The trailer is the part of a tractor-trailer combination commercial vehicle that carries the load, the part of that combination that is subject to the most stress. Truck trailers must be sound and in good mechanical condition to prevent trucking accidents, as they carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo when fully loaded. Unfortunately, many companies do not provide the necessary maintenance to keep their trailers safe, and prevent truck accidents on roadways and major highways. For safe traveling, big rig trailers require just as much care and maintenance as the rest of the unit.
Truck Trailers - More Than Just A Box on Wheels
Since trailers are pulled by the truck portion of the tractor trailer combination, it is easy to believe that trailers require little in terms of maintenance and monitoring, which is not true. The trailer receives most of the stress and strain when fully loaded and traveling at highway speed. Trailers do "trail" behind the tractor; however, they have their own braking and electrical systems and 8 of the 18 wheels on a 14 or 18 wheeler combination. When these parts of the trailer are not functioning properly, it can affect the entire rig and be the cause of serious highway truck accidents.
Trailer Maintenance Basics
The average cargo trailer has two axles with four tires on each one. Each axle also has its own suspension system and braking system, all electrically and hydraulically controlled. Like any other vehicle, trailers also have brake and running lights, turn signals, and various other parts and systems, all of which affect how the trailer performs and how safe the vehicle stays on the road when being pulled behind the tractor. Other than the engine, the tractor has just as many maintenance parts as the truck does, so it also requires diligent monitoring and careful maintenance, just like the truck portion.
Trailer Maintenance Concerns
When maintenance is overlooked, mechanical problems are more prevalent. Trailers involved in trucking accidents caused by mechanical failure have been found with: broken axles; under inflated, flat, bald or otherwise damaged tires; faulty brakes; damaged suspensions; and many other faulty or failing parts, all of which fall under trailer maintenance. A loaded trailer uses all of these parts every day; so when commercial carriers do not ensure their vehicles are as safe as possible, they do a disservice to everyone else on the road. Sadly, due to tight schedules and attempts to keep maintenance costs down, many companies keep vehicles on the road longer than they should, delaying important and federally mandated trailer maintenance.
All parts of a tractor trailer combination require important maintenance and monitoring to remain safe on the highways. Not every mechanical breakdown is foreseeable. Providing correct trailer maintenance is one way for commercial carriers to reduce the chance that their trailers will be the cause of trucking accidents. To prevent dangerous truck accidents on highways and roadways, companies must recognize that trailers are an equally important part of a tractor trailer combo and ensure they receive the proper mechanical care!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190