Take a peek at this picture of my decoy trailer, which I sold last week.
As you can see, it has a bit of rust. Otherwise, it looks okay, right? Especially for handling the relatively light load of a few dozen full-body goose decoys and a couple of lay-out blinds. But I decided to sell it, because my new pick-up has an extended bed and is large enough to fit the entire spread. When a prospective buyer showed up, he crawled underneath the trailer with a flashlight, and showed me what I’s been missing—and why this trailer was completely trashed.
The bit of rust you see on the topsides was a mere fleck or two, compared to the corrosion in the frame. I hadn’t bothered to look underneath because, well… I have no good reason for my own maintenance failure. But when I finally did, I agreed with the buyer that the trailer’s only value was for parts.
The good news? This experience prompted me to crawl under every boat trailer in my yard (there are four of them) and give them a hairy eyeball. Sure, we always get a better look at boat trailers than utility trailers simply because they’re more exposed. But I did find one spot on one of the trailers that needed some attention (where a set of leaf springs was getting a bit too corroded for my taste). And if you’re smart, you’ll learn from my mistakes. Give each and every trailer in your yard a look-see where the sun don’t shine, and make sure there’s not a break-down waiting to happen in your fleet.