When to replace your jockey wheels - avoiding a dangerous and expensive mistake
Posted on 22-11-2022
Jockey wheels are an often forgotten or neglected part of a trailer! If issues are not identified and replaced/repaired when needed, it can lead to some expensive and potentially dangerous incidents. We're going to break down when jockey wheels need replacing and why, but first… what is a jockey wheel and why is it so important?
A jockey wheel is a height-adjustable wheel located on the front of a trailer or piece of towed equipment such as a welfare unit, compressor, or light tower. Its purpose is to keep the trailer level and steady whilst it is unhitched from the towing vehicle for the low-speed manoeuvring whilst not towing. They’re usually retractable and there's a range of types available, including smooth or serrated and in a variety of sizes.
If a jockey wheel fails, it can lead to some dangerous and expensive accidents, both to your equipment and team. If your jockey wheel is not functioning well, poorly maintained, or ill fitting, it will not be able to aid in the manoeuvrability of the trailer correctly and can lead to significant strain on your back, one of the most common causes of workplace absences.
So, what are the signs to look out for that your jockey wheel needs replacing?
One of the most common reasons a wheel needs replacing is because it’s become damaged due to being left down and not stowed away before towing! With regular visual checks you should be able to spot these issues very easily and can repair or replace accordingly.
If you find that your jockey wheel has become structurally damaged or bent, functionality will be significantly restricted and damage also makes it challenging to retract and elongate the jockey wheel fully, so you’ll need to replace it immediately.
Your jockey wheel may also need replacing because of rust or wear as a result of regular use over the years, or incorrect storage. Rusting and corrosion can also lead to substantial weakness in the structure of the jockey wheel rendering it unusable - once again it will need replacing as soon as possible.
Be sure to check your jockey wheel on a regular basis to check whether it's functioning well, structurally sound, or if it may in fact need replacing.
How do I replace my jockey wheel?
Once you've realised that your jockey wheel needs replacing, you'll need to consider what type of jockey wheel you need for your trailer. We recommend that you match your new jockey wheel closely to the one that you had previously to make sure that it fits the clamp.
If you're buying a jockey wheel for your trailer for the first time, you'll need to think about the potential nose-loading capacity of your trailer. Plus, if you select a retractable one, make sure that there isn't already a clamp on the coupling. Instead, there should be a multi-hole fixing plate it can be attached to.
We have a wide range of jockey wheel assemblies, spares, clamps and more to suit most trailer types and needs. Not only that but you can get FREE delivery on all orders over £150! Browse the full range here.
If you're not quite sure which jockey wheel is right for you and you need advice, get in touch with our helpful experts today via phone or WhatsApp on 01923 253366 or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.