Ok I have just read the e-mail I received from Dolphin Boats UK Ltd (Seawolf Ribs) earlier today& here is a copy of the e-mail I sent them & their reply.
“Thanks for getting back in touch and I’m sorry to keep harping on about bearings, but I need to know a few things before making any decisions.
You see I have a long history of towing trailers, caravans & boats & up until last year I have always had taper roller bearings in all of the trailers, last year I picked up a new RIB and it came with a trailer that had AL-KO hubs with sealed for life bearings.
We were informed that they were the best thing since sliced bread, no more stripping down, cleaning & repacking the bearings every year.
Now this hasn’t been much of a problem & we still have a boat trailer that’s over 8 years old on the same taper roller bearings & brakes, but the new trailer has been another story.
Within the first 6 months it had to have new brake cables & brake shoes, & now its 18 months old the sealed for life bearings have collapsed sending a wheel flying down the road & nearly causing a nasty accident on a busy stretch of the M25.
So as you can probably tell I’m not very impressed with the idea of getting another boat trailer with sealed for life (maintenance free) bearings, after all how long does it take to strip down the old taper bearings & repack them with new grease?
So I would appreciate it if you could tell me if your bearings are the sort that will require a hydraulic press to change them, & cost a fortune every time we want to check on the brakes. Or whether they are the type that can be stripped down & checked, for only the cost of a couple of split pins.
Thanks for any help
you cant strip them down as they are sealed units, but NOT like the sealed for life bearing which are not that good and lot of people have had trouble with,
These bearing are generations on from the old sealed for life ones. These are a very reliable bearings and are made partly of stainless steel, the trailer is also fitted with SS brake cables, alternatively these trailers can be fitted with taper roller bearings if required.”
So my questions to all you out there in RIBnet land is,
1. Is this true are there new bearings out there being used on boat trailers?
2. Has anyone seen them or know anything about them?"
Having just fitted new bearings to our AL-KO hubs, we should be ok for a couple of months before we have to get the new trailer or change them again.