If you drive a semi for a living, you may have purchased your own trailer to give you a wider variety of options when selecting jobs. However, after having it for a number of years, you may be wondering if it is time to replace it. If so, see if you find either of the following signs while inspecting the trailer that indicates it is time to get a new one.
1. Undercarriage Has a Substantial Amount of Rust
One of the first things you should look at when trying to determine whether you should replace your trailer is the undercarriage. Since the underside of the trailer deals with the most water, snow, ice, and road salt, it typically corrodes faster than the rest of the trailer, leading to a lot of rust.
While a few spots of superficial rust will not create serious issues, a substantial amount does warrant concern. If the axles between the wheels or the support beams are covered in rust, the metal from which they are constructed has weakened.
Depending on the depth of the rust, these structures could break if you were to hit a curb or a bump in the road. This would cause a sharp shift in the trailer's load, and the sudden weight change could cause the metal to snap and lead to an accident.
2. Slider Rails Show Signs of Damage
While inspecting the undercarriage for rust, turn your attention to the slider rails near the back wheels to see if there are any signs of damage, such as cracking or the formation of gaps. These rails allow you to adjust the position of the wheels to accommodate heavier loads by shifting the weight in the rear of the trailer to the most stable point.
However, if these slider rails have become damaged, they are unable to fully support the rear weight of the load. All it would take is a rough road for the rails to break apart completely, leaving you with an accident.
While the damage could be welded, the rails will never be as strong as they were. It would be better to replace the trailer than to drive under unsafe conditions.
If your old semi-trailer is rusty or has damaged slider rails, it is no longer safe to take out on the road, and you should consider replacing it as soon as possible. Contact a semi-truck dealership near you to explore your options and to get assistance with selecting a new one.
For more information, contact companies like Ruble Truck Sales Inc.