Trailer Products Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You should replace your Trailer Hub every 12 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Appropriate service methods and proper repair procedures are essential for the safe and reliable operation of all running gear, as well as for the personal safety of the individual doing the work.
When the hub must be removed from the axle for inspection or maintenance, the following removal procedure should be used:
- Lift and support the trailer frame.
- Remove the wheel from the hub.
- Remove the grease cap carefully, by prying around the flange of the cap as you turn the hub.
- Remove the cotter pin from the spindle, which is keeping the spindle nut from turning.
- Unscrew the spindle nut and remove the spindle washer.
- Pull the hub toward you until the unit comes off of the spindle. Be careful not to let the outer bearing cone fall out of the hub. The seal will retain the inner bearing cone.
- The hub should be set on a clean surface to keep any contamination from entering the bearing cavity of the hub.
Once all of the necessary inspections have been performed and the units have been properly lubricated, the following procedure should be used for reinstallation of the hubs:
- Place the lubricated unit onto the same spindle, from which it was removed. Make sure that all of the components are reinstalled, as they were removed.
- Tighten the spindle nut to 30-40 ft. - lbs., while turning the hub to ensure the bearings are properly seated. Do not move the hub after this step is completed.
- Loosen the spindle nut completely, until the nut can be turned with your fingers.
- Finger-tighten the spindle nut by hand without moving the hub.
- If the cotter pin can be assembled with the nut finger-tight, insert the cotter pin without backing the nut off. If the cotter pin cannot be assembled with the nut finger-tight, back the spindle nut up to the next available slot and insert the cotter pin.
- Bend the legs of the cotter pin over the top of the spindle to ensure the spindle nut will not back off.
- The spindle nut should be free to move with your fingers with only the cotter pin holding it in place and the hub should not have noticeable movement when pulled back and forth.
Yes! Over tightening your trailer's hub assembly is going to result in premature bearing failure, due to excessive heat and wear on the bearing rollers.
- Lack of lubrication
- Overloading the vehicle
- Installing the axle nut too tight
- Installing the axle nut too loose
- Contamination of the grease (due to missing or defective grease caps & seals)
There are several signs that, ultimately, indicate a failing hub assembly in a trailer.
- Unusual noises, such as grinding or humming
- Excessive wheel play or wobbling
- Overheating of the hub
- Uneven tire wear
- Leakage of grease or oil from the hub area
If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial that you address the issue promptly, in order to avoid further damage or potential accidents.
The lifespan of a trailer's hub assembly can vary, depending on various factors.
- Load capacity
- Road conditions
- Quality of the assembly itself
In general, a well-maintained hub assembly can last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, it is crucial that you inspect and service your trailer's hub assembly regularly, to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
To accurately maintain your trailer's hub assembly, follow these recommended practices:
- Regularly inspect the hub assembly for signs of wear, damage or leaks.
- Clean the hub assembly and remove any dirt or debris.
- Lubricate the bearings with the appropriate grease, according to the manufacturer's specifications.
- Adjust the hub assembly's tightness, as per the trailer's manual.
- Replace worn-out or damaged components promptly.
- Ensure proper torque specifications during installation.
- Follow the trailer's recommended maintenance schedule.
In some cases, you may be able to only replace the damaged part of the hub assembly, such as a bearing or seal. However, it is generally recommended that you replace the entire hub assembly as a unit. Doing so will ensure proper compatibility, as well as help to prevent potential issues that can be caused by mismatched components. In addition to that, replacing the entire hub assembly is often more convenient and time-efficient, rather than replacing individual parts.
Choosing the right hub assembly for your trailer is crucial. To ensure proper fit and performance, consider the following factors when selecting a hub assembly:
- Compatibility with your trailer's axle and wheel specifications.
- Load capacity requirements.
- Brake compatibility (if applicable).
- Quality and reputation of the manufacturer.
- Availability of replacement parts and service support.
- User reviews and recommendations.
- Your trailer's owner's manual.
- Guidance from a knowledgeable professional.
It is, generally, recommended that you replace hub assemblies on both sides of the trailer simultaneously. Replacing only one side can potentially result in an imbalance, as well as uneven wear on the hub assembly components. Not only that, but if there is one hub assembly that is failing or showing signs of damage, the other side may possibly have been similarly affected, due to similar usage and conditions.
Packing bearings is going to involve filling them with grease to ensure proper lubrication.
Follow these steps to properly pack bearings in a hub assembly:
- Clean the bearings and the hub thoroughly.
- Apply a suitable high-quality bearing grease.
- Place a generous amount of grease in the palm of your hand.
- Press the bearing firmly into the grease, while rotating it.
- Continue rotating and pushing the grease into the bearing, until it emerges from the other side.
Towing a trailer with a damaged hub assembly is highly discouraged. A damaged hub assembly can result in catastrophic failure, eventually leading to:
- Loss of control
- Wheel separation
- Complete axle failure
It is essential that you address any trailer hub assembly issues, prior to towing your trailer, to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
An idler trailer hub assembly is a component that connects the trailer wheel to the axle, without incorporating a braking system. It consists of a hub, bearings, seals and, sometimes, a dust cap. The idler hub assembly allows the wheel to rotate smoothly, while supporting the trailer's weight.
An idler hub assembly does not have a built-in braking system. However, a hub assembly with brakes will have brake components incorporated, such as brake drums or rotors, brake shoes or pads and brake actuation mechanisms. The primary function of an idler hub assembly is to securely support the wheel. Whereas, a hub assembly with brakes is going to provide both wheel support and braking capabilities.
In most cases, you can replace the seals in your idler hub assembly without removing the entire assembly from the trailer. Although, it is essential that you exercise caution and follow proper procedures, in order to avoid damaging the seals or other components. Seek guidance from your trailer’s owner's manual or consult with a professional for specific instructions that are related to your trailer model.
It is, typically, not recommended that you cut U-bolts to fit a specific application. U-bolts are manufactured with particular dimensions and specific lengths that are designed to provide the necessary strength and support. Cutting U-bolts may compromise their integrity and lead to reduced load capacity or failure. It is best to select a U-bolt kit with the appropriate size and dimensions, so that the U-bolt properly fits your application.
Trailer Wheel Bearings
Trailer bearings should be inspected and serviced, at least, once a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever one comes first. However, if you frequently tow your trailer or operate in harsh conditions, more frequent inspections and maintenance may be necessary.
Signs of a worn or damaged trailer bearing:
- Excessive noise, such as grinding or humming
- Wheel play or wobbling
- Uneven tire wear
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to inspect and service the bearings as soon as possible.
To determine the correct size and type of trailer bearing kit, you need to know the specifications of your trailer's axle and hub assembly. This includes the bearing part numbers, axle weight capacity and hub dimensions. Refer to the trailer manufacturer's documentation or consult with a professional, if you are not sure.
Follow these tips to extend the lifespan of trailer bearings:
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance.
- Keep bearings clean and free of contaminants.
- Avoid overloading the application beyond its capacity.
- Use the appropriate lubricant.
- Follow proper lubrication procedures.
- Monitor operating conditions.
- Address any issues promptly.