National Trailer Safety Week runs June 5-11 this year. Trailer safety is important for all motorists – commercial or personal. If you’re moving and hauling a trailer behind your car, camping and pulling a trailer, or you’re sharing the road with large trailer trucks, they’re all around us all the time. These safety tips will help keep you safe on the road.
Vehicle and Trailer Combo
Know the tow rating of the vehicle you’re driving. The manufacturer provides this information in the owner’s manual. Ensure that the vehicle is rated to pull the trailer you plan to use. The loaded trailer weight should never exceed the towing weight for which your vehicle is rated.
Hitching Your Trailer
Use the correct hitch ball size to accommodate your trailer. Ensure that, once attached, the latch on the hitch is closed and pinned so it cannot come off. Check that, when hooking up the safety chains to the vehicle, that the chains are crossed to provide a cradle if the trailer becomes detached.
Driving With a Trailer
Pay attention when making turns! Depending on the size of the trailer, you may have to swing further out to keep the trailer from hitting the curb. Drive at an appropriate speed for the trailer and what you are hauling to prevent any issues. Allow more time for braking when driving. Towing a trailer can lengthen the amount of time needed to come to a complete stop.
Loading/Unloading Equipment onto the Trailer
Use a ramp to load or unload when using a trailer to haul wheeled or tracked equipment. Ensure that all equipment is tied down appropriately so it will not come loose during transport. Ensure there is proper weight distribution when loading your trailer. Avoid using the trailer in ways it was not intended to be used.
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