Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Take a Look at Those Trailers

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Take a Look at Those Trailers

Article excerpt

IF you're taking your boat or caravan away for Christmas, now is the time to ensure its wheels will keep rolling.

I've been on the highway a bit lately and three times in the past week have encountered trailers with wheel trouble.

I was unable to overtake one boat trailer for some distance and had to just sit and watch as smoke began to pour from a wheel and then the bearing disintegrated, fortunately just as we were able to alert the driver.

A few days later, I saw the same thing happen to a boat trailer on the Pacific Highway between Woodburn and Harwood and then, almost exactly 24 hours later in the same place, there was another trailer on the roadside minus a wheel.

If you haven't used your boat trailer or van for many moons, don't take it anywhere before you at least repack the bearings with fresh high-temp bearing grease.

Better still, shout it a new set of bearings.

It looks really cool at the ramp to dunk a boat trailer up to the drawbar and simply drive the vessel on and off.

It's really quick and saves bottlenecks at the boat ramp during busy periods.

For many larger boats, driving on and off is frequently the only way to launch and retrieve, especially since most electric winches rely on ultra-low gearing to provide sufficient pulling power.

Hence their retrieve rates are very slow.

But dunking a trailer whose bearings haven't cooled down from the trip to the ramp is asking for trouble Co the hubs and seals cool and contract fast, allowing saltwater to enter the system and begin its corrosive work.

No amount of extra grease injected through Bearing Buddies and their ilk will compensate for the salt that turns grease to wax and rusts steel.

Lighter boats, such as tinnies to about five metres, don't really need to be launched or retrieved that way.

If the trailer and boat are set up well, it's a simple matter of backing in just to the lower part of the hubs so they remain dry and allowing the rollers and skids to do their job Co not looking as cool, but preserving the bearings for many years. …

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