Posted in

Unbraked Trailers

Are you towing a ticking time bomb?

Imagine this, you have packed up the family and are in the car heading out for the day when on the way, a tyre comes out of nowhere directly towards you unexpectedly. You take evasive action to avoid a collision, and then you see a trailer attached to a car, limping to a halt.

You may find yourself asking, ‘what went wrong there? Why does a wheel and tyre just fall off like that?’

If you live in Queensland and own a box trailer that is unbraked or has an ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of under 750kgs or 0.75t, there is a good chance that you could have one of these ticking time bombs.

In Queensland, trailers that fit the above description do not require any registration check before transfer between owners. A responsible trailer owner will be aware of this and will ensure their trailer receives routine maintenance. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is aware of this need. A large portion of the population has a box trailer handy and uses it rarely, meaning the preventative maintenance and safety checks are forgotten.

The same can be said for any trailer, boat, camper, bike etc. Infrequent use and are ‘yard ornaments’ for the majority of the year.

Even if your trailer is unbraked, it is the responsibility of the registered operator of the vehicle to ensure the trailer being towed is compliant with the road rules. Regular maintenance checks should occur on all trailers, even the braked ones over 750kgs.

Here are a few things you or your mechanic can check to ensure the safety and reliability of your trailer:

Unbraked under 750kgs

  • Ensure the tyres are still legal for the road; 1.5mm tread across the whole tread section.
  • Wheel bearings are adjusted and not rumbling or noisy.
  • The chassis/frame is not rusted through.
  • Ensure the floor is complete and not able to lose items out through the bottom.
  • Check the wiring and lights, including the number plate light.
  • Check your coupling for unnecessary wear as it may need adjustment.
  • Are your “D” Shackles or Bow Shackles rated for the trailer and have it stamped on them?
  • Ensure safety chains are attached.

Braked trailers over 750kgs

  • Check the brake pad/shoe for adjustment.
  • Check to ensure the brakes work when applied.
  • Check the coupling slides freely if applicable.
  • Ensure the cable for the brakes is not rusted through if cable brakes.
  • Ensure the hydraulic brake fluid is in good condition if hydraulic type.
  • Ensure the electric brakes work when applied.

If you’re not quite sure about any of the above, please contact us to book in, and we can inspect all these items for you and ensure compliance, safety and carry out any necessary repairs.