There are numerous benefits of having an Aluminium trailer, including light tare weights, great rust resistance, increased fuel economy etc. (Check this out here). They have unique benefits for a large niche and are a very popular choice in the Australian Market. Some people are sometimes sceptical about Aluminium trailers cracking, however, this damage can be avoided. It depends on the design of the trailer, the conditions in which the trailer is being used and the maintenance schedule. There are several different points to remember, to ensure the longevity of Aluminium products, and avoid cracking.
The first and foremost is the design of the chassis. The design of the Sureweld trailer incorporates a one-piece rolled drawbar design, rather than a welded drawbar chassis. This, therefore, decreases stress points, and potential areas of cracking.
Below, we cover four main points that are important to consider, when buying an Aluminium trailer for your application, and points that you should avoid to ensure you get the maximum life expectancy out of your trailer.
Downwards Tow ball Weight
This is a pretty simple one: the drawbar of the trailer is for towing, not for vertical loading. Often cracked trailers occur, when the blade stop is fitted too far forward, and the position of the machine makes the trailer front heavy. The engineers at Sureweld recommend a max downwards tow ball weight of 5-7% of the Trailer ATM rating. The simplest way to achieve this is by undertaking a few pre-setup procedures;
- Utilize a tow ball weight scale, these are available for purchase here or can be found at local machinery dealers or caravan resellers.
- Load your machine onto the trailer, and centre it until the tow ball weight is around 5-7% of the ATM rating.
- Fit the blade stop to the trailer with the machine in position, so you can ensure that the machine is always evenly loaded.
Levels, Levels, Levels
It is a great pop song, but also an equally important fundamental of towing a trailer. Not only does unlevel trailers decrease stability and braking performance, but they also add unnecessary stress to the frame of the trailer. Sureweld trailer drawbars do tend to sit quite high, but tow tongue extensions are available to ensure, close to level heights. Please remember to check the capacity of the hitch, that it is compliant and suitable for your application. A level trailer can be calculated by measuring the distance from the ground to the underside of the chassis under the coupling, and also behind the mudguard. The difference between these two dimensions should not exceed 50mm.
The Rough End
The risk of towing behind large trucks.
Although bigger trucks are very impressive, once they get over 8.5T Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), they aren’t compatible with Aluminium trailers. With heavy suspension utilized on the larger trucks, they tend to be very rough on the back end. Basically, as these larger trucks (with harsh suspension) go over bumps in the road, they send a whip through the drawbar, and it is inevitable that the Aluminium trailers will become fatigued and you may begin to see an early onset of cracking.
Towing on bumpy roads.
Bumpy roads mostly lead to beautiful destinations, however, Aluminium Trailers hate them! Although the condition of roads is more than often out of our control, the speeds that we drive on them is 100% within our control. Driving fast on roads with poor conditions can cause high amounts of stress on the whole trailer chassis, especially around the drawbar, and the axle springs, increasing the chances of cracking.
So what now?
Aluminium trailers are perfect for a large niche, being lightweight and therefore having higher allowable payloads. Aluminium Trailers are made for towing machinery behind vehicles with a GVM of less than 8.5T. Sureweld prides itself in its 3-year warranty on Trailer frames, highlighting the team’s confidence in the design, especially the one-piece rolled drawbar feature. To ensure longevity for your trailer, it is important to; spend time setting up your trailer in ensuring the downwards tow ball weight doesn’t exceed the 5-7% limit, check to see if the trailer is being towed level, and when towing on a road with poor conditions, read the road and travel at a cautionary speed.