Trailer Maintenance

APC Equipment and Trailers 30 Year Anniversary Celebration Event!

APC is proud to announce we’re celebrating our 30th year serving the Arizona communities for trailer needs. We’d like to extend our thanks to customers across Arizona. We will be offering free delivery on our trailers up to 150 miles. Each additional mile will be charged accordingly. Please take advantage of this offer while it lasts. This is also in addition to our low tax rate of 6.1%! Lots of money savings for you! Please call or stop in today to meet with our family of staff members and get yourself a new trailer! Click Here for Our Inventory

Terms and Conditions:

Trailers must be a value of $4,000 or more before taxes on any open style trailers. (Car haulers, dump trailers, equipment trailers, aluminum trailers, etc)

Enclosed trailers must be a value of $6,000 or more before taxes.

Delivery must be agreed upon at time of purchase. 30 mile delivery minimum. Credits for delivery fees not provided. Not valid on previous purchases. Not to be combined with additional discounts or savings.

Deposits are required at time of purchase/order. Remaining balance must be paid upon delivery with cashiers check or prior to arrival with bank wire. Credit accepted at additional fee.

Inspection, Service & Maintenance

RETIGHTEN LUG NUTS AT FIRST 10, 25 & 50 MILES

Wheel lugs can shift and settle quickly after being first assembled, and must be checked after the first 10, 25 and 50 miles of driving. Failure to perform this check may result in a wheel coming loose from the trailer, causing a crash leading to death or serious injury. Refer to the Inspection, Service and Maintenance section of this manual.

ADJUST BRAKE SHOES AT FIRST 200 MILES
Brake shoes and drums experience a rapid initial wear. The brakes must be adjusted after the first 200 miles of use, and each 3,000 miles thereafter. Some axles are fitted with a mechanism that will automatically adjust the brake shoes.

Read your axle and brake manual to see if your brakes adjust automatically. If you do not have the axle and brake manual, contact your dealer for assistance.

SYNCHRONIZING THE BRAKE SYSTEMS
Trailer brakes are designed to work in synchronization with the brakes on the tow vehicle. When the tow vehicle and trailer braking systems are synchronized, both braking systems contribute to slowing, and the tongue of the trailer will neither dive nor rise sharply.

Tire Safety Checklist

  • Check tire pressure regularly (at least once a month), including the spare.
  • Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs of wear or trauma.
  • Remove bits of glass and foreign objects wedged in the tread.
  • Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
  • Check tire pressure before going on a long trip.
  • Do not overload your vehicle. Check the Tire Information Placard or Owner’s


Trailer Brakes 

ADJUST BRAKE SHOES AT FIRST 200 MILES
Brake shoes and drums experience a rapid initial wear. The brakes must be adjusted after the first 200 miles of use, and each 3,000 miles thereafter. Some axles are fitted with a mechanism that will automatically adjust the brake shoes.

Read your axle and brake manual to see if your brakes adjust automatically. If you do not have the axle and brake manual, contact your dealer for assistance.

SYNCHRONIZING THE BRAKE SYSTEMS

Trailer brakes are designed to work in synchronization with the brakes on the tow vehicle. When the tow vehicle and trailer braking systems are synchronized, both braking systems contribute to slowing, and the tongue of the trailer will neither dive nor rise sharply.

Properly functioning brake shoes and drums are essential to ensure safety. You must have your dealer inspect these components at least once per year, or each 12,000 miles.
The brake shoes must be adjusted after the first 200 miles of use, and each 3,000 miles thereafter. Most axles are fitted with a brake mechanism that will automatically adjust the brake shoes when the trailer is “hard braked” from a rearward direction. Read your axle and brake manual to see how to adjust your brakes. If you do not have this manual, contact your dealer for assistance.

Manually Adjusting Brake Shoes

Some braking systems are not automatically adjusted by hard stopping. These brakes require manual adjustment. The following steps apply to adjust most manually adjustable brakes. Read your axle and brake manual to see how to adjust your brakes. If you do not have this manual, contact your dealer for assistance.

