Does your business rely on utility trailers for routine day-to-day operations? Whether you're hauling raw materials, yard equipment, construction vehicles, or something else entirely, utility trailers often serve as critical tools in various industries. Unfortunately, these vehicles aren't cheap, so deciding to scrap one is rarely an easy decision.
If you want to minimize your costs and keep your existing trailers in service for as long as possible, repairing is often a much better alternative. Fixing up an old trailer can breathe new life into it and allow it to provide your business with many more years of service. These three questions will help you determine if fixing up your old trailers is still worthwhile.
1. Is the Frame Rusted Out?
Most utility trailers utilize a metal frame with decking constructed from wood, aluminum, or some other durable and replaceable material. When checking the condition of a worn trailer, start by examining the frame since this is essentially the core of the trailer. A trailer with an unusable frame is little more than scrap metal sitting on some wheels.
In general, look for signs of penetrating rust or parts of the frame that are broken or missing. If there's no significant damage, a competent shop should be able to grind away any surface rust and even weld in new frame sections. Pay special attention to the crossbars since these provide a significant amount of the trailer's structural integrity.
2. Is the Frame Bent?
Utility trailers aren't complicated vehicles, and their frames are open for the world to see. As a result, it's relatively easy to tell if a trailer has a bent or warped frame. Just as with the frame on a car or truck, a trailer frame that's bent out of shape can lead to unpredictable behavior on the road, uneven tire wear, and other severe issues.
Fortunately, a bent frame doesn't need to condemn a trailer to the scrap heap. Many shops can repair trailers with even severe twisting, either by bending the frame back into shape or welding in and reinforcing new sections. In many cases, taking this approach may be significantly cheaper than replacing a trailer in otherwise good condition.
3. Is the Deck Intact?
The frame provides the bones, but the deck is the meat of any utility trailer. A damaged or rotted-out deck can cause your gear to shift in travel or even fall out of the trailer entirely. You can nearly always repair a failing deck, however. Depending on its condition, a shop may be able to refurbish the existing deck material, or you may need to replace it with new decking.
On the bright side, repairing a severely damaged deck can also be an opportunity for improvement. You can install strong wood decking or upgrade to an aluminum floor. In either case, you'll be giving new life to your trailer so it can continue to support your business for many years to come.
Contact a trailer repair service for more information.