Follow These Simple Tips to Haul a Trailer Safely
Hauling a trailer is easy if understood and done correctly. However, it might be dangerous if not done properly. Trailers help transport a large amount of commodities over a long distance, making the need for towing almost unavoidable.
Whether you are a new trailer owner or driver, or have been in the industry for years, you need basic knowledge on towing.
Here are tips for successful and safe trailer towing:
1. Know the Vehicle’s Total Weight
A car’s tow rating is calculated by adding four numbers. Before towing any trailer, check the car’s gross combined weight rating. This is the total weight of passengers, the weight of the vehicle, plus the trailer’s weight and the load it carries. So, if you have many passengers, they might reduce the amount of load the trailer can carry.
Moreover, be mindful of the gross vehicle weight rating, which is the amount the vehicle can hold minus the curb weight. In addition, consider the tongue weight. This is the weight of the trailer when resting on the hitch. It should be at least 10% of the trailer’s weight.
If it is less, the trailer will move back and forth during transportation. And if it is more, it’ll take weight off the trailer’s front tires and make steering a problem.
2. Getting Hitched
Make sure you use the right size of hitch ball for the trailer to prevent it from popping off during towing. Engage the trailer latch smoothly and lock it. Use the correct amount of drop or rise for the hitch so that the trailer is in at same level when attached to the tow vehicle.
Use safety chain in an X manner to reduce damage in case the trailer detaches. Check the headlamps, braking, indicator and hazard lights to make sure they are all working.
3. Trailer Braking
If hauling heavier loads, electronic brakes are a must. This means that if you don’t have a new track with an inbuilt controller, you have to install one. If you have to buy one, avoid cheaper ones.
Most controllers just lengthen the time taken to break. Opt for a high-quality controller to save you more in expenses than buying it due to damages resulting from an accident.
4. On the Road
When driving, provide plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you to provide room for braking. Since you are carrying a load, breaking is bound to take extra time. Turn later on sharper corners to square off the curves and avoid clipping curbs.
If you feel that the trailer is swaying from side to side, brake slowly to bring it back to position. If you have a brake controller, press the boost button.
Make sure you do the right thing. For instance, keep speeds low in general because trailers sway more the faster you’re going. Do not apply brakes suddenly and brake slowly if you feel the trailer is swaying.
Want to know more about towing? Read these surprising facts about towing.
As always, if you’re in the Kansas City area and need assistance, our towing service is available 24/7.