BEARINGS AND HUBS
Load Rite recommends you add grease regularly for best bearing life. Load Rite uses components that make adding grease a simple process. The trailer hub bearing cap should be metallic and will have either a rubber plug in the center or an exposed grease fitting. To add grease follow these directions:
Remove the rubber plug to expose the grease fitting. Apply grease gun nozzle to the fitting and add grease. Used, contaminated grease will flow toward you around the gun nozzle. Catch in a rag and discard.
Apply grease gun nozzle to the exposed fitting and add grease. Used, contaminated grease will expel out the back of the spindle either into or atop the axle tube. If visible, wipe away and discard.
Both of these systems allow grease to be added without damage to the inner seal.
If your trailer came with “bearing buddies” (clear plastic, exposed grease fitting, spring loaded internal plate) grease can be added to top off to capacity. It is possible to overfill and damage the inner grease seal. To replace grease the hub must be disassembled.
It is NOT recommended to replace the bearing covers on your Load Rite with “bearing buddies” unless they were original equipment. “Bearing buddies” are not currently used on any Load Rite product, and only appear on some pre-2005 small trailers under 1500 lb capacity.
Inspect wheel bearings periodically by the following procedure:
CAUTION - Leave the trailer connected to the tow vehicle with tow vehicle parking brake set and wheels chocked. Trailer must be on level ground.
- To jack up your trailer, first block the wheel on the opposite side, both front and back.
- Position the jack on the frame as near as possible to the wheel to be inspected. Make sure the jack is on stable ground. If using a hydraulic bottle jack use a block of wood between the jack and frame.
- Raise the trailer and proceed to spin the wheel and listen for any noise. Feel the wheel for any roughness in its rotation. If your trailer is equipped with disc brakes, there will be a certain amount of brake drag. This is normal. If your trailer is drum brake equipped there should be no brake drag.
- An otherwise quiet and smooth rotation indicates that the bearings are in good shape. If any noise or grinding sound is evident, the wheel should be removed to prepare the hub for removal and inspection.
- Check wheel bearing adjustment. Proper torque is factory set to maximize bearing life but occasional adjustment may be necessary as bearing clearances wear.
- Check to see if an adjustment is needed by gripping the wheel at opposite edges and attempt to rock side to side. If the wheel moves at all, bearing adjustment should be addressed.
First, remove the bearing protector or dust cap. Remove the cotter pin or bend the retainer clip out of the way. Tighten the spindle nut a little more than "finger tight" (approximately 20-24 inch pounds). When the nut is positioned properly the wheel should turn easily and have no end play.
Reassemble the reverse of disassembly and make sure the retainer is in place.
Note: This bearing adjustment should be checked after the first 75 miles and about every year after that.
- Grease hubs carefully after launch and before storage to displace any moisture in the grease.
Always use a high temperature lithium based wheel bearing grease with NLGI #2 rating and a hand-operated grease gun. Lubricate each wheel with a few pumps.
NOTICE: It is highly recommended that the following service be performed annually. Remove each wheel and hub. Visually inspect and replace the following items as necessary: bearings, bearing races, seals and brake components. Always reassemble with a new seal and retainer, repack with fresh clean grease.
All work should be performed by a qualified mechanic.
Removing and reinstalling the bearing protector
To remove your bearing protector or dust cap, place a piece of wood against the side of it. Carefully strike the wood with a hammer. Then place the wood on the opposite side, and strike again. Continue this procedure until you have "walked" the protector out of the hub.
To reinstall your bearing protector or dust cap, line it up with your hub, place a block of wood over the front of the protector and carefully tap the wood with a hammer.
NOTE: All bearing protector caps are designed to fit tightly into the hub. Take care in aligning the protector cap with the hub.