The Ontario Ministry of Transportation mandates routine annual safety inspections of trailers at authorized Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations. When the trailer passes inspection this yellow sticker is affixed to the trailer, and coordinating certificate is to be kept with the ownership of the trailer.
One area of confusion is that many people think that the “Yellow Annual Safety Inspection Sticker” is only required for commercial vehicles. However, it should be noted that even if they don’t drive a vehicle/trailer for commercial purposes, the same requirements may apply under certain conditions.
First off, *vehicle* includes trucks, pick up trucks, trade vans, mini vans, two- and four-wheel drive SUVs all being used to transport cargo. Additionally, *trailer* refers to utility trailers, boat, snowmobile, livestock, or cargo trailers.
According to the MTO, an annual inspection and safety certificate is required if: the Total Gross Weight, Registered Gross Weight, or Manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the vehicle exceeds 4500 kg or 9920 lbs. OR the combined weight of the vehicle and towed trailer exceeds 4500 kg or 9920 lbs.
Book an appointment with Via’s licensed service facility for your annual inspection to avoid potential fines from either the MTO officers on the road, or the police.
The new trailers sold at Via all come with manufacturers’ warranties. If ever there is a problem, Via is fully prepared to administer warranty claims.
Follow these simple steps:
- email Dan@ViaTrailers.com. Put last 5 digits of the VIN, your name, and cell number in Subject Line. Example: 98107, Frank, 647-116-6188
- We will need clear pictures – First one need to be the VIN tag on the trailer and 2 or more images of the problem. Pictures from your cell phone are acceptable, just ensure they are not blurry
- A Team member will be in touch within two business days to discuss the next steps.
This easy list is included on the folio with all of your trailer warranty information.
Axles should be greased at least once, if not twice, a year. This depends on frequency of use, and the way you use your trailer.
Yes, regular safety inspections and routine maintenance & servicing not only prolong the life span of a trailer, but is also mandatory for all tandem axle trailers and single axle trailers depending on the tow vehicle GVWR.
Typically this is what is involved:
- Ensure correct operation of lights (**also check before each use)
- Wheel bearing check and adjustment – Every 3000km trailer bearing adjustment should be checked, and clean or replace/repack every 10 000km or 12 months. Repack wheel bearings before storing
- Check and tighten all suspension parts
- Body check and check of welds for signs of cracking or fatigue every 10 000km or 12 months
- Check coupling adjustment every 10 000km or 12 months
- Check all electrical and mechanical systems (**also check before each use)
ABSOLUTELY! Conventional rules are load the heaviest contents over the axle if possible, this will ensure ideal tongue weight and the trailer will track properly behind the tow vehicle. Too much weight behind the axles can send trailer into a sway situation. Be mindful to load the trailer evenly from side to side as well, not placing heavy items on one side.
There are many variables in load placement such as tow vehicle capacity and the physical nature of the items you are placing into the trailer. There is an element of trial and error to find the optimum placement. Secure your cargo in place with proper tie down systems to prevent shifting of items.
You should always maintain your tires at full pressure, which is indicated on the sidewalls of the tire. Check the tire pressure when the tires are cold.
A trailer must be fitted with a braking system when the GVWR is greater than 1360 kg (3000 lbs.) In most cases single axle trailer without brakes rate the axle at 2990lbs for this very reason.
Electric brakes are the most commonly used today. They are wired into the braking system of the vehicle and activate in unison with the vehicle’s brakes. There is also an in-cab controller which needs to be installed by a qualified technician; this device allows the trailer brakes to be engaged when you press the vehicle brake pedal, and adjusted up or down to meet the payload weight.
Tips when Braking:
- allow considerably more space for stopping
- anticipate the need to slow – to reduce speed shift to a lower gear and tap the brakes lightly
- if you have an electric brake controller and excessive sway occurs, activate the brake controller by hand. Attempting to control sway with tow vehicle brakes generally makes the sway worse
Consulting the owner’s manual of the vehicle will give you that info, there may be info on the tow hitch as well. This is essential to know before purchasing a trailer.
There are towing accessories, like a weight distribution hitch, available to increase a vehicle’s towing capacity.
All Trailers have a VIN attached, this tells the Curb (or Tare) weight and the GVWR. Subtract the Curb Weight from the GVWR and that remaining amount is the weight with which it can be loaded.
GVWR minus curb weight = payload capacity
The curb weight refers to the weight of the trailer when not carrying a load.
GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, which is the total gross rating of the axles. For example a tandem or double axle trailer would typically have two (2) 3500lb axles, so the GVWR would be 7000lbs. The GVWR is the maximum total weight a trailer can carry.