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Remember Semi-Trailer Inspection and Maintenance to Avoid the Unexpected

Country Supply has been a major part of America's Trucking Industry for 43 years, and we're committed to continuing our great sales and service for years to come. The experience and expertise we have to offer our customers is a major part of our success. Our dedicated sales and service team offer the best trailers and forklifts across the Midwest from our Peotone, Illinois location. We are proud to be an authorized dealer for the best brands in the semi-trailer business. Keeping trailers in top working order is a major part of our commitment to our customers as well as to our demanding industry. 

Earlier in the year, and less than an hour away from our location, a semi-truck fire that began with a brake fire spread to the refrigerated trailer. What caused the brakes to catch on fire? Could it have been overdue maintenance? Maintenance on our heavy-duty trucks is extremely important, but it is also important to be aware of what can happen when the trailers behind the big rigs lack routine inspections and maintenance. 

Old news can be just as helpful as current news. Found on LinkedIn, "Truck Fires - Top 10 Causes" by Harris, R. (2016, September 8) reports that trailer fires are among the top ten causes of semi-truck fires. Reportedly, most semi-truck fires do not start at the trailer. Yet, reefer trailers and certain parts of all trailers are conducive to causing a fire.

  • Reefer trailer fires can ignite from a failure of the "engine and compressor with its electrical, fuel and exhaust system."
  • Semi-trailer axles are another source where fires can start. What can start an axle fire?
    • Wheel bearings without sufficient lubrication can result in friction-induced heat. If allowed to reach the perfect temperature, it can "ignite residual grease, brake phenolic, and the tire." If a fire does start, the trailer and contents will soon be on fire. 
  • Trailer brakes - If not installed or adjusted properly, trailer brakes can be another source for a fire to start. If brake components have broken, a "dragging brake," is not easily noticed by the driver, especially if under load. "A dragging brake can overheat to the point that the brake pad phenolic and even the tire can ignite."
  • Flat tires can also be a cause of a trailer fire. An inside flat tire can go unnoticed allowing extreme heat to build by:
    • "Spinning on the rim."
    • "Rubbing against the other tire or frame rail."
    • "Being stuck and dragging on the road."
    • "Impacting the bottom of the trailer."

Regular inspections and routine maintenance are two ways that can help prevent semi-trailer fires. Don't wait until it's too late. When you invest time in pre-trip inspections and in quality maintenance, you save money and time on emergencies you avoided over the road. 

Country Supply, Inc. has service technicians who are highly specialized in all aspects of trailer service and repairs. When you need your trailer professionally inspected and maintained, let us be the one place you depend on for all your trailer maintenance and repairs. We are here for you, and we are always committed to getting your trailer back on the road as quickly as possible.

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