  • Jack up the trailer and secure it on adequate capacity jack stands.
  •  Be sure the wheel and brake drums rotate freely.
  • Remove the adjusting-hole cover from the adjusting slot on the bottom of the brake backing plate.
  •  With a screwdriver or standard adjusting tool, rotate the star wheel of the adjuster assembly to expand the brake shoes. Adjust the brake shoes out until the pressure of the linings against the drum makes the wheel very difficult to turn. Note: Your trailer maybe equipped with drop spindle axles. See axle manual for your axle type. You will need a modified adjusting tool for adjusting the brakes in these axles. With drop spindle axles, a modified adjusting tool with about an 80 degree angle should be used.
  • Rotate the star wheel in the opposite direction until the wheel turns freely with a slight drag.
  • Replace the adjusting-hole cover.
  • Repeat the above procedure on all brakes.
  • Lower the trailer to the ground.

Brakes, Electric
Two different types of electric brakes may be present on the trailer: an emergency electric breakaway system, which acts only if the trailer comes loose from the hitch and the breakaway pin is pulled. The other brake is an electric braking system that acts whenever the brakes of the tow vehicle are applied.

Breakaway Battery – 
This battery supplies the power to operate the trailer brakes if the trailer uncouples from the tow vehicle. Be sure to check, maintain and replace the battery according to the battery manufacturer’ instructions.

Breakaway Switch – 
This switch causes the breakaway battery to operate the electric brakes if the trailer uncouples from the tow vehicle.
The lanyard for the pull pin is connected to the tow vehicle, and the switch is connected to the trailer. To check for proper functioning of the switch, battery and brakes, you must pull the pin from the switch and confirm that the brakes apply to each wheel. You can do this by trying to pull the trailer with the tow vehicle, after pulling the pin. The trailer brakes may not lock, but you will notice that a greater force is needed to pull the trailer.

Tow Vehicle Operated Electric Brakes

The electric brakes that operate in conjunction with the tow vehicle brakes must be “synchronized” so that braking is properly distributed to the tow vehicle brakes and the trailer brakes. For proper operation and synchronization, read and follow the axle/brake and the brake controller manufacturers’ instructions. If you do not have these instructions, contact your dealer for assistance.

Magnets for all Electric Brakes

To make certain an electrically-operated braking system will function properly; you must have your dealer inspect the magnets at least once a year, or each 12,000 miles. See the brake manual for wear and current inspection instructions.

Trailer Connection to Tow Vehicle
Bumper Pull Coupler and Ball

The coupler on the trailer connects to the ball attached to the hitch on the tow vehicle. The coupler, ball and hitch transfer the towing forces between the tow vehicle and the trailer. Before each tow, coat the ball with a thin layer of automotive bearing grease to reduce wear and ensure proper operation; and check the locking device that secures the coupler to the ball for proper operation.
See the coupler manufacturer’s manual for other inspection and maintenance activities. If you do not have this manual, contact your dealer for assistance.
If you see or feel evidence of wear, such as flat spots, deformations, pitting or corrosion, on the ball or coupler, immediately have your dealer inspect them to determine the proper action to prevent possible failure of the ball and coupler system. All bent or broken coupler parts must be replaced before towing the trailer.

The coupler handle lever must be able to rotate freely and automatically snap into the latched position. Oil the pivot points, sliding surfaces, and spring ends with SAE 30W motor oil. Keep the ball pocket and latch mechanism clean. Dirt or contamination can prevent proper operation of the latching mechanism.
When replacing a ball, the load rating must match or exceed the GVWR of the trailer.

Ring and Pintle
The ring on the trailer connects to the pintle attached to the hitch on the tow vehicle. The ring, pintle and hitch transfer the towing forces between the tow vehicle and the trailer. Before each tow, coat the ring with a thin layer of automotive bearing grease to reduce wear and ensure proper operation; and check the locking device that secures the pintle to the ring for proper operation.
See the pintle manufacturer’s manual for other inspection and maintenance activities. If you do not have this manual, contact your dealer for assistance.
If you see or feel evidence of wear, such as flat spots, deformations, pitting or corrosion, on the ring or pintle, immediately have your dealer inspect them to determine the proper action to prevent possible failure of the ring and pintle system. All bent or broken coupler parts must be replaced before towing the trailer.
The pintle handle lever must be able to rotate freely and automatically snap into the latched position. Oil the pivot points, sliding surfaces, and spring ends with SAE 30W motor oil. Keep the ring pocket and latch mechanism clean. Dirt or contamination can prevent proper operation of the latching mechanism. When replacing a ring, the load rating must match or exceed the GVWR of the trailer.

