Jockey wheels, also known as trailer jacks or ‘turntables’, are mechanical devices used to support and stabilize trailers. They consist of a wheel that is mounted on a pivoting shaft, enabling the trailer to be easily moved about. The jockey wheel can also be adjusted up and down to level the trailer when parked and connected to a tow vehicle.
Jockey wheels come in various sizes, with some suitable for large trailers and others intended for smaller trailers or camper vans. A heavy-duty jockey wheel is usually made of reinforced plastic or rubber, while the shaft is typically metal. Most trailer jockeys are adjustable, allowing them to be raised and lowered as needed; this is essential for ensuring that the trailer remains level when connected to the car or tractor.
Many jockey wheels have a locking mechanism, such as a pin or lever, which helps keep the wheel steady while in transit. This prevents it from slipping and reduces the risk of damage to both the wheel and the tow vehicle. Jockey wheels also allow for more flexibility when maneuvering trailers, as they can be rotated and swivelled in a way that keeps the trailer on track. Some models feature brakes or clutches, which further enhance stability and control.
Jockey wheels are an important part of towing safety; they help keep trailers connected securely to the vehicle while also allowing for easier steering. Regularly checking and maintaining your jockey wheel is essential, particularly if you regularly transport heavy loads or over long distances; this helps ensure its reliable performance and your safety. Therefore, investing in a quality jockey wheel with all the features you need is worth considering, as it can provide peace of mind when towing heavy loads.
Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the jockey wheel can help prolong its lifespan. With proper care, your jockey wheel can last for many years and be ready when you need it, reducing the risk of breakdowns, especially on long journeys. Cleaning should include checking all components for wear and tear, and ensuring the wheel is free from dirt and debris. If any components need replacing, such as bearings or bolts, they should be replaced as soon as possible.
Overall, a jockey wheel is an important piece of gear for any trailer or caravan owner, and investing in one with all the features you need can ensure that your journey is safe and hassle-free. With proper maintenance, it can last for many years, reducing the risk of breakdowns on the road. So, make sure you have a good quality jockey wheel in your trailer or caravan, and maintain it regularly for maximum safety and reliability.
How to Choose a Jockey Wheel
When it comes to choosing a jockey wheel, several factors need to be taken into consideration. Size is one of the most important variables; you should make sure you choose one that’s appropriate for your trailer or caravan. It should also have strong and sturdy construction, preferably made from steel or aluminium, as these materials are more resistant to wear and tear.
Additionally, the clamping mechanism is important too; look for one with adjustable clamps that fit securely onto your trailer or caravan, providing a solid connection that won’t slip off even when it’s exposed to high winds or rough terrain. The wheel should also be capable of locking in two positions, so you can keep it in the most convenient one for towing. Finally, depending on your needs, you might also want to get a jockey wheel with an extendable handle or pneumatic tyres that provide a smooth ride and make it easier to maneuver.