaptureWhile it would certainly be nice -- or at the very least, quite convenient -- if we could fit our motorized toys inside our usual commuter vehicle, strapping a fishing boat to the roof of a car isn’t happening. So, with that issue established and agreed upon, what’s the owner of a boat of any size to do when he or she wants to hit the water but has to bring the vessel there first? Put it on a trailer, of course! For those looking for boat trailer parts as they research trailer safety tips, we’re here to suggest the benefits of brake surge actuators for boat trailers. As anyone who has ever towed a boat of any size around will say, factoring for the trailer’s movement as you head down the road is never easy. Fortunately, brake surge actuators make moving your vessel a safer and less stressful venture before and after your time on the water.

 

Generally, hydraulic brake surge actuators are designed to cushion the trailer’s movement during deceleration or braking. This is done automatically by synchronizing the trailer’s brakes with the brakes of the vehicle towing it. The design of the brake surge actuator allows for uniform brake line pressure that promotes a smoother, quicker and safer stop. As a boat tends to surge forward during braking, this is a valuable device that can keep the vessel on your trailer and stop it from flying through the rear window or over the roof of your car or truck. Towing capacity is a key consideration for consumers looking into brake surge actuators for towing purposes. However, a wide variety of makes and models are already on the market and designed to meet the needs of motorists whose boats often have vastly varying weights.

 

Trailer safety on the road is also an essential consideration for motorists who need to use these devices to transport their other vehicles, including jet skis, motorcycles or industrial equipment. Performing routine maintenance on your trailer will ensure that it’s operating as efficiently and safely as possible. In the event of the accident, you’d hate to find out that a bald tire was to blame and a quick once-over look before departing on your trip could have prevented the mess you’re now faced with. For more information on boat trailer parts, call 877-294-7343.

Fashion Plus Function: Here’s How Lift Kits Can Enhance A Golf Cart’s Performance, Appearance

Pause for a moment and picture a golf cart. Doesn’t exactly scream performance and authority, right? Well never mind those naysayers! For proud owners of golf carts everywhere, there’s no reason to let your vehicle languish in mediocrity. From golf cart wheels to tires and accessories, we’re here to break down what lift kits for golf carts can do for you and your ride.

CaptureWhat’s the difference between a golf cart and a buggy? After installing a lift kit and associated gear on the former, it will start performing a lot like latter. Essentially, these add-ons allow for the conversion of most golf carts to go from vehicles limited to the lazily rolling hills of their namesake venues to off-road all-terrain warriors in search of greener and more exciting pastures.

Larger tires -- which typically range from 18 to 23 inches -- can be installed thanks to the lifts that raise the body, often from anywhere between 2-and-a-half inches up to 6 inches. The greater clearance between the stock tires and the chassis means more room to give when driving over rocks or other obstacles. Those considering the long-range off-road route should also look into specialized lift kits that address suspension, steering and stability. A number of other conversion kits are available for those looking for axle adjustments and other under-the-hood configurations.

Speaking of tires, they come in a variety of tread types and rim styles. Looking for something flashy? Golf cart rims that are part of lift kits can rival anything seen on custom cars. As for tire treads, a slew of patterns and tread depths exist for conquering a variety of terrains. Golf cart lift kit accessories already on the market include sleek lug nuts and valve stems, colored hub covers and more. Lastly, it’s imperative for golf cart owners to research the make and model they already own, as lift kits – like car parts – are not interchangeable.

For more information on golf cart wheels and lift kits, call 1-877-294-7343.

Trailer Lights Rules and Connector Basics You Should Know

trailer lights

 

In order for a trailer to be allowed on the road, it must have working trailer lights. If you have a trailer that is less than thirty feet long and no wider than 80 inches, your trailer will require the following:

 

  • Red tail lamps symmetrically mounted on the rear to provide motorists with the vehicle's presence and sense of width.
  • Red stop lamps symmetrically mounted on the rear to indicate braking.
  • Red or yellow rear turn signal lamps symmetrically mounted on the rear to indicate direction of turn.
  • Rear reflectors symmetrically mounted on the rear to provide motorists with the vehicle's presence and sense of width.
  • A clear license plate lamp above the license plate so it can be viewed by motorists and police officers on the road.
  • Side marker lamps or reflectors on the front and rear of the trailer.

