Boat Trailer Alignment

Finding And Fixing Boat Trailer Alignment Problems

When the first sign of sun shows in the spring there’s an urge to hook up the boat and head to the lake or river. But it’s always a good idea to take the time and inspect every part of your boat, trailer, tow vehicle and anything else involved. You should start your quest to have everything ready several weeks before you think you’ll need it so you don’t miss one of those great sunny weekends that happen sporadically in the springtime.

Check your tire pressure and look for uneven wear on the tires. Check to make sure that they aren’t wearing too much on the inside, outside, or center of the tire. Uneven wear can be an indication of improper inflation or boat trailer alignment problems.

Tires that have slight cupping wear marks is also a bad sign as well, meaning that not all of the tires are pointing in the same direction. You might be able to tell visually, or by having someone else tow your trailer in front of you on the road while you watch. It will look as though the trailer is following behind the tow vehicle slightly sideways. This causes excessive tire wear and can be a problem during hard braking or slick road conditions. It may also cut into your gas mileage considerably.

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If You Have A Tandem Axle Boat Trailer Alignment Is Even More Important

With a tandem axle, or sometimes called a dual axle, it’s important that all four tires are aligned, especially those on the same side. If they’re not, they will fight each other as you travel down the road, wearing them out prematurely and cause poor mileage.

Sometimes the axles are just needing to be moved slightly while other times one of them could be bent, or have a bad spindle. If it’s a bent wheel, which is also possible, you can check that by jacking it into the air and spinning it while you watch.

 In many cases, you’ll have to ask experts at a trailer shop or wheel alignment shop what the best way to repair the problem is. If you take care of it early, you’ll be out on the water at the start of spring just like you intended.

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