Upgrading Your Trailer: Key Parts For Performance And Safety

Hitting the road with your trusty trailer in tow is an exciting idea. But before setting off on your next adventure, you need to make sure your ride is in top condition. Trucks and trailers, especially single semi-trailers, account for 54% of fatal crashes due to their size and various factors.

Consider getting an upgrade. Improvements in performance and safety dramatically increase your comfort on the road and secure your load. No matter the type of trailer, investing in the right parts will make a difference in your towing experience.

Ready to upgrade your trailer? This guide will be your starting point to explore essential parts for much-needed enhancements.

Upgrading for performance

1. Suspension system

The efficiency of how your trailer handles the road depends on its suspension system. Bumpy rides and excessive swaying could compromise comfort and fuel efficiency. Upgrading your suspension with high-quality trailer parts by Brechbill or other reputable sources can significantly improve it.

New shock absorbers could be a fantastic option. They absorb the impact of bumps and road irregularities, ensuring a smoother experience for you. Your leaf springs—the backbone of your trailer’s suspension—enhance stability and towing capacity when also upgraded.

2. Tires and wheels

The tires are your trailer’s connection to the road. Using tires with the correct weight capacity for your trailer is vital for safe operation. Invest in higher-quality tires for better handling, durability, and even improved fuel economy.

Remember the importance of properly inflated tires for optimal performance and safety. Underinflated tires wear out faster and can lead to decreased fuel economy and handling issues. Make it a habit to regularly check your tire pressure and inflate your tires to the recommended level specified in your trailer’s manual.

3. Brakes

If your trailer is more than 15 years old, you need to check on its brakes, as older age is often associated with brake failures. Enhancing your brakes could bring your trailer to a complete stop when required, especially in critical situations.

Consider electric brakes. They’re generally more responsive than traditional brakes and provide consistent stopping power regardless of your vehicle’s speed. Thinking about increasing your braking power even further? Go for larger brake drums. A larger surface area for the brake pads to contact means more stopping power.

Upgrading for safety

1. Lighting system

Nighttime travel requires extra vigilance. Your trailer’s lighting system should be fully functional and meet regulations. A well-lit trailer makes you more visible to other drivers, potentially reducing the risk of accidents.

Consider LED lighting upgrades for enhanced trailer visibility, especially at night. Keep the light’s shape in mind too. Research suggests that strip lights, or longer-shaped taillights, are noted to make vehicles more visible to others on the road.

2. Safety chains and coupler

Don’t let their simplicity fool you—safety chains and a secure coupler are lifesavers. They’re the last line of defense if your trailer hitch fails unexpectedly. Choose high-quality safety chains with a proper cross-chain configuration to ensure they engage in case of disconnections.

Using a secure coupler is equally important. Look for one with a self-locking latch to prevent accidental disengagement. Remember, a thorough pre-trip inspection is crucial. Verify that the safety chains are properly connected and that the coupler is securely latched before towing.

3. Cargo securement

Proper cargo securement is essential to prevent accidents and damage during transport. Loose cargo shifting within your trailer may damage the trailer and pose a safety hazard to yourself and others.

Using various securement methods like tie-downs, straps, and ratchet systems keeps your cargo firmly in place throughout your journey. Choose the right tie-down points and employ proper tensioning techniques for more effective cargo securement.

Additional considerations

While the core areas discussed above impact your trailer’s performance and safety, consider these additional upgrades for further enhancement:

1. Battery and electrical system

The battery and electrical system power up trailer features like lighting and brakes. Upgrading these parts can be especially beneficial for longer trips or trailers with power-hungry appliances.

2. Mirrors

With trailers being as large as they are, clear mirrors help you see the surrounding traffic and improve your driving experience and awareness. When upgrading your mirrors, consider features like blind spot detection and cameras for extra safety on the road.

Always consult a qualified mechanic for professional advice and installation of certain upgrades. They can help you choose the right parts and ensure proper installation for optimal performance and safety. If your business uses fleet management software to monitor its vehicles, keeping your trailer in excellent condition streamlines operations and maximizes efficiency on the road.


As a driver, you deserve a top-quality trailer with all the essentials. That includes functioning components that keep it secure and intact. Regularly check every vital piece, from your suspension systems to your mirrors. When you notice some parts look like they need an upgrade ASAP, don’t hesitate. Your proactive action helps prevent fatal accidents on the road.