Question: Being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” can you talk about boat trailer safety with all the traffic we see pulling these things?

Answer: State Troopers come across numerous motorists pulling trailers that experience breakdowns. Most often it involves a flat tire. Often is involves a trailer wheel bearing that has went out. A trailer's wheel bearings are often neglected because they are out of sight. Basic trailer maintenance involves greasing the wheel bearings. Wheel bearing failure can occur when maintenance is neglected from the lack of grease. A loose, worn or damaged wheel bearing is the most common cause of brakes that grab and lock up.

When these types of issues occur, it can result in a hassle, headache or even a crash. When the wheel bearing fails, it generally leads to tire failure, whether a flat or a blow out from the heat generated. I’ve seen the hubs break off and even fires started from this.

Nobody wants to be that person stranded on the side of the road with a disabled trailer or a driver who loses control because of a trailer malfunction. It is a good idea to repack the wheel bearings and make it a part of your pre-trip inspection and maintenance schedule.

Other pre-trip preparation should include:

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  • Taillights/Brake Lights functioning
  • Proper hitch, pins and safety chains
  • Check tires for proper inflation, unusual wear, weather checking and bulges
  • Spare tire inflated, jack, and lug wrench
  • Secure the load and all other items

A driver can do all the maintenance checks, but if a driver doesn’t secure their load, that too can have deadly consequences. Securing your load is the law. A driver could face a citation if they don’t secure their load or worse if an unsecured load causes a crash.

Do your part, drive smart and help keep everyone safe on Minnesota roads.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).