Your livestock trailer is an important and expensive piece of equipment, so it makes sense to care for it properly. This means going through some regular maintenance after each use before storage, or once a week if you use it daily. The following tips can help you keep the trailer in good condition.
Tip #1: Hose It Down
Urine can ruin the flooring in a trailer. Wood floor rots while aluminum floors can become pitted or corroded. Sweep out the old straw or remove the rubber mats, depending on which you use in your trailer. Hose down the flooring and scrub it with a deck brush. Aluminum floors can be cleaned with minimal effort. Next, rinse and scrub the rubber mats. Finally, let both the floor and the mats dry completely before putting the mats back into the trailer.
Tip #2: Check the Paint Job
Although aluminum doesn't rust, steel can. Most screws, latches, and other hardware pieces on your livestock trailer will be made of steel. If the pieces aren't painted, they are probably galvanized steel and won't be prone to rust. If they are painted, then they aren't galvanized, so rust will occur if the paint gets chipped. Arm yourself with a small jar of exterior paint and touch up any small chips on these items before rust forms and weakens the hardware.
Tip #3: Inspect the Tires and Wire Harness
The last thing you want is a flat when you have horses or other livestock in the trailer. Before pulling out, check the tires for signs of weak tread or uneven wear. Next, check that the wire harness is in good condition, with no damaged or fraying wires. Hook the harness up to your truck and run a light check to make sure everything is working correctly. If your trailer is equipped with an AC unit, make sure it is operating properly, too, since you don't want your livestock to overheat in an enclosed trailer.
Tip #4: Keep It Covered
The best place to store your trailer is undercover, such as in an unused horse stall or in a section of the barn. This will protect the steel hardware from rust, prevent damage and dents to aluminum body, and relieve you of any weathering or storm damage concerns. A carport is the second best option if you don't have building room for storage. If this isn't possible, at least cover the top of the trailer with a tarp to help prevent UV damage and weathering to the aluminum top of the trailer.
If you have questions about caring for aluminum livestock trailers, consider contacting a local trailer supplier, such as Hillsboro Industries, for more information.