Towing can seem very challenging if you have never done it before. There are certain rules and regulations which you must learn and obey. You will be forced to learn new driving methods for managing heavy loads as you’re towing them. This can be intimidating for anyone new to towing in Perth.
But like anything else, you just need to have patience, common sense, and the ability to learn the necessary steps for being successful at this. Then you will know how to tow certain vehicles and heavy loads safely.
Learn the Towing Process
Executive Towing Services believes that learning from professionals is the best way to get educated in towing or any other type of driving. This means learning from an accredited Perth towing instructor who can give you the proper formal training. You will not just be learning about how to tow boats and caravans on nicely paved roads, you will also learn how to tow them on off-road conditions as well. To do this successfully, you need to have confidence in your driving and towing. This is what makes investing in a towing course a good decision.
It takes a special type of skill to tow a trailer or caravan. The type of load will affect your towing vehicle’s performance immensely. Things like brakes, acceleration, control, maneuverability, and fuel consumption are all affected by the load. The heavier the load, the more challenging it will be to tow it. If the load is very wide and long, this will also make it more difficult to manage because you’ll now have to worry about passing cars, blowing winds, and road conditions.
If you take a towing course and learn the proper ways of dealing with all these conditions, it will save you money in the long run because you won’t have any costly accidents. Maintaining safety will be taught the most.
Have Your Partner Help
If you and your partner can learn everything there is to know about trailers and driving them off-road and on-road, then you will be in good shape. Before you two go on a road trip with your camper or trailer, you both need to check it thoroughly. Once you get to your destination, check it again.
This doesn’t mean you must become experts at towing. Just develop your skills and experience in towing so that you can both learn how to be safe throughout the process.
Load it Properly
When you tow a boat or caravan, it needs to be balanced after you load it upright. If you can do this, the towing will be much safer as you’re driving on the road.
If you can distribute the weight correctly in the trailer, your steering will be smooth. You will also reduce the chances of your boat or caravan having weight shifting issues, which would make the trailer move back and forth.
The heaviest gear should be loaded over the axle of the caravan. The rest of the weight can be distributed evenly. If you have spare gas cylinders, wheels or other equipment that is heavy, place it in the areas that are recommended by the manufacturer.
A weight-distribution hitch may be a good investment for you. It will help distribute the weight evenly on the chassis and wheels of the vehicle. The hitch must be compatible with your vehicle. Just remember that this is only a tool for helping you tow heavy loads safely. It will not do all the work for you.
At this point, your trailer, vehicle, and electric trailer brakes are going to need a full-service check-up. This is the process you must do right before the towing process begins. It helps ensure that you tow the load safely.
Be sure to check the tyre pressures, including the spare tyre too. The pressure amount should be good enough to accommodate the surface that you are going to drive on. Inspect the taillights and ensure they are functional. Check your trailer thoroughly, starting from the front and slowly moving to the rear. Be critical of everything.
Inspect the trailer plug and ensure that it is securely plugged in. Also, make sure there are secure connections with the safety chains, breakaway wire, and coupling. Disengage the handbrake of the trailer if it has not been already. The jockey wheel needs to be tucked away securely too.
Ensure the weight-distribution hitch is connected properly if you are using one. The safety pins must be locked in securely too. Turn off the gas bottles if they are not turned off already.
Conduct a visual inspection to see if you have securely fastened all the doors, hatches, windows, and latches. You don’t want to have anything that may flop, flap, or snap as the trailer is moving. Secure any unsecured gears or loose items inside the trailer.
Lastly, take out the wheel chocks, and then elevate and lock the stabilizer legs.
One very important towing skill is being able to reverse a trailer. You will need to focus hard while doing this and have plenty of patience. The trick is to move at lower speeds and maintain safety practices always.
When you begin to reverse, check the location where you’re backing the trailer into. Be sure there are no people, bikes, debris, branches, potholes, or other things that will get in the way.
You do not want to rush at all. Reversing a trailer or boat too quickly will put more stress on it and could possibly cause damage to the load or to someone standing around near it.
It is best to have a partner stand somewhere outside to watch as you’re reversing the load. They will let you know if you are at a safe distance through the radio or various hand signals.
When you back up very slowly, it allows you to better judge the direction that the trailer is backing toward. If you are making a mistake in the direction, you will have the time to fix it too. All it takes is a few slight rotations of the steering wheel and you can be on the right path again.
You must be counter-intuitive while reversing. The direction in which the steering wheel gets turned should be the opposite of where the trailer needs to go. So, if you need your trailer to go right, then you rotate the steering wheel left.
If you went too far in the wrong direction, just drive forward again to reposition your vehicle, and then try again.
Reversing needs to be practiced thoroughly before you do it for real. Go to an empty parking lot or somewhere with a lot of space and no people around. Keep practicing there until you are comfortable.
Look Forward and Be Ready for Anything
You will need lots of additional braking room to exist between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Keep your acceleration smooth, be gentle with the brake, keep the momentum steady, and only steer a little bit to change direction.
Do not make any jerky movements with the steering wheel to change direction. Do not step hard on the gas pedal to accelerate fast. Do not step hard on the brake pedal to brake fast. Keep everything slow and steady.
When you see a red or yellow light up ahead, give yourself plenty of time to slow down prior to reaching the light. You don’t want to have to slam on your brakes fast to stop the vehicle at the light.
If you can drive smoothly, you will boost your fuel economy and be safer on the road. Plus, you will reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and the load that you are towing.
If you are driving on country-style tracks or urban roads, look for any hazards that may be coming up ahead of you. Things like tree branches, people, vehicles, or even traffic posts are all things to watch for. That way, you can prepare to slow down or maneuver your vehicle so that you don’t need to do it quickly.
Corners are going to be tricky. To turn around a corner, you need to go through it from the widest line possible. The trailer you are towing will cut through this corner if you don’t. In other words, drive over the centre line on the road and then make the turn as late as possible.
Try not to do overtaking. However, if you must do it, give yourself enough time and space to safely move. Overtaking is a lot slower when you are towing a trailer, so keep that in mind.
If yiu are driving up any hills or steep inclined roads, just be patient and try to relax. When you are moving down a declined road or hill, you don’t need to ride the brakes. Just use the engine braking system of your vehicle and its gears to slowly make it down the road.
If your boat or caravan is loaded up properly then you can avoid any swaying issues with your trailer. This means having an even distribution of weight and having the heaviest gear on the axles. You should also utilize the power of the weight-distribution hitch and correctly set the pressure in your tyres.
There could be some swaying from your trailer if there are high winds or if a big vehicle passes by it quickly. You just need to learn to change your driving style during these situations.
When a big truck or vehicle is about to pass you, slightly step off the gas pedal and move as far away from the vehicle as you can. There will still be some wind force blasting against your vehicle, but it won’t be as bad this way. If you are driving in a windy area, just drive slowly and take caution.
Whenever your trailer sways, lightly take your foot off the gas pedal to slow down. Do not brake to slow down. Use the electric brake override feature, following by a slight acceleration to align your vehicle again.
When you finally get to your destination, reverse your load into the proper position. Apply the handbrake prior to doing anything else.