Gooseneck Ball Receiver
The gooseneck receiver on the trailer connects to a hitch-mounted ball on the towing vehicle. The receiver, ball and hitch transfer the towing forces between the tow vehicle and the trailer. Before each tow, coat the ball with a thin layer of automotive bearing grease to reduce wear and ensure proper operation; and check the locking device that secures the receiver to the ball for proper operation.
See the gooseneck ball receiver manufacturer’s manual for other inspection and maintenance activities. If you do not have a manual for the receiver, contact your dealer for assistance.
If you see or can feel evidence of wear, such as flat spots, pitting or corrosion, on the ball or receiver, immediately have your dealer inspect them to determine the proper action to prevent possible failure of the ball and receiver system.

When replacing a ball, the load rating must match or exceed the GVWR of the trailer.

Landing Leg or Jack

If a grease fitting is present, you must use a grease gun to lubricate the jack mechanism. Grease the gears in the top of hand-cranked jacks once a year, by removing the top of the jack and pumping or hand packing grease into the gears.

Lights and Signals
Before each tow, check the trailer taillights, stoplights, turn signals and any clearance lights for proper operation.

Wheel Rims

If the trailer has been struck, or impacted, on or near the wheels, or if the trailer has struck a curb, inspect the rims for damage (i.e. being out of round); and replace any damaged wheel. Inspect the wheels for damage every year, even if no obvious impact has occurred.

Tires

Trailer tires may be worn out even though they still have plenty of tread left. This is because trailer tires have to carry a lot of weight all of the time, even when not in use. It is actually better for the tire to be rolling down the road than to be idle.
During use, the tire releases lubricants that are beneficial to tire life. Using the trailer often also helps prevent flat spots from developing. The main cause for tire failure is improper inflation.
Before each tow, check the tire pressure to make sure it is at the level indicated on the tire sidewall or VIN label. Tire pressure must be checked while the tire is cold.
Do not check tire pressure immediately after towing the trailer. Allow at least three hours for the tires to cool, if the trailer has been towed for as much as one mile.
Tires can lose air over a period of time. In fact, tires can lose 1-3 psi per month.
This is because molecules of air, under pressure, weave their way from the inside of the tire, through the rubber to the outside. A drop in tire pressure could cause excessive heat build up. If the tire is under-inflated, even for a short period of time, the tire could suffer internal damage.
High towing speed in hot conditions degrades the tire significantly. As heat builds up during driving, the tire’s internal structure starts to breakdown, compromising the strength of the tire. It is recommended to drive at moderate speeds.

Replace the tire before towing the trailer if the tire treads have less than 2/32 inch depth or the telltale bands are visible.
A bubble, cut or bulge in a side wall can result in a tire blowout. Inspect both side walls of each tire for any bubble, cut or bulge; and replace a damaged tire before towing the trailer.
Statistics indicate the average life of a tire is five years under normal use and maintenance conditions. After three years, replacing the trailer tires with new ones should be considered, even if the tires have adequate tread depth. After five years,  trailer tires are considered worn out and should be replaced, even if they have had minimal or no use.
If you are storing your trailer for an extended period, make sure the tires are inflated to the maximum rated pressure indicated on the sidewall or VIN label and that you store them in a cool, dry place such as a garage. Use tire covers to protect the tires from the harsh effects of the sun.

Wheel Bearings
A loose, worn or damaged wheel bearing is the most common cause of brakes that grab.
To check your bearings, jack up trailer and check wheels for side-to-side looseness. If the wheels are loose, or spin with a wobble, the bearings must be serviced or replaced.
Refer to the axle manufacturer’s information for maintenance on the axle.
If your axle(s) are equipped with a grease zerk on the ends of the axle(s), the bearings must be greased every 6 months or 6,000 miles to ensure reliable and safe operation of your trailer.

  • Remove the rubber plug from the axle end.
  • Place grease gun on zerk (1)
  • Pump grease until new grease begins to appear. Use different color grease each time so you will know when the new grease begins to appear.
  • Install rubber plug and cap. Repeat for remaining wheel bearings.

If your trailer axle(s) are not equipped with grease zerks, refer to the axle manufacturer’s manual for service and maintenance information.

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