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Preparation and Driving Tips for Safe Trailer Towing

Towing a trailer with your vehicle requires you to be extra vigilant on the road to reach your intended destination safely. As a driver of the vehicle, it is your responsibility to select the proper towing vehicle and trailer for the load, hitch the trailer correctly, and properly load and secure the cargo. Towing comes with some risks, but careful preparation can minimize those risks and make the driving experience much less stressful.

Here's a brief guide covering what you need to know before you tow. 

Preparation

  • Pack your trailer properly 

Stay within the trailer’s maximum load capacity. Always put the heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top. Make sure not to put heavy items toward the rear of the trailer. If not evenly loaded, your trailer will lean on one side.

  • Check trailer's lights 

Ensure that your trailer’s lights are working in sync with those of your tow vehicle. You can take the help of a friend to confirm that the brake lights, running lights, turn signals, and hazards are all in sync and working in proper condition.

  • Check those trailer tires

First, find out the load range of tires on your trailer. Load range tells you about the load capacity of the trailer tire. The tire's load range is rated with a single letter, such as B, C, D, etc. A tire with a higher load range means that it can carry heavier loads. 

  • Match the hitch ball to the trailer

Hitching a trailer requires that you have a secure connection. This means you should select the right trailer hitch ball mount for your towing setup. It is important to match and secure the ball hitch to the hitch receiver to prevent swaying of the vehicle during your traveling. 

  • Use wheel chocks

As you unhook the trailer from the tow vehicle, place wheel chocks (wedge-shaped blocks) in front of the trailer’s tires to prevent unintentional moving, like rolling or overturning, during loading and unloading. Unintentional movement on a busy road can cause a scary and dangerous situation. 

Driving tips

  • Use towing mirrors

Before you hit the road, pay attention to the length, width, and height of what you’re towing. Visibility plays a crucial role in performing basic maneuvers like making turns, changing lanes, and backing up the towed vehicle. If the load you are hauling is wider than your vehicle, consider using towing mirrors, which either replace or attach to a vehicle's existing side-view mirrors. However, for some maneuvers, you might want to take the help of an assistant to guide you.

  • Accelerating and speeding

Towing a load means your vehicle is handling a greater momentum (mass in motion) and inertia than normal. That means it will require more energy to start or stop a vehicle. It becomes crucial when you have to need to pass another vehicle and merge onto a highway. Before passing a vehicle, you should signal much earlier than you normally would. Avoid driving too quickly down roads where there are a lot of bumps. Also, avoid speeding up downhill since your vehicle will be difficult to control at the bottom of the hill.

  • Turning

Make wider turns at corners and curves; otherwise, you may hit curbs, signs, or other items adjacent to the road. Also, take sharper turns in a gradual manner.

  • Braking

Given the added mass, take plenty of space when slowing or stopping. If possible, use a trailer's brake system in conjunction with your own vehicle's brakes to prevent wear and tear for your vehicle.

About Silver Moon Trailers

No matter your need, Silver Moon Trailers should be your one-stop destination for all your trailer requirements. We have trailers for all kinds of businesses, budgets, and cargo. And if you don’t find a trailer that meets your demands, we can construct a custom trailer to match your specifications. 

You can call us at 870.330.9133 or email us at silvermoontrailers@gmail.com to know more.