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Workshop Feature | Trailer Servicing and Repair

WMS Warranty

With fewer moving parts than the tractor unit towing them, operators may be tempted to pay less attention to the servicing and maintenance of trailers. However, it could represent an important part of a workshop’s business.

Fruhauf Trailer Repairs

For significant repairs it is unlikely that a dealer will want to get too involved – manufacturers like Fruehauf will take the trailer back and repair for the operator.

A number of franchised dealers offer trailer servicing as a part of their standard offering – Volvo company-owned dealerships are a good example, with Volvo Truck & Bus Wales and West offering trailer servicing from as low as £59+VAT, whilst the opposite side of the country sees Volvo Bus & Truck Centre East Anglia starting their trailer servicing prices at £120+VAT.

Scania dealers too offer trailer servicing alongside their ‘All Makes’ servicing programme.

Typically, trailer servicing should cover:

  • Axles and mechanical components
  • Electric systems
  • Air system components
  • Braking systems
  • Ancillary equipment (refrigeration, hydraulics, tail-lifts, doors, etc.)

Scania has an agreement with SAF-Holland, which means that Scania workshops are now authorised repair centres for SAF-Holland trailer axles. Scania has also integrated many replacement parts into their own supply chain. Meanwhile, DAF offers their multi-branded Truck and Trailer Parts (TRP) scheme to market trailer parts nationwide.


BPW’s Current Axle Range

Technological Advances

Increasingly sophisticated serving techniques will be needed when the raft of new trailer products hits the UK’s streets. Manufacturers of trailer running gear are continuing to improve technology. BPW’s air-sprung ECO Vision will be seen some time in 2018. Using advanced composite materials, the company has managed to shave some 20% from the weight of the bogie.

These new materials are not just lighter, but should be less susceptible to corrosion – an important factor on a trailer chassis.

Trailer Diagnostics

There is a lot of heavy engineering on a typical semi-trailer, but electronic systems mean that trailers need more specialist attention, with diagnostic tools needed to make sure braking and ABS systems are running perfectly.

As the UK’s largest multi-brand CV Diagnostics Company, Eclipse Diagnostics is very conscious that modern day trailers are becoming more sophisticated with complex system configurations, individual platform setups, and more components being monitored.

Indeed, often when any of the internal components fail the only option is to replace the control module and reinstate the correct settings.

However, because of the different variants of control modules available on the market, copying and pasting parameter information from one module to another is highly risky, and can corrupt the new ECU if the user isn’t completely satisfied that they are compatible.

Eclipse’s Jaltest software is designed to not only detect problems, but also to assist with the rebuilding of the control modules as part of the repair. To avoid the compatibility issues, Jaltest Diagnostics has the capability to program a new ECU from scratch by using either the original trailer information or the data plate.

Eclipse Testpad Extreme

Eclipse Testpad Extreme

Other trailer specific elements of the Jaltest system are:

  • Extensive coverage of Wabco/Knorr Bremse and Haldex ABS/EBS systems
  • Ability to modify individual parameters to suit trailer requirements
  • Copy and paste function of ECU parameters
  • Data entry ECU programming from the user
  • Simulation tests for braking pressures and speed sensors
  • Maintenance and service updating functions
  • Suspension calibration facility
  • Step by step fault code guidance with wiring diagrams and component information
  • Refrigeration (Reefer) system diagnosis and parameter modifications