Boat Trailer

How to care for your boat trailer

You’ve got your boat and you are eager to get it out on the water. But how to get from A to B. A reliable, safe boat trailer of course.

A boat trailer is an investment and is crucially important in the transportation of your boat, jet ski or PWC. Meaning you can get out and about to enjoy boating, fishing, and time on the deep blue.

So how to best care for a boat trailer?

Here the team at Terrace Boating has put together some details on boat trailer delivery and boat trailer maintenance – we hope it helps.

Most boat trailers are delivered to Terrace Boating in a stack or on the back of a truck, therefore the grease in the hubs has had very little time to work itself through the bearings. As part of our pre-delivery we pump extra grease into the hubs, however, more will be needed.

After the trailer has done approximately 20 to 30kms of travel and the grease has all settled there will be air pockets that develop inside the hub. Wherever there is air, the chance of water entry is higher. After this time frame, we strongly recommend that you pump more grease into the hubs via the bearing mates (if fitted) to get as much air out as possible.

Make sure that an appropriate marine wheel bearing grease is used and be sure to not overfill the hubs as this can put excess pressure on seals. Most bearing mates have a spring-loaded plate that begins to move when the hub is reaching capacity. This process must be repeated if and when the bearings are ever replaced.

It is recommended wheel bearings are checked and / or replaced every 6 months. As they are considered a consumable item, they are therefore not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

The most important maintenance for boat trailers is to hose down the frame, springs, brakes and axles after each use to ensure that all salt is removed as soon as possible. If possible, try and do this at the boat ramp as you depart the water. If not, as soon as you get home.

For those trailers with mechanical disk brakes make sure that you get underneath and hose across to the brake on the other side. Lubrication needs to be applied to pivot points on the calipers, and the pads and cable need to be regularly checked for wear.

Brakes on boat trailers are required in NSW if the tare weight of the package is over 750kg.

Trailers with hydraulic drum brakes require greater attention. It is our recommendation that the hubs be removed periodically (at least twice a year) and the brake components sprayed with a protectant. Be careful not to spray the pads, or the drum, as this may cause the brakes to lose their effectiveness.

A regular check of brake adjustment and wear by us is also recommended and the best time for this to be done is when your boat is in for a service.

The rollers and winch gears will also need to be greased periodically, this should be done once or twice a year and the easiest way to do this is with the boat off the trailer. Those trailers fitted with bearing buddies on the hubs will also need to be topped up with grease periodically, particularly if the trailer is taken on long hauls. Do not overfill the bearing buddies as this can cause the back seal on the axle to blow out. If you wish, axles and springs can also be coated with some form of protectants such as fish oil or grease to help reduce rusting.

If a trailer is taken on a long haul try and allow the bearing to cool down before immersing them in the water. If they are still hot when they go under the water the heat will naturally suck a bit of water into the bearing regardless of the condition of the seals.

We also recommend carrying a spare wheel for your boat trailer at all times, you don’t want to get trapped with a flat tyre and no way to get your boat home. A spare wheel bracket and lock are available to purchase and will fix the spare wheel securely to your trailer.

As always, the experienced team at Terrace Boating is happy to offer advice on safe boating and the best transportation for your boat, jet ski or PWC. If you’d like to know more about our range of boat trailers and trailer parts and accessories don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 4983 5600 or visit us at 2382 Pacific Highway, Heatherbrae, NSW, 2324.

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