Trailer Towing Tips

Most people do not tow trailers every day. In fact, the average person might have to tow a few times per year at most. This is usually a trailer that is not owned by the person too. They might rent it from a commercial service station or borrow it from a family member or friend. This might seem like a simple thing to do, but there are so many factors which need to be considered first. Otherwise, it can be quite time consuming and may be worth contacting a towing company in Perth.

The Purpose

Trailers are not all the same. They serve various purposes and perform various tasks. It is better to get a trailer from a rental organization because they will be able to recommend the best one for you. If you just borrow a trailer from a friend, it may not be designed to do what you want it to do.

It is not good when loads extend beyond the edges of the trailer. Each state has their own legal regulations concerning the width, height and weight limits for drivers without a permit and other local road rule restrictions.

If you are struggling to figure out how big a trailer you should get, it is better to overestimate than underestimate. When you fill trailers with garden debris and furniture, they may swell up a lot after you load them. For this reason, you should find a trailer which comes with cages on the sides. This will make loading much easier. When you travel at higher speeds, you won’t likely lose any of the items either. Weather protection will even be provided too.

Prior to trailer hitching, make sure you know what the load capacity limit is. Also, what is the legal weight limit that your vehicle can tow? When carting a car or other big things, there must be operational brakes on the trailer. Make sure the trailer is long enough to hold the vehicle completely. You don’t want the vehicle extending beyond the edge of the trailer’s back.

Your load weight must be judged properly. If you cart the wrong weight, there will be big problems. For instance, the tire and springs of a trailer have a weight loading limit. If you pack sand into a box trailer, you will go over the weight limit. Plus, your tow vehicle’s transmission and brakes will be overstressed. Don’t expect there to be a separate braking system with any small trailers that you use. You can always use the delivery service of the garden center if need be.

Inspecting the Trailer

In Australia, all towed trailers need to be registered with the state when towing them on public roads. If you get caught with an unregistered trailer, you will be the one who must pay the fine. You may even have to pay the personal injury cost which would normally get paid from the third-party liability coverage that comes with the registration. Each state may have different laws and regulations than the other in regards to licensing so check with the relevant state authority. It is always worth remembering to drive to the limits of your vehicle and the road otherwise you could be stopped and fined.

Car insurance plans with adequate comprehensive coverage will pay for any damage that the trailer causes to other people’s properties or vehicles. You might want to check with your car insurance provider just to make sure.

Always check the trailer and vehicle you will be using to tow thoroughly before making the journey. Check the tow-bar, ball, tow-hitch, and safety chains of your vehicle. You’ll want them all to be secured and in good condition. There should be no damage, cracked wells, or major rust issues anywhere.

When you attach the coupling of the trailer to the tow-ball, it should feel snug and secure. If it jumps off, there is a problem. If you have screw fittings with it, you can tighten the coupling with them. A “D” shackle is used to connect the safety chain to the tow-bar bracket. Secure the shackle and make sure it is rated for handling the trailer load just in case it is unhitched.

The tyres on both the trailer and towing vehicle need to be legal. A spare wheel should come with the trailer also. Check to make sure it has one along with a jack for lifting the trailer. It is unlikely you will be able to use a car jack for this.

The trailer should have a cable supplied which attaches lights to your car. If the cable doesn’t fit your car’s plug, then an adaptor will be needed. Commercial hire workers will likely have one available. Either that or you can purchase one in any reputable auto parts & accessories store.

Get another person to turn on the towing vehicle’s brakes, indicators, and lights. See if those lights illuminate on the trailer. If you have a large trailer, then the law may require you to have clearance lights on it. They get fitted either on the trailer body’s sides or on the mudguards’ top area. When they headlights turn on, they should turn on as well.

Before leaving, ensure the tail-gate can lock and open without any problems. There are various ways to secure the gate. Slides and bolts are the most commonly used for this purpose. If these parts are old, penetrate them with oil to get them lubricated and moving again.

Loading ramps should be included with car trailers. The ramps can lock on to the trailer securely and easily. When the vehicle weight is put on them, they will not slide around or flick upward.

If this is your first time at car trailer loading, you might decide it would be better to get in contact with a Perth tow truck company and have the car transported with confidence and risk-free. There is a certain skill involved which is needed. Otherwise, you could risk damaging the trailer and/or your car.


The Right Weight

If you find a vehicle that appears massive and huge, don’t automatically assume it has a high towing capacity. Sometimes the smaller vehicles may actually have a better towing capacity than the bigger ones. Check the vehicle’s placard and handbook to find its maximum load towing weight, whether it is an unbraked trailer or braked trailer.

There are some exotic and high-performance vehicle manufacturers that concern themselves too much with shock loadings and whether they’ll be transmitted to drivetrains that are delicate. For this reason, they may suggest not to tow at all, in these cases contact a towing specialist.

It takes time and experience to balance the weight load and get the most stability that you can from your trailer. As a rule of thumb, if the trailer and towing vehicle are fairly leveled with the hauled load, then everything is good. It would be bad if the trailer causes droopiness on the tow car’s backside because it will mess up your steering ability and weaken the performance of your brakes.

Don’t put a heavy load near the back of the trailer. A front-engine car that is being moved must be loaded properly, where the engine is in the middle of the tow car’s rear and the trailer axles’ line.


Driving on the Road

When you drive a car that is towing a trailer, it will act differently on the road. Pay attention to the steering wheel and the messages it is sending you.

It is important to consider your following distance more carefully. Even if a trailer has its own brakes, the towing vehicle will endure the load. This will cause the nose to be pushed lower, which will destabilize the rear end and cause the stopping distances to increase in length. You don’t want to be in a position where you must slam on the brakes because it will create a jack-knife effect. This is where the trailer collides with the side of your vehicle.

It can be difficult to tow loads when there is bad weather outside, such as; rain, wind, or debris in the road. You can get through this by driving 20% under the posted speed limit.

Big oncoming vehicles can cause a “wash,” which is bad for trailers that are tall and light. Ask experienced tow operators on how to avoid the “whip” in this situation. One strategy may work in one circumstance by not in other circumstances.

If your vehicle is carrying extra weight, its response to certain driving conditions will not be the same. Some examples of this include when you’re driving down hills or up hills. If you need to climb a hill, stay as far left as possible. If you need to overtake a slower vehicle, keep a greater distance than usual. When you need to come down, change to a gear for climbing up a hill with a trailer. This goes for automatic vehicles too. Make sure you do this before getting to the top of the incline because the decline will follow. Otherwise, this may cause your brakes excessive stress.


Going in Reverse

Trailer reversing is no easy task. Sometimes you may reverse it exactly where you want it to go while other times, it will take you more than a few minutes to reverse it properly.

The way to reverse a trailer is not that difficult to understand. For example, if you want your trailer to move right, then you need to reverse left with the tow car. And if you want to reverse left with the trailer, then you reverse right with the tow car.

When it comes to steering most trailers, especially smaller ones, it does not cause them to respond much. Instead, they will just snap sideways instantly. If there is a confined area that you are reversing into, this might inflict damage onto other objects and vehicles nearby, go slow and keep an eye on where your trailer is going.

When you have restricted rear vision while reversing caravans and big trailers, it is better to have a person positioned outside who can watch the trailer’s rear and tell you when to stop. This is how you can avoid a collision.

If your trailer will be reversed regularly, locate an area that is more open. Take some cardboard boxes or cartons and construct a garage with them. Now practice your reversing skills into these smaller areas. If you can perfect this skill, try challenging yourself more by reversing in a 90° angle into the space.