Just Getting Our Bearings

We’re just getting our bearings! Our trailer wheel bearings, that is!

Our utility trailer is like part of the family. It is often tagging along behind us whenever we go somewhere, following us like a faithful puppy. We only got it a few years ago and often wonder how we ever lived without it before then.

We recently had to have it safety inspected and it didn’t pass because the wheel bearings were becoming worn out. Though we never noticed any drag or the wheels heating up, you could hear a bit of noise, like a grinding noise, if you jacked the trailer up, rotated the wheel and listened closely. Not ones to shun safety, and not wanting them to fail somewhere on the road with a heavy load, we decided to replace them instead of just cleaning them up and repacking them. Besides, the only difference between replacing or repacking would be the small cost of the bearings since you have to take them out anyway. And you never really know the true condition until you remove them. A small price to pay for a big piece of mind.

Replacing bearings on a straight axle trailer is a fairly simple process. The hardest part is removing anything that may be seized, like the wheel nuts. Not to make a joke, but it’s basically taking the bearings out and putting them back in.

We started with loosening the wheel nuts, then jacking the trailer up, ensuring that the opposite side was blocked so the trailer wouldn’t roll and then we set it on a pair of jack stands for extra precaution. We didn’t want the trailer to fall on us, or even worse, fall and bend the axle! 🙂 Either of these situations would turn a simple job into a major one! So, always safety first!

Here are some photos showing various stages of replacing the bearings:

Once completed the trailer was reinspected and it passed with flying colors!

Back on the road again…

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