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Rebuilding your trailer part five: jockey wheel and couplings

In the fifth part of our series on rebuilding your trailer, we’re going to install a jockey wheel and the couplings.

The coupling is attached to the A-frame of your trailer and forms the link between your trailer and towing vehicle, so it will need to match the tongue or draw bar on the trailer and the vehicle’s tow ball.

Choose the model that will best suit your trailer and how you want to use it. According to the Vehicle Standards Bulletin, trailers that do not exceed 3.5 tonnes ATM must have a quick release, positive locking coupling which is designed to be engaged and disengaged without the use of tools.

While you’re buying, make sure you get suitable bolts and nuts to attach the coupling to the draw bar. Bolts should be long enough to fully engage the nut.

Fit the coupling

  1. The coupling will have pre-drilled holes for the mounting bolts. Before bolting it together, make sure everything fits properly.
  2. The coupling is then bolted to the plate that is already pre-drilled and mounted at the front of the trailer drawbar. It is important to use high tensile, zinc plated bolts and tighten to the correct tension.

Consult your bolt supplier for the recommended tightening torque.

Fit the jockey wheel

Next, choose the jockey wheel. They come with different loadings and designs so make sure it will hold the ball weight of your trailer and be appropriate for your needs.

Fixed and swingaway models can be mounted by welding or bolting them directly to the A-frame or draw bar. Many models will come with a mounting plate that has been welded to them already.

  1. Line the jockey wheel up to the draw bar in the appropriate position. Next, slide a u-bracket over the bar from behind, then through the holes on one side of the plate.
  2. Tighten the nuts on both sides of the mounting plate.
  3. Lower the wheel and ensure it’s in the right position, adjusting the height as necessary.

For more detailed information on attaching your jockey wheel, take a look here.

Now that the trailer is standing on its legs again, it’s time to replace the trailer lights, which is the next step in our series.

Will you be taking your trailer off-road? We’ve looked into off-road couplings that will follow you anywhere you go.

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