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Boat is packed.  Rods and reels are rigged, tackle is stowed, and the weekend is about to be nothing but you on the water chasing those green ditch pickles.  Then while backing out the driveway a trailer tire falls off.  Can’t happen you say? Well it did to me just last weekend.

The maintenance and upkeep on a boat is never ending as we all know.  The trailer on the other hand requires just about as much attention and if done often and correctly the cost does not have to be astronomical. 

The constant dropping of the trailer, wheels and axles especially, in the lake where gravel, sand, and grime can find a way into the hubs and bearings is probably the number one nuisance to trailer upkeep.  We often never think of this as morning launches are overshadowed by eagerness to get on the water while the loading of the boat in the evening is the first step towards heading home. 

Trailer Upkeep - Hubs

July 2021, Volume 127

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A good time to look at the trailer is before parking in the morning after launch or prior to loading after the day’s fishing trip.  Inspecting the trailer is much easier when the boat is in the water.  Take a minute to look at your hubs, axels, lights, and other parts of your trailer.  Doing so might help to avoid the interruption of your next fishing trip.

Fortunately, I carry an extra torsion arm idler that makes changing the hub assembly fairly easy if you have the right tools.  Couple rachet and socket combos, chisel to separate the spline connection and maybe a little (sledge) hammer.  Usually about a 30 minute job but can be complicated should it have to be done on the side of the road (Hwy 28 East just out of Pineville, La, May 2019).

Good luck on the water starts with good maintenance and upkeep on land.  Take some time to look your trailer over before you GEAUX BASSIN!

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Nothing like pulling out before sunup for a nice ride to the boat launch, game planning the day's bait selection, lining out the points, structure, and those oh so sweet secret spots you plan to pull the days kicker from.  All good until you hear an awful noise, see the cherry red glow of an overheated hub remnant where your tire should be.  Then your view for the morning will be this picture, instead of sunrise over the water and blastoff!

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