Are the Leaf Springs on Your Trailer in Perfect Condition?

A boat or car trailer is designed to do a specific job and carry a load within certain parameters. In ideal conditions, the trailer and its component parts should last a long time with only scheduled maintenance, but if you use it extensively or may frequently carry particularly heavy weight, extra care is required. What can happen if you don't pay close attention to such a situation?

Leaf Spring Performance

The average trailer is equipped with leaf springs that are felt to be the best solution for this type of equipment. These springs are made from heavy gauge metal that is treated to deal with harsh conditions, but as with anything else, they are not foolproof.

Incorrect Installation

One of the most common faults can be caused by incorrect installation or a lack of preventative maintenance. In this case, the U-bolts that connect the leaf spring set up to the trailer frame can actually shear off if they are not properly connected. They should be applied with a torque wrench so they are neither too slack nor too tight and periodically checked to verify the fit.

Radial Shear

You should always respect the manufacturer guidelines for your trailer to make sure that it is never overloaded. Of course, you have a duty of care and should never overload your rig to exceed the legal maximum. But regular overloading can lead to radial shear, especially around the mounting eyes. You can check to see if they are under stress and might be bending or showing signs of impending failure, and in particular, look at the area next to the mounting eye for cracks or other issues.


Over time, leaf springs may begin to corrode, especially if you live in an area where you often have to drive in wet conditions. If you live in a part of the country that's susceptible to very cold winter weather, this process may be accelerated by the material used to treat the roads. Again, check the leaf springs for surface corrosion and always remove road salt as soon as possible.

Taking Action

If you find any evidence of severe corrosion, cracking or loose connections, then do not place any load on your trailer until you take action. instead, taking your trailer to a mechanic as soon as possible. They'll conduct the necessary repair and advise you about future use, so you don't run into such a problem again.

For more information on trailer repair, contact a professional near you.