So far, this winter hasn’t been quite as icy and snow covered as we’re used to seeing herein the prairies. Clearer roads mean less accidents, but they can still happen. Sometimes all it takes is an inattentive driver, an unfortunate mechanical failure, or an ambitious deer for a truck or trailer to end up bent and busted in the ditch. If you’re lucky the damage will be minimal, but often you end up with a bent frame. In fact, as many as half of accidents end with some kind of damage to your frame. This is by design in newer models as parts that are meant to crumple and bend mean they absorb the force of the accident better.
As unfortunate as it is, no Trailer Frame will last forever even without experiencing an accident. Eventually, whether its through regular wear and tear, it will start to show its age. Incorrect load distribution may leave vertical bends quickly. Typically, a brand-new trailer has some degree of a positive curve which helps it bear the weight of cargo. Even with perfect weight distribution and usage this positive curve can flatten out and eventually sag.
That’s where Frame straightening services come into play. Now if you’ve never been in the kind of accident that requires it, you might not be familiar with just how the process works. Thankfully a solid repair facility with a large enough frame straightening setup can help you out if your trucks or trailers get a little twisted up. Here’s a quick rundown of both Truck and Trailer straightening procedures.
Truck Frame Straightening
Your unit will need assessment first. This involves putting it on a platform with sensors that can read the extent of the damage that’s been done. Depending on just how bad things are, straightening may not be the best option. On the inverse, small amounts of damage may even be solvable without a full frame straightening being necessary.
If a frame straightening is the key to what ails your unit, it comes down to hydraulics and chains. The unit in need of straightening will be secured on the same platform as before. Chains will then be attached to specific points on the frame. Slowly but surely the chains will be pulled and used to adjust the frame as closely as possible to its original shape. This process is done carefully and is assisted by sensors to not cause further damage to the frame. Depending on the amount of damage there may be cutting or welding required to get things just right.
Trailer Frame Straightening
In much the same vein as straightening a truck frame your trailer frame will need assessed first. If there’s too many kinks or breaks in the frame straightening may not be a viable option. A frame or beam with a break or too drastic of a bend will be weaker than before and bending it back into shape may still leave it vulnerable to further damage or failure even if it looks good as new. If that’s the case you’re looking at welding and fabrication repairs rather than straightening.
If the bends aren’t at too sharp of an angle, and the structure of the trailer is still solid? Well then, it’s time for the same kind of straightening process a truck goes through. Sensors and cameras read the angles of the frame and determine what kind of adjustments are needed. Gradually by way of chains and hydraulic pulleys will pull key parts of the frame back into place. Once it’s as close to the specified measurements as possible, it will be inspected. Then, provided everything is looking back to normal, your trailer can be sent on its way to carry all kinds of cargo.
Once all the pulling and adjusting is done, you should be left with a frame that’s as close to straight as possible without being fresh off the production line. Then you’ll be safe to get back on the road, and ideally staying out of the ditch. If you suspect you have a crooked frame that you haven’t had remedied, it maybe worth looking into a trusted repair shop like Truck Zone to get some measurements done. That way you can know for sure! With there being frame straightening and repair services available at each of our shops across Western Canada, you’re never far from having your frame good as new!