How to: Maintain Landing Gear

John Baxter | January 03, 2011

Crank, lube, inspect

It’s a good idea to pressure-wash the chassis and landing legs frequently in winter. SAF-Holland recommends an anhydrous calcium extreme pressure grease for the job – the low-temperature grade rated down to minus 65 F. Base your service interval on how often the landing gear is raised and lowered.

Doing the job

1.  Raise and support the trailer securely off the landing gear. It’s easiest to just hitch it to a tractor with all brakes applied.

2.  Crank the landing gear legs up all the way. Then, in high gear, lower the legs three turns.

3.  Pump 2 ounces (about 6-8 pumps) of grease into the three zerks – one on the gearbox, another at the top of the leg for the bevel gears, a third below that for the lift screw – on each leg.

4.  Raise the legs and then lower them all the way. Do this in the low gear and high gear positions, verifying that the legs operate smoothly in both directions in both gears. This will also distribute grease throughout.

Inspect these

· The tuck-away for the crank handle. If not in good condition, the handle can create noise and do damage.

· All mounting bolts and nuts for proper torque. Rust means bolts have loosened and damaged paint.

To fully maintain landing gear, inspect the six areas noted above for legs and their mountings. Irregular cranking means the gearbox has worn out. Usually the defective leg is replaced. All bolts and nuts are normally replaced, too, but the braces and cross-shaft are reused. The ears that hold the lower braces to the legs must be welded.

· All weldments. Cracked welds must be cleaned up and re-welded.

· All cross braces.

· The sand shoes or cushions at the bottoms of the legs.

· The cross shaft and the bolts that attach it where it slides over gearbox shafts at either end, visible through a hole in the trailer frame.

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