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  1. #1
    Bronze Member wilnis's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    62

    Default ? on trailer bearing service

    Hi-new aluminum WW 16" BP horse trailer, bought 12/10 and had the wheel bearings serviced immediately. It goes 7500-8000 mile/year including a 3200 mile round trip to Arizona each year and small trips of 100-150 miles 2 times per week, weather permitting in spring, summer and fall. Plus we have a 4 horse gooseneck living quarters trailer that only goes 1000 miles twice a year. Question is, how often is bearing service to be done for safety?? By miles? By time(years)?? Or some other formula?? I've searched this site as I trust the folks here but in the past 2 years plus I could not find any info. Advice appreciated.
    Thanks. Bill

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    1,383
    Location
    N. E. Florida

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    I worked on semi trailers and semi's for over 30 years, suppervised 3 different shops in two different states.
    My best advice is learn the right way to service them and do it yourself. I have seen some rediculous things done with trailer axles, hubs, bearings, brakes and seals!
    I have a 16' trailer that I bought used. The first thing I did was to inspect wheel bearings and seals. Someone had cut off a frozen/welded wheel bearing and cut 3/4 of the way through the spindle!! I had to replace the spindle. I have cut dozens of welded bearing races off and had to polish the spindle (Usually on the side of the interstate) and never damaged a single one!
    I have seen mechanics tighten axle nuts with impacts, install wrong bearings (1/4" play on spindle), wrong bearing for the race, damage seals when installing, forget to grease or add hub oil, pick up a greased bearing out of sand where they dropped it and install it. You name it I have seen it.
    As to interval, that's hard to judge depending on the enviornment trailer is used. After confirming they are done properly I reccomend getting an infered no contact temp gage (HF $29-39.) and checking them when on the road. Heat will be the first sign of failure.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    4,088
    Location
    Canada
    Tractor
    MF

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    As to interval, that's hard to judge depending on the enviornment trailer is used. After confirming they are done properly I reccomend getting an infered no contact temp gage (HF $29-39.) and checking them when on the road. Heat will be the first sign of failure.
    I agree. On long trips with trailers I stop every couple of hours and check to be sure the bearings are not heating up. I usually repack them before long trips just to be safe. I'd rather spend extra time preventing problems then on the side of a highway fixing them.

    I fixed a guys boat trailer wheel bearings and brakes one time. He said he greased the bearing (bearing buddys) and then his brakes wouldn't work. Soon as I took off the brake drum I knew why they didn't work. He pumped the bearing and the brakes full of grease, pushing the seals out!!! A few pumps of grease is more then enough, not a whole tube on each side.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2009
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    219

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    On my trailers and the ones at work which range from 16' 7k axle bumper pull trailers up to the semi trailers I do annual. I do every January(just easy for me to remember). I have the bearings repacked/hub oil changed on the bigger trailers. Check suspension, bolts,equalizers etc and replace what is needed. So far no break downs on the road...knock on wood.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

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    I would do them annually with live stock. Nothing worse then being broken down in 100 deg heat.

    For alk three of my trailers I carry a extra set with a seal, grease, tools ect to do the job on the road. I have had to wait 72 hours and drive 200 miles to get parts to fix a customers trailer.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    5,838
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    The Heart of Dixie
    Tractor
    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    I guess I got lucky buying my dump trailer.It has Dexter easy lube axles. It won't be a big deal to grease the bearings
    Yanmar 3110D
    07 Dodge 2500 5.9 Cummins
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    Honda 300 4 trax
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    liquid logic coupe kayak
    16' Tow Master Dump Trailer ,20' Yanmar Hauler

  7. #7
    Gold Member rockshaft's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    260
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    Sterling, AK
    Tractor
    1026R

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    I have Dexters on my cargo hauler, i like them, but i find it takes more than a couple squirts of grease to clear out the old stuff, more like 1/4 - 1/3 of a tube per spindle. I've had the rubber cover inserts rot- but they are cheap to replace.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Piedmont Triad, NC
    Tractor
    Didn't intend to have a Deere fleet - it just happened 310C, F915 & 5200

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    Quote Originally Posted by kenmac View Post
    I guess I got lucky buying my dump trailer.It has Dexter easy lube axles. It won't be a big deal to grease the bearings
    Those easy lube axles are anything but easy. My new to me trailer had several hubs packed with grease. The easy lube feature is depending on the rear seal to keep the grease in the bearing area. If it fails, the grease goes into the brake area. BAD ..

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenmac View Post
    I guess I got lucky buying my dump trailer.It has Dexter easy lube axles. It won't be a big deal to grease the bearings
    All my last 10 or so trailers have had them but thats just for between service use. They still need to be inspected and repacked every 3,000 miles or two years. I have seen too many seal then brake failures from just pumping in grease.

    Chris

  10. #10
    Gold Member rockshaft's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    Sterling, AK
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    1026R

    Default Re: ? on trailer bearing service

    Interesting. It makes sense that if you had rear seal failure grease would end up where it shouldn't be. When i have pumped new grease it was pretty obvious when the old grease was purged. I still prefer my Dexters to the various others i have on a couple of boat trailers-where the grease feeds into the frame cross-member(which is a way worse design imo)

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