Only a few lucky people have waterfront homes with docks at which to moor their boat. For the rest of us who have to haul our boats several miles to get to a suitable launching area, the trailer is a necessity. However, owning a boat trailer comes with its own set of challenges. One of these is making sure that the risk of an accident is as small as possible by thoroughly checking boat trailer parts before any trailering excursion.
Before you ever even attempt to tow your boat trailer, make sure the following are in order:
- The coupler, hitch, and hitch ball must all be of the same size. The coupler and safety chains should also be safely secured to the hitch of the tow vehicle. If any of these things are neglected, the boat trailer may uncouple mid-transit and cause a major accident.
- Make sure that the boat is properly tied down. Do not use the winch line as a tie down.
- Make sure that all fasteners and wheel lug nuts are properly tightened. If any of these have lost tread, replace them immediately.
- Check that the wheel bearings are properly adjusted, lubricated, and sealed. Creaking in the bearings may mean that they have started to disintegrate and may fail catastrophically while you’re on the road.
- Check that all the trailer lights work properly. Without lights, drivers may not be able to see your trailer at night and plow straight into it as you slow down or negotiate a turn.