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Maintain your trailer

by | Jun 25, 2019 | Trailer Maintenance

There are a few important points we would like to dicuss in regards to choosing and maintaining a trailer.

We will cover the following sections:

  • Manual Override Brakes for trailers with weight between 750kg to 2000kg ATM
  • Different size wheels for your trailer
  • Advantages between Single Axle or Dual Axle

Before a road trailer can be registered for the first time in Australia or used on a public road, it must meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. These standards are known as Australian Design Rules (the ADRs). The ADRs are designed to make trailers safe for use on the road and carry your boat, motor & belongings. Australian Made Trailers are built under the ADR ruling.

Do you know the (ATM) aggerate trailer mass of your boating rig?

It is so easy to check! Take your boat, motor, trailer with gear, not to forget a load of fuel in the tank, to your local weigh station, you may be surprised how much your boating rig weighs.

Trailers that have a aggerate trailer mass (ATM) of 750kg or less on a single axle trailer does not require a braking system.

Boating Rigs with a weight OVER 750kg to 2000kg are required by law to have mechanical override brakes. The ATM is shown on a compliance plate which is usually located on the drawbar.

A mechanical override kit requires:

  • Two brake hubs to suit Ford or Holden pending on your trailer wheels.
  • Two Sets of Wheel Bearing sets, (We prefer Japanese Wheel Bearings)
  • Two Manual override galvanised callipers with brake pads, mounting bolts and sliders.
  • Two Mounting plates welded onto your axle.
  • One Brake cable with adjuster and four wire rope clamps.
  • Two wheels caps but we highly recommend Buddy bearings for easy maintenance.
  • One override coupling, mounting bolts and hand brake.

Trailers that are over 750kg and less than 2000kg ATM must have brakes that operate on at least one axle, Mechanical override brakes use the tow coupling to manually pull a cable connected to the trailer’s brake calliper.

Override brake systems are commonly found on trailers, camper trailers, and older caravans. They use the force applied against a slowing tow vehicle through the coupling to apply the brake, the same as pulling the handbrake would.

These manual override kits can be fitted to single axle trailer or a dual axle trailer. Remember over 750kg and under 2000kg fully loaded.

How do you decide if you require a single axle trailer or a dual axle trailer?

Here are a few fore’s and against when looking for a new or used trailer for your boat.

Advantage of Single Axle Trailer over Dual Axle Trailer:

Single Axle Trailers weigh less so they are more economical to tow, Cost less to buy, easer to manoeuvre, easer to park in a tight spot, one less set of tyres and brakes to maintain & replace.

Dual Axle Trailer over Single Axle Trailer:

The single axle trailer can’t haul as heavy a weight as a dual axle trailer of the same size, If you are getting towards the 2000kg weight it is up to the owner to make the call about this important safety issue like length of travel and type of roads you will be travelling on.

A single Axle Trailer will be harder on tyres as they carry more weight per tyre than a dual axle trailer. As the single axle does not have a suspension, it won’t cushion the load as well or provide a stable ride over bumpy roads and long distances.

The dual axle is more stable at highway speeds. If you get a flat tyre is less hassle to change and if it happens. A tyre could possibly be changed without using a jack. Dual axle trailers are safer especially under larger boats. When properly loaded, a dual axle trailer will bounce less and is less prone to swaying.

Trailer Wheels and Tires

Once again it all depends on the condition of the roads and the distance you are travelling to get to your destination. Always carry a spare wheel & tyre for those unexpected moments.

The smallest trailers – with a short distance to travel can be purchased with 8”, 9” or 10” alloy or galvanised wheels. These sizes come in a bolt on version with 5 stud Holden Hubs or an Integral hub version with Holden wheel bearings fitted into the wheel, a single wheel nut, slit pin & galvanised cap to cover.

The Mid-Range Trailer or trailers that are travelling a fair distance, are best with 13” Holden or Ford Alloy Wheels. Most people these days opt to go to the 13” wheels. The smaller the wheel the more miles it will travel.

The Larger Range Trailers close to the 2000kg are better with 14” Ford Alloy Rims and Light Weight Truck Tyres to carry the weight and load.

Always remember to check your tyre pressure before setting off, as well as the spare. Another good thing to do is check the condition of the tyre’s for flat spots, cracked walls and the date of your tyre manufacture. Even though you may not be using the trailer much the tyres still will deteriorate.

Confused! – It is best if you are not sure, have your local marine dealer service your trailer every twelve months for peace of mind and safety to you and your family.

Whether you buy a single or dual axle trailer will depend on your needs. If you are going to tow short distances, infrequently then a single axle trailer should be fine, but if you’re towing over long distances or are concerned about safety, then a dual axle trailer is probably the better choice.

For more information email your inquiry to us for clarification or give us a call on 07 5482 2135