If you have a larger trailer than this, you should consult your state's DOT regulations to ensure you have the correct lighting to comply with regulations and ensure others see you on the road.

 

When you decide to upgrade your lights or repair a connector, you will need to work on the wiring of the trailer. Depending on the trailer, you may have 4-way connectors all of the way up to 7-way connectors for the transfer of power for the lights and auxiliary functions like electric brakes. Choose a connector that has the correct number of pins for the functions of your trailer. We have provided the following info on trailer connectors below.

 

And as always, please remember that although most manufacturers do try to keep everything standardized, you should consult your owner's manual for additional information regarding your trailer lights and wiring. For example, color-coding of wiring is not standardized among manufacturers, so you should always identify the wires on your vehicle and trailer by function in order to wire them correctly. You can use a circuit tester to verify the connections.

 

Trailer Connectors

 

4-Way Connectors: 4-way connectors include pins for the three basic lights functions (running, turning, and braking, and an additional pin for a ground wire.

5-Way Connectors: 5-way connectors include pins for the three basic lights functions (running, turning, and braking) and additional pins for the ground wire and one other function – usually the brakes.

6-Way Connectors: 6-way connectors include pins for the three basic lights functions (running, turning, and braking) and additional pins for the ground wire, electric brakes, and 12 volt hot lead.

7-Way Connectors: There are two types of 7-way connectors: blade and round. Blade connectors are much more common. 7-way connectors include pins for the three basic lights functions (running, turning, and braking) as well additional pins for the ground wire, electric brakes, 12 volt hot lead, and backup lights.

 

If you have additional questions about trailer lights, wiring, and more, contact us today at 877-294-7343

Choosing the Right Trailer Jack

trailerA trailer jack is an essential tool for anyone with a trailer, boat or RV. Trailer jacks play a vital role in safe towing. Your trailer jack serves three basic functions. First, it raises and lowers your trailer for connecting and disconnecting to and from the ball on the trailer hitch. A trailer jack also stabilizes the trailer for easy loading and unloading when the trailer is parked. Lastly, it keeps the trailer level when it's detached from the tow vehicle.

Trailer jacks are available in a variety of sizes and weight capacities. In order to select the right trailer jack, you must consider the height of the jack, as well as the height and weight of the trailer tongue. Consider the following tips for choosing the right trailer jack for your trailer and tow vehicle.

Trailer Jack Height

To choose the right jack for your trailer, you need to know its retracted and extended heights. Measure the height from the bottom of the jack to the mounting point. Keep in mind that mounting points can vary depending on the type of jack.  For example, a standard A-frame jack is measured to the bottom of the mounting flange, while a pipe mount jack is measured to the center of the mounting pipe.

Trailer Tongue Height

The trailer tongue height is the measurement from the ground to the bottom of the coupler. Take this measurement when your trailer is parked on level ground. Your trailer jack should extend about 4" higher than the level height of the coupler so that you can easy raise it over the ball to attach or detach the trailer. In addition, your jack should be shorter than the coupler height of the level trailer when it retracts. It should retract enough to clear the ground when towing.

Trailer Tongue Weight

The trailer tongue weight is the downward pressure the coupler exerts on the trailer hitch ball. Your jack should match or exceed the trailer tongue weight.

To find a suitable trailer jack, visit us online at Nuera Trailer Parts. We carry a wide variety of trailer jacks in varying sizes and styles.

 

How to Measure Your Trailer's Bolt Patterns

bolt patternIs it time to replace your trailer wheels? Trailer wheels are available in a variety of sizes and bolt patterns. In order to get the right tire replacement for your trailer, you'll need to measure their bolt pattern. This ensures the wheels are the correct fit for your trailer tires and lug nuts. Read on to learn how to measure your bolt pattern.

Understanding Bolt Patterns

The bolt pattern tells you the number of lugs on the wheel and the diameter of the imaginary circle that the lugs sit on. The bolt pattern can be listed in millimeters or inches. For instance, a bolt pattern of 4 on 100 means the wheel has 4 lugs with a lug-to-lug diameter of 100 millimeters.

Measuring Bolt Patterns

To determine the bolt pattern of your trailer wheels, you first need to count the number of lugs. Then you'll need to measure the distance between the two opposite lug holes. It's important to take an accurate measurement to guarantee your new trailer wheels will fit properly.

