DMW Trailers have a strong policy of preventative maintenance, for a long, safe and trouble-free trailering experience, we recommend the following:
The MORE fresh water the better!
Always wash all of the trailer with lots of fresh water after use in salt water. This could mean washing trailer whilst washing the boat, or if possible, submersing the trailer into a freshwater lake or river this is an even better way of rinsing all of the trailer and components including the inside of the RHS side frames/cross members etc. The inside of the chassis and cross-members can be cleaned out by inserting a hose into the drain holes. It is even a good idea to have a bottle of water in your vehicle that you can quickly spray over the most critical areas after you have launched your boat before you go out boating for the day. The sun baking the salt onto your trailer and its components for 6-8 hours while you are on the water is where a lot of the damage is done. The MORE fresh water the better!
The galvanised coating on every DMW Trailer is made up of mainly zinc and is an anode just like the ones you see attached to your outboard engine or sterndrive. It means the galvanised coating is sacrificial to the steel it protects. This coating will slowly deteriorate and break down in the presence of an electrolyte such as saltwater.
This is why the galvanising will lose its shine after a short period of time. It’s doing its job of protecting the steel chassis and components. If left unwashed, the zinc coating will eventually disappear.
Keep an eye on your suspension
Suspension units, either Springs or Duratorques need to be checked regularly, Springs for cracks in the leaves or worn hangers or slippers, Duratorques whilst not needing too much in the way of maintenance, like springs need to be checked for corrosion deterioration.
Keep Pressure in those Tyres
Tyres must be checked on a regular basis for damage or deterioration; pressures must be checked often and kept up to the high side of manufacturer’s recommendations. Under inflated tyres will cause sidewall damage and the tyres to wear out quicker than they should. In most cases we fit light truck tyres that can be inflated higher than regular car tyres. Check the sidewall of the tyre or the DMW serial plate for the correct inflation pressure of your tyres. A good idea is to be within 5 PSI of the maximum pressure especially when your boat is loaded up full of gear.
Look after what’s stopping you
Brakes need special care, these are important to safety, for you and your investment, our recommendation is that when you get your WOF, you should strip, clean, check, re-grease all caliper parts as a matter of course, as preventative maintenance, this is to avoid the chance of seizure, a “cooked up” hub can be a real inconvenience miles from anywhere, and also expensive as well.
DMW Trailers fit and supply as standard Stainless steel calipers. We recommend Stainless Steel Rotors (discs) and hoses for new trailers and also aftermarket fitments, whilst these are more expensive they are far more reliable and corrosion resistant however, they still require regular cleaning and maintenance.
Check your lights from front to back
DMW Trailers fit LED Lights as standard fitment. LED lights, whilst generally give less problems, still need to be checked. The front trailer plug, should be sprayed with a CRC type product, to keep from getting a DRY contact, a dry pin in the front plug can create many lighting hassles and also be very hard to troubleshoot. A good idea is to rub all joints and terminals with Vaseline or some waterproof grease.
A bit of grease goes a long way
Bearing Buddies are a good product to retain grease and pressure inside the hub with an easy grease nipple available for greasing, the negative to this is that because of its easy access people tend to grease them too often, this tends to “overfill” the hub, so much that it can pop out the inner seal and obviously let water into the hub. The secret is to only grease enough to retard the spring loaded plate enough to give pressure inside the hub.
Winches, hubs, couplings, jockey wheels and rollers all need to be checked and greased where appropriate and also kept free from corrosion etc.
This information is very general and is not specific to a particular brand or model. If you require more information relevant to your trailer do not hesitate to contact DMW Trailers for further advice or comment.