The frantic thrash to get ready for racing always focuses on the race car. It is, after all, the star of the show, the center of attention, and the vehicle that holds the key to fame and fulfillment. In a typical case, the trailer used to haul the car to and from the track is an afterthought. It sat through the off-season, perhaps in the weather, but likely without attention. When it's time to load and go, only then is there some attention to detail.
Trailers need maintenance, too, and failure to do so could bring an undesired outcome. Fortunately, today's equipment doesn't require a lot of maintenance, so here are some simple steps to get started on the right path to safe towing:
* Check the tire pressure on all the tires, including a spare, if any. Do a visual inspection of the tread and look for trouble spots such as bulges in the sidewall.
* Tighten the lug nuts. If the trailer sat out in the elements, you may want to take off the lug nuts and eliminate the rust buildup on the studs.
* Be sure all the connection equipment (hitch, coupler, etc.) secures properly and adjusts properly.
* Visually inspect the wiring for cracks or fraying and poor connections. Wire repair is relatively simple.
* Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals, etc. are in working order. This is one element that will draw the attention of law enforcement when you're on the road.
* If your rig is required to have them, make sure you have the proper permits. Keep any paperwork in an easily accessible place.
* Check the brakes to make sure they are operating properly.
These are basic tips, but easily overlooked in the rush to get ready. Remember, the trailer is a vital aspect of the team. A little time will prevent a lot of aggravation.