Towing a trailer can be hazardous to your health –If you don’t know what you are doing. In 2014, according to the Department of Transportation, over 68 thousand American motorists were involved in towing-related accidents. For many of those involved in this statistic, proper safety practices and loading techniques are probably not used. So you can avoid any issues when towing, let’s look at some of the basics.
The first step before towing anything is to make sure that both your vehicle and trailer are properly load-rated. The load rating refers to the carrying capacity of the hitch and tow vehicle. The essential components are the hitch on the trailer and the receiver on the tow vehicle. It is advised that the minimum hitch/receiver rating be a Class III (6000 lbs tow weight) regardless what you are towing. If you towing heavier loads it is advised that you talk to an automotive professional, perhaps at your local dealership, to get the best advice about equipment.
After you have decided on what level of hitch and receiver you need, you can look into the type of trailer you need. As you probably know, there is a trailer built for every need that you can imagine. It is suggested that you talk to someone well versed in this sort of thing for advice also. You can find this at any trailer sales outlet or rental company.
If you are towing anything large, you will likely deal with swaying at some point – particularly if it is windy. This can quickly lead to an accident. If it occurs to you, the best corrective action is to gently back off the gas and allow the vehicle slow down. The swaying will quickly dampen and eventually stop. Note: You can minimize the risk of swaying by making sure that the load on the trailer is properly centered over the axles and centered.
As with most tasks, preparation before you hit the road is the key to safe and successful trailering and the best way to avoid becoming one of the 68,000 plus motorists involved in trailering accidents each year. Good Luck!