The High Cost of Cheap Swivel Wheel Trailer Jacks

If you've got a single axle trailer, you probably have a swivel wheel trailer jack (or want to buy one). They're great for moving a trailer around to hook up, but also just to help you manage a trailer that's in storage. The best part? Some swivel wheel trailer jacks (aka trailer jockeys) are downright cheap...unless you need a trailer jockey for something more than rolling around on smooth concrete.

Offroad trailer pulling

The fact is, cheap trailer jockeys are expensive if you try to use them off-road. They're not designed for heavy-duty use, their wheels can't handle mud or sand, and they'll cost you a lot of time and money if you realize their limitations the hard way.

The Problem With A Cheap Trailer Jockey? It's Terrible Off-Road

If you take a swivel wheeled trailer jack off-road, and it isn't designed for off-road use, you can expect problems. Some of the most common:

The trailer is stuck in mud and a cheap jockey wheel acts like an anchor. Sometimes trailers get stuck in the mud because they've been parked in a place that turned muddy overnight. Sometimes the issue is that a trailer has to be disconnected and winched. But whatever the cause, a cheap jockey wheel usually gets stuck in the mud due to the small, smooth wheel(s) at the bottom of the jack. When you try to move the trailer with the jack, it just sinks in.

The jack gets bent or broken while winching. A cheap trailer jack is usually rated for a static load - most manufacturers don't specify a dynamic load rating. What this means is that a "1,000lbs trailer jack" might actually be rated for a few hundred pounds less than that amount when the trailer is being winched and the jack is being forced to roll over obstacles.

Once the jack bends off-road, it's practically useless. If it fails spectacularly, it can cause damage to the trailer.

The jack can't roll in the sand and digs in instead. Sand is a difficult obstacle for just about any type of wheel or vehicle, but it's especially difficult with a trailer jockey that has a small wheel. It might as well be a metal stake.

When these problems crop up, a cheap trailer jack is a hindrance. In some situations, a cheap trailer jockey is worse than no trailer jockey at all.

Investing In An Off-Road Rated Trailer Jockey

Trailer jockey extending

We created the XO Trailer Jack to address some of the common problems that Australians face when towing off-road, some of which are listed above. But whatever off-road trailer jockey you choose:

  • Look for a swivel wheel with large tread blocks that can roll over mud and sand without getting stuck, and sealed bearings that won't fail when submerged.
  • Look for a trailer jack with a large dynamic rating. Most trailer jack load ratings are static, not dynamic.
  • Get a trailer jack that is protected from rust and corrosion.

When you use the right trailer jockey off-road, you don’t have to worry about the problems outlined above. Check out the XO Series Trailer Jacks here.

Back to blog