How To Grease Utility Trailer Wheel Bearings?

Maintaining the functioning and reliability of your trailer’s axle requires proper maintenance (s). Unless the axle manufacturer specifies otherwise, bearings should be greased every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Carry-On Trailer employs Dexter axles in our trailers, and their hand-packing bearing grease recommendations are as follows:

  • Grease should be placed in the palm of your hand.
  • Press a part of the bearing’s widest end into the grease’s outer edge closest to your thumb, forcing the grease into the bearing’s interior.
  • Repeat the process while moving the bearing from one roller to the next.
  • Carry on in this manner until the entire bearing is completely greased.
  • Before reinstalling, apply a small application of grease to the bearing cup surface.

While it may appear to be a little detail, properly greaseing your trailer will assist maintain the vital parts lubricated and functioning correctly. Always reference your owner’s handbook or your dealer for the most up-to-date information on trailer maintenance.

What is the best way to tell if my trailer bearings require grease?

Don’t want to be “that guy with a broken trailer abandoned on the side of the road?”

Check your braking system and trailer wheel bearings before you hit the road.

How to Check your Trailer’s Wheel Bearings:

The wheel bearings on a trailer are frequently overlooked because they are out of sight. The most typical reason of grabbing brakes is a loose, worn, or broken wheel bearing.

You should inspect your bearings on a regular basis to ensure proper trailer wheel bearing maintenance. Jack up the trailer and secure it with jack stands of sufficient capacity.

Check for side-to-side looseness in the wheels.

The wheel should have a very little amount of play, approximately 1/8-inch or less. The bearings must be serviced or changed if the wheels are loose or wobble.

Look for any noise.

As you tow your trailer past at around 25 mph, have someone listen from both the driver’s side and the curbside. Squeaks, grinding noises, clicking, or any other sound emanating from the trailer wheels should be heard. Check for a faulty bearing or if lubrication is required if noise is heard.

Check for HeatAfter towing the trailer for a short distance (5-10 miles at highway speeds), park it. Place your hand on each of the trailer’s wheel hubs. You may have a faulty bearing if it is too hot to keep your hand in place. It’s possible that the wheel bearing needs to be lubricated, that it’s damaged, or that it doesn’t have enough play.

Basic Trailer MaintenanceGrease Wheel Bearings

If your axle(s) has a grease zerk on the ends, the bearings must be lubricated every 6 months or 6,000 miles to guarantee that your trailer operates reliably and safely.

You’ll need a jack stand(s), a car jack, wheel chocks, a grease gun, a socket set, and a screwdriver to lubricate your bearings.

1. Disconnect the axle end’s rubber plug.

2. Attach the grease gun to the zerk.

3. Continue to pump grease until new grease appears. Each time, use a different color grease so you can see when the new grease is starting to show.

4. Place the rubber plug and cap in place. Carry on with the remaining wheel bearings in the same manner. Refer to the axle manufacturer’s manual for repair and maintenance advice if your trailer axle(s) do not have grease zerks.

Is it possible to over-grease trailer bearings?

When it comes to bearing regreasing, more isn’t necessarily better, and it might even be an expensive mistake. Greasing should instead be done on a regular basis, with proper calculations utilized to establish the amount of grease required at each relubrication. The dimensions of the bearing or bearing housing are the determining factor for the amount required.

Overgreasing can result in high operating temperatures, collapsed seals, and energy loss and failure in greased electric motors. Establishing a maintenance routine, using calculations to determine the correct lubricant amount and frequency of relubrication, and using feedback devices are the best strategies to avoid these issues.

Too much grease in a bearing cavity (overgreasing) causes the spinning bearing parts to churn the grease, pushing it out of the way, resulting in energy loss and higher temperatures. This causes quick oxidation (chemical degradation) of the grease, as well as an increase in the rate of oil bleed (oil separation from the thickener).

The heat generated over time, along with the oil bleed, will eventually fry the grease thickening into a hard, crusty build-up that will obstruct effective lubrication and may even prevent new grease from reaching the bearing’s core. This can cause the rolling parts to wear down faster, leading to component failure.

