FAQ - Parts & Service

 

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Wheels and Tires – Can I use wheels with greater offsets?

Wheel offset is the distance from the mounting surface to the centerline of the tire. Our axles bearing sets are designed for wheel with 0 to 1/2″ inset. Exceeding this offset will shorten bearing life and may lead to dangerous bearing failure.

Wheels and Tires – Tread Wear  What to watch for and what are the possible causes?

Tire Wear Chart

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Per NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufactures) guidelines – Before each tow, check the tire pressure to make sure it is at the level indicated on the tire sidewall or VIN label. Tire pressure must be checked while the tire is cold. Do not check tire pressure immediately after towing the trailer. Allow at least three hours for the tires to cool, if the trailer has been towed for as much as one mile. Tires can lose air over a period of time. Replace the tire before towing the trailer if the tire treads have less than 2/32 inch depth or the telltale bands are visible.A bubble, cut or bulge in a side wall can result in a tire blowout. Inspect both side walls of each tire for any bubble, cut or bulge; and replace a damaged tire before towing the trailer.If you are storing your trailer for an extended period, make sure the tires are inflated to the maximum rated pressure indicated on the sidewall or VIN label and that you store them in a cool, dry place such as a garage. Use tire covers to protect the tires from the harsh effects of the sun.

Wheels and Tires –
Why do I need to re-torque my trailer wheels when I don’t do that on my truck?

Trailer wheels carry substantially more weight then tow vehicle wheels of the same size and see more disc flexing due to side loading stresses. It is necessary to re-torque them several times until the wheel nut torque stabilizes. This is especially true for new wheels that need to have the paint worn away at the hub mounting face and under the wheel nuts.

 WARNING: Be very careful to use only recommended wheel fastening torque amount as specified for that wheel fastener. It is possible to permanently damage a wheel that has been over torqued and may cause the loss of that wheel from the trailer.

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Brakes – How do I measure brake current or amperage?

7″ brakes draw about 2.5 amps per brake and all other brake magnets draw about 3 amps per brake. The total system amperage is calculated by multiplying this number by the number of brakes/magnets connected to the brake system. To measure the brake current the engine of the towing vehicle should be running. Disconnect the wire at each point that you wish to measure the current draw and put the ammeter in series with this line. Make sure your ammeter has sufficient capacity and note polarity to prevent damaging your ammeter.

 NOTE: If a resistor is used in the brake system, it must be set to zero or bypassed completely to obtain the maximum amperage reading. The amount of current draw will depend on what point you are measuring. If the ammeter is at the plug, you will get the total current draw from all magnets. If the ammeter is connected at one of the magnets, you will measure the current draw through that magnet only.

Brakes – How do I measure brake voltage?

System voltage is measured at the magnets by connecting a voltmeter to the magnet lead wires at any brake. This may be accomplished by using a pin probe inserted through the insulation of the wires dropping down from the chassis or by cutting the wires. Voltage in the system should begin at 0 volts and, as the controller bar is slowly actuated, should gradually increase to about 12 volts.

Brakes – How often should I adjust my brakes?

It is recommended that manual adjust brakes should be adjusted… 1) After the first 200 miles of operation when the brake shoes and drums have “seated” 2) At 3,000 mile intervals 3) Or as use or performance requires.

Brakes – My brake linings are cracked, do I have to replace them?

Usually, light cracking of the surface of a brake lining can be expected under normal use. This is not cause for replacement. However, if the lining is deeply cracked to the shoe surface or is missing chunks, your brake lining will require replacement.

Brakes – Which magnet wire is the positive, they are both the same color?

The magnet is not a polarized component. Use one wire to connect to power from the brake controller and use the other to attach to ground. It is recommended that a common ground be ran from the trailer plug to the magnets. Do not ground each brake individually to the trailer frame or structure. Also note that the brakes should be wired in parallel, not in series. The wire color is used to identify the component since so many magnets physically look the same on the outside, however they are different strengths for the different capacity brakes.

Brakes – Why can’t I lock and slide my electric brakes?

On an unloaded trailer, you may be able to lock up your brakes if your electric brake controller is supplying full amperage to the brakes. When loaded to capacity, you may not be able to lock up your brakes as electric brakes are designed to slow the trailer at a controlled rate, and not designed to lock up the wheels on a fully loaded trailer. Our brakes are designed to meet all applicable safety standards. All of our brakes will perform better after numerous burnish stops to seat the brake lining into the drums.

Brakes – Why do I have to adjust my brakes?

Brakes must be adjusted to compensate for the lining and drum wear that occurs during the use of the braking system. Some brakes require manual adjustment to move the lining closer to the drum. Refer to brake adjustment in the support material that came with your trailer.

Brakes – Why do my brakes and hubs get so hot?

Braking systems use friction to slow the vehicle and the energy used to slow the trailer is converted to heat. Our brakes are designed to operate up to extremely high temperatures during hard braking applications. This heat is noticeable on the hub and drums and is to be expected on a properly functioning brake. If a brake is malfunctioning and running excessively hot, this can be noticed by smoking brakes or the paint burning off the brake drum.

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Bearings – How often should I grease the bearings?

Along with bearing adjustment, proper lubrication is essential to the current function and reliability of your trailer axle. Bearings should be lubricated every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Oil bath axles should be checked each trip through sight glass.

Bearings – What is the proper bearing adjustment procedure and recommended grease (9K-15K)?

Please review the axle service manual for instructions and specifications relating to bearing adjustment and lubrication.

 WARNING: It is important to NOT mix different types of grease thickeners. The grease that the axles use has a lithium complex thickener. Mixing the grease with a barium, calcium, clay, or polyurea soap based thickener agent will cause adverse affects. This may include causing the two greases to harden, separate, become acidic, or pose other hazards and damage to the bearings.

Frequently Asked Questions  – Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous – How do you calculate hitch weights?

The hitch weight for conventional, bumper type hitches should be 10% to 15% of the gross weight of the vehicle. The remaining 85% to 90% of the load will be carried on the running gear. The hitch weight for 5th wheel and gooseneck type trailers should be 15% to 20% of the gross weight of the vehicle. The remaining 80% to 85% of the load will be carried on the running gear.

Where do I find the VIN (vehicle identification number) on my trailer?

The VIN number will be listed on the VIN tag, that is typically placed on the inside of the trailer tongue. If the tag is damaged or missing you will find an ID number welded on the trailer towards the front portion consisting of 5 numbers and 3 letters.