If there is an even number of lugs (such as 4, 6 or 8), then you need to measure the center-to-center distance between the two lugs that are directly across from each other. This measurement is the bolt pattern diameter.

Your trailer wheels may have an odd number of lugs, such as 3, 5 or 7. In this case, you'll need to measure the distance from the center of one lug to the outside edge of the opposite lug.

Replacing Trailer Wheels & Accessories

To purchase the correct trailer wheels and accessories for your trailer, visit us online at Nuera Trailer Parts. At Nuera, we offer the best selection of trailer tires and wheels from the industry's top manufacturers and at the most affordable prices. Check out our inventory today.

Choosing the Right Tailgate Salt Spreader

tailgate

If you've ever had to salt a long driveway or parking lot by hand, then you know how time-consuming and tedious the job can be. Even using a handheld salt spreader can take up more time and effort than it's worth. To simplify the process, you may want to upgrade to a tailgate salt spreader. Tailgate spreaders can be used for a wide range of vehicles, including trucks, cars, ATVs, UTVs, lawn tractors and dump trucks. Before making a purchase, consider these tips for choosing the right spreader.

Size and GWAR

The size of the spreader your vehicle can handle depends on its Gross Weight Axle Rating (GWAR). The GWAR is the maximum weight that can be applied to the axle. The GWAR is calculated by the manufacturer and can be found in the owner's manual or on the sticker on the inside of the door. For safety concerns, it's your responsibility to know the GWAR before purchasing a spreader.

Ease of Attachment

You want a spreader that's easy to attach and detach, as you may get caught in inclement conditions, such as cold, wind, rain, snow and/or darkness. Examine the spreader's attachment system for ease of use, and choose the one that works best for you. Some systems work by simply angling the spreader and sliding it into place, or include a built-in trailer hitch receiver, allowing for easy attachment and the ability to attach a trailer once the spreader is detached.

Quality

Tailgate spreaders are made of steel, polyethylene, or a combination of both. All spreader frames are made of steel, but their bodies can be constructed from steel or polyethylene. In terms of strength, neither material is noticeably better than the other. Polyethylene bodies are non-corrosive and are usually lighter and less expensive than those made of stainless steel. However, stainless steel is still effective at not corroding, and their vibrators tend to move better in comparison. The type of material you choose depends on your personal preference. Take into account the individual performance and design ratings of each spreader before making a decision.

Ease of Use

Tailgate spreaders vary in how they control the application of de-icing material. Some spreaders have single level for controlling the spinner speed and flow rate. With this system, the driver has to slow down or speed up to alter the application, or even get out of the truck cab to make adjustments. To avoid these issues, many spreaders have independent auger and spinner controls, so you can control the application of de-icing material from the comfort and convenience of your vehicle and make quicker adjustments.

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing a tailgate salt spreader. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you purchase the spreader that's right for you and your workload.

Trailer Brakes: What You Need to Know

white lorry with trailer over blue sky

When it comes to hauling a trailer, nothing is more important than safety. Trailer brakes are a trailer's most essential safety feature. Especially if your trailer is weighed down by heavy cargo, a well-designed braking system is needed to bring your trailer to a gentle stop. Sudden jarring and braking are hard on your equipment, and in some cases can even cause the trailer to topple and twist, resulting in accidents and injuries. Read on to learn more about trailer brakes.

When do you need trailer brakes?

The laws for trailer brakes vary from state to state, but in most areas, an independent braking system is required when the gross weight is 3,000 lbs. or more. Check the laws for your state or Canadian province here.

Types of Trailer Brakes

All trailer brakes fall into one of two categories— electric or hydraulic surge. Electric brakes are controlled by a brake controller located inside the tow vehicle cabin, while hydraulic brakes are activated by a surge actuator/coupler.

Electric Brakes

An electric brake system uses electrical power and is controlled by the tow vehicle's brake pedal. An electric brake controller is located inside the tow vehicle, which allows the driver to engage the brakes at will. The system uses electromagnetic actuators to activate the brake drum.

Hydraulic Surge Brakes

A hydraulic braking system is more complex than its electric counterpart. In this system, the trailer brakes are activated by the surge actuator/coupler, which is located at the front of the trailer tongue. The system can be used with either drum or disc brakes, depending on the parameters of your trailer.