Another detrimental side effect of overgreasing is seal degradation. Grease guns may produce up to 15,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, and if you overgrease a bearing housing, the lip seals might break, enabling impurities like water and dirt to enter the bearing housing. Keep in mind that around 500 psi, lip seals generally fail. For additional information on this subject, see Lip Seals – A Practical Guide.

This high pressure can also harm single and double-shielded bearings, forcing the shields facing the grease supply to fall into the bearing race, causing wear and eventual failure. When a grease gun is used with too much pressure due to overgreasing, the hard, crusty grease created by heat (high operating temperatures) is easily broken apart and pushed straight into the bearing track.

Overgreasing electric motor cavities has the same effect as grease on a bearing, but grease can reach the motor windings. An electric motor bearing will generate excessive heat due to churning if it is completely packed with grease. This results in energy loss as well as an increase in oil bleed and grease thickening hardening.

Again, the tremendous pressure from a grease gun can cause grease to leak between the shaft and the inner bearing cover, causing it to press into the motor’s interior. As a result of the grease coating on the electric motor windings over time, both winding insulation and bearing failures occur.

The key to resolving the problem of overgreasing is to establish a maintenance regimen. Each lubrication point, whether it’s a bearing housing or an electric motor, should be recorded as an asset and used to schedule planned maintenance or inspections. While setting up a maintenance system may require some time and effort at first, the ultimate results will be significant.

After you’ve figured out how to schedule the assets, you’ll need to figure out when and how much grease (volume) to apply at each moment. A simple equation (ref. SKF) can be used to compute the volume:

Is it OK to use red and sticky oil on wheel bearings?

Red N Tacky contains a red Lithium Complex Base that forms an excellent seal to decrease bearing and hub contamination on boat trailers while also resisting water washout. This item comes in a 14.5 ounce tube that fits into any grease gun of standard size.

Should I grease the hub of my trailer?

It’s also crucial to keep the grease surrounding the bearing. Pump a ring of grease around the whole circle of the wheel hub and coat the inside wall of the hub cap with traditional greases (NLGI Nos. 1 and 2). Only half of the grease should be in the housing.

What is the recommended amount of grease for a Bearing Buddy?

Grease can be added to the hub through a grease fitting in the center of the piston, which is conveniently accessible. By pressing on the edge of the moveable piston, you may quickly check the lubricant level (and pressure). The hub is properly filled if you can rock or move the piston. In addition to packing the bearings in the typical fashion, it’s a good idea to obtain as much grease as possible within the hub cavity between the bearings and then fill it from the backside while the Bearing Buddy is off. The air pockets in the hub cavity and Bearing Buddy will work their way out past the Bearing Buddy’s piston (or blue ring).

Is it really worth it to have bearing buddies?

Bearing Buddies are an excellent solution for keeping grease in a trailer hub. I recommend them as long as you are aware that it is very simple to over-grease a hub with these, causing the seal to blow out. They don’t mind being used on lengthy road journeys, so they’d be ideal for you.

What is the finest grease for wheel bearings?

  • Valvoline Full Synthetic Grease is the Editor’s Choice.
  • X-Tra Heavy Duty Grease from Lucas Oil.
  • Red ‘N’ Tacky Grease from Lucas Oil.
  • Mag 1 Wheel Bearing Grease is a high-temperature grease for wheel bearings.
  • Synthetic Mobil 1 Grease
  • Premium Red Wheel Bearing Grease from Timken.
  • New Generation Wheel Bearing Grease from Sta-Lube.

Is it necessary to grease a trailer ball?

You don’t need to lubricate the hitch ball on your trailer. It is entirely up to you to decide. It is, however, advised that you grease it. Greasing the trailer hitch ball can keep it from squeaking and will help it maintain its structural integrity. When your hitch becomes rusted, you’ll hear a lot of loud squeaks when towing your trailer, which can be very annoying.

It is, however, entirely up to you whether or not to use oil. Because you don’t lubricate the hitch ball, your RV or trailer won’t break down, but it is an excellent tool for maintenance.