March 19, 2021
It is required by the federal government to have all semi tractors and trailers inspected on an annual basis. We have always done that, even on our low use items. I guess we feel it’s not worth the risk of getting pinched by commercial vehicle enforcement, or worse, being involved in an accident.
Many farmers have one of these ‘planter supply trailers.’ Some guys multi task a truck or trailer, but for us It was just easier to set it up and leave it in the corner of the shed 44 weeks of the year.
The trailer was a 1977 model drop deck. On it we had a tank for each: 2x2 starter fertilizer, in furrow starter, and weed and feed. We also carry the weed and feed herbicides on the trailer. The trailer was beyond its better days when we acquired it 10-15 years ago. And to say the least, we haven’t been easy on it.
Annual inspection: failed
Tuesday we took the trailer into the local truck shop for the annual inspection. I’m glad we took the trailer in now instead of three weeks from now. It failed. Visually, the trailer doesn’t look all that bad, average or slightly below. However, the suspension area was the issue. Hangers and axles were found to be severely rusted. To get it to pass inspection we would be looking at some serious time rebuilding the entire rear of the trailer.
We knew this day was coming. We had been keeping an eye open for upgrade possibilities for a while. We just had not found anything that tripped the trigger.
Wednesday, the search was on. The goal was to find a good trailer, but not spend a bunch of money on it. Surprisingly, there were few choices. We came across some flatbed trailers on lease return. Thursday, dad went to look at them and bought one. We’re moving up 30 years, and since it’s a flatbed I won’t have to worry about getting hung up on the crown of the road when entering a field entrance. (Yes, I’ve done that a time or two with low clearance frame on the old trailer.)
We also decided to update one of the tanks on the trailer and add electric winding hose reels to clean it up a bit. This is not a project we had planned on this late into the spring, but one that has been necessitated by safety. Next week we will gather the components and get to work.
Oh, and the old trailer? In the near future it will be a ditch crossing for a UTV. The frame and deck are still solid enough for the weight of a UTV or 4-wheeler. We will cut off the suspension and the neck, maybe add a safety rail on each side. I imagine we will get many more years out of this piece of equipment!
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.
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