Safety when towing is very important. Towing makes turning and stopping very hard. This is because the towing rig weighs more. Here are some safety tips that will help you tow safely.
1. Load and hook up your trailer right
Your trailers load should be balanced by having 60% of the load in front. The load should also be centered, with low center of gravity and very secure. Double check that you have the procedure right when hooking up and that the connections are all correct.
2. Stop severally and change lanes carefully.
When towing, allow following distance since it takes long to stop a truck and trailer. Change lanes carefully and install wide travel mirrors to make sure you can clearly see the next lane and your trailers full length.
3. Watch out for slow and fast vehicles.
Avoid as much as possible passing slow vehicles, since you have to allow for distance before passing. Do not race fast traffic, but help people get past you efficiently. Do not accelerate suddenly, brake or maneuver, to avoid accidents on the road. The other drivers should be able to predict your moves as they pass by you.
4. Park carefully
This will help you when you want to pull out of the parking lot. It’s safer to park on the road or across the street. Theft is common on trailers and it’s therefore important to lock up carefully. You can use a coupler lock to avoid anyone from hauling your trailer away.
5. Anticipate problems
Always look farther than normal and keep your eyes open. Identify drivers who are likely to cause problems and keep off them. Be careful on the trailer so that it doesn’t sway. Gently ride your brakes to ensure the trailer gets to tow in line with your vehicle. In case of a flat tire, find a place where you can gently brake and pull off. During bad weather your trailer is likely to be blown around. This should not scare you. Be patient and drive gently. And watch out for reckless drivers.
6. Stop smoothly
In case you have to stop, ensure it’s smooth. Your brake controller should be working properly and your trailer brakes should be adjusted. If you stop smoothly every time, then your brakes will last longer. In case of a change in pedal response when downgrading, ease the brakes off and the gears will help you slow down.
7. Trailer Backing.
When backing up a trailer, make sure there is some distance between the hitch and the trailer wheels. This will ease backing up and ensure the trailer backs up straight and predictably. Your hand on the steering wheel at a 6 o’clock position, move your hand and the trailer’s back end will move in that direction. Steer in tiny inputs to make sure that when it starts turning it comes around fast. It’s safe to ask for help from someone so they can give you directions.
These tips will help you tow safely. But it’s important to check your connections regularly while on the road, tow with necessary safety gear, ensure your hitches are correctly installed, use turnouts while other vehicles are passing and observe all the speed limits.
How to Tow Your Vehicle Safely