When the tow vehicle stops, the trailer pushes into the vehicle to compress the actuator's master cylinder and force fluid to the drum or disc brakes. This causes the wheel cylinder inside the brakes to expand, which either forces the brake shoe against the drum or squeezes the caliper over the disc. A hydraulic system is self-contained and requires no connection to the tow vehicle.

Emergency Breakaway Brakes

In addition to these brake systems, trailers are required to have an emergency breakaway system that automatically applies the brakes if the trailer detaches from the tow vehicle.

For more information about trailer brakes and related parts, contact Nuera Trailerparts at 877-294-7343 or visit www.nueratrailerparts.com.

Improving Gas Mileage While Towing

gas

When it comes to towing a trailer, it's inevitable that your fuel economy will decline. This is because you're carrying a heavier load, which requires more force to move. That force is provided by your engine, resulting in higher gas consumption. While using more gas is unavoidable when towing, there are several steps you can take to improve your vehicle's fuel economy. Consider these tips for increasing gas mileage while towing.

Lighten the Load

As you know, lighter is better when it comes to your fuel economy. Assess your trailer and tow vehicle to see if there's anything you don't need that you can get rid of. Simply eliminating unnecessary cargo and reducing the weight of your vehicle and trailer will help increase your gas mileage.

Kick the Bad Driving Habits

Speeding hurts your gas mileage; the faster you drive the more fuel you waste. The U.S. Department of Energy reports speeding and other bad habits, like rapid acceleration or stomping on the brakes, can reduce your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Never exceed the speed limit and remain alert so you can brake appropriately. A good rule of thumb is to drive 55 mph or slower, if possible. Maintain a safe distance between other vehicles so you have enough time to stop or turn safely. Not only will it improve your fuel economy, but it's also safer.

Stopping and going also hinders your fuel efficiency. On long hauls, use cruise control to maintain a consistent and moderate speed, and avoid high-traffic areas if possible. Another bad habit is idling. Never leave your car on when it's parked, as it wastes fuel.

Maintain Your Trailer and Tow Vehicle

Performing routine maintenance and repairs on your cargo trailer and tow vehicle can significantly improve your fuel economy. A dirty air filter, improperly inflated tires, a poorly tuned engine, and a faulty oxygen sensor can all decrease your gas mileage. Follow the recommended service and maintenance schedule for your vehicle and trailer. Also inspect your vehicle and trailer parts before every tow to ensure they are in tip-top shape, and replace them as needed.  In addition to improving your fuel economy, proper maintenance will extend the life of your vehicle and trailer and promote safe towing.

While you don't have control over the price of gas, following these tips can help you increase your fuel economy while towing to get the most out of what you put in your tank.

Towing Safety Tips for Agriculture Trailers

Agriculture trailers are used on most farmsteads. Whether you're transporting materials from the field to the farm or from the ranch to the market, proper trailer setup and maintenance are key for a safe and successful trip. Consider these tips for the safe use of your farm trailer.

Loading the Trailer

For safe loading, your cargo must be properly positioned and not exceed the maximum capacity. The tongue weight should be set between 10 and 15 percent of the trailer's total weight. Approximately 60 percent of the cargo weight must be placed in the front half of the dump bed and 40 percent in the back, unless otherwise directed by the trailer manufacturer. Evenly distribute the weight on the left and right sides of the trailer, and use rope and tie-downs to secure the load and prevent it from shifting during transport.

Routine Maintenance and Inspections

Before using your farm trailer, perform an inspection to ensure the trailer and tow vehicle are in good condition. Replace and repair your agriculture trailer parts as needed. Nuera Trailerparts has all the agriculture trailer parts you need to maintain your farm trailer.

  • Ensure you are using the correct trailer hitch and ball mount for your trailer. (See here)
  • Make sure the latches, cables, and safety chains between the trailer and tow vehicle are securely fastened.
  • Check the tire pressure daily and inflate to the proper level.
  • Ensure the suspensions, brake system, battery, and lights are all working properly.
  • Repack the wheel bearings regularly and replace as needed.
  • Lubricate the pins and bushing to prevent wear and ensure smooth operation.

 

Safe Traveling

Hauling a trailer is obviously much different than normal driving. With a massive load behind you, it takes more time to stop, turn, accelerate, decelerate, change lanes, and so on. Always maintain a safe speed, as well as a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Stay alert and attentive, and be aware of any road or weather conditions that could affect your trip. Stop approximately every 10 miles to ensure your load is still properly positioned and fastened.

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