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Three Preparation Tips for Towing a Trailer

Posted by on 9-09-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Preparation Tips for Towing a Trailer

Trailers are valuable instruments for hauling heavy and bulky loads for personal and commercial purposes. Generally, it is advisable to engage a professional transporter to move the carriage over long distances. However, if you have a truck with towing capabilities, you can handle this task with basic guidance. Here are some simple tips to help you prepare your trailer for towing so that you will arrive at your destination without a hitch. Know the Total Weight Capacity The car or truck that you are planning to use has a predetermined tow rating outlined in the owner’s manual. This is an important figure to evaluate, but it is often an oversimplification of the towing capacity figures. In simple terms, the maximum tow capacity of the vehicle provided by the manufacturer is only practical in circumstances where the truck weight is minimal. The most critical weight capacity rating to consider is the gross combined mass. This will take into account the cumulative weight of the entire setup, including the number of occupants, the vehicle weight and any cargo. Do not exceed the total rating, because this can compromise your safety by exerting too much pressure on the vehicle. Hitch the Trailer Properly You will need a hitch ball to support the weight of the trailer and connect the two structures properly. Choose a ball which matches the exact size of the connection socket in the trailer. You should note that even a minute discrepancy might allow the trailer to disengage when you are on the road. Typically, there is a latch included in the trailer towing setup, so ensure that this engages smoothly. You should use the provided pin or lock to secure the bond. In addition, it is advisable to reinforce the security of your hitch before getting on the road. Purchase some high-quality safety chains to install around the hitching area. They will secure the bond between the trailer and the vehicle, ensuring that any detrimental looseness is eliminated. Choose Good Brakes If you are hauling loads with considerable weight, it is crucial to ensure that your trailer is fitted with electronic brakes. This allows you to control the speed and stop the trailer more efficiently using a controller in the vehicle. Modern trucks have built-in trailer brake controllers. If you have an older model, ensure that you have high-quality controllers that are proportional to your current braking system. Cheaper timer-based alternatives can be tricky to manipulate. Consult a towing service for assistance when hauling large...

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3 Things You Should Know about Having Multiple Roadside Service Policies

Posted by on 9-09-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Know about Having Multiple Roadside Service Policies

When you purchase car insurance, supplemental drivers insurance, and even cellular phone service you will likely notice the option to get roadside assistance. This assistance varies from policy to policy, but the basic premise is the same: By purchasing this assistance package, bundle, or option, you will be able to call a number and receive assistance for car issues you may be having. There is a misconception that multiple policies give you better coverage and offer you more options. Before you buy into these misconceptions, consider the following things you should know about having multiple roadside assistance policies. Stacking Policies You may have heard of a phrase called stacking policies. This phrase refers to using your multiple policies to give you greatly reduced or free roadside services. For example, you may have one policy that states you can have a free amount of gas if you run out. Another policy may offer the same service. In most cases, you will not be able to use both policies to obtain more gas for your vehicle. This is due to the fact that most roadside assistance plans carry a stipulation that says your assistance packages may not be used concurrently with other discounts, coupons, or services. Duplicate Services Many roadside assistance packages actually offer the same services. For example, you will probably get services like flat tire changes or towing up to a certain amount of mileage. For this reason, having multiple policies really doesn’t offer you a great benefit. Before you sign on for multiple policies with your cellular phone company or your car insurance, consider what each is offering along with any additional services one of the assistance options may have. If there is no difference or additional benefit, stick with the one that offers the best options for your needs at the lowest cost. Hidden Fees Make sure when you are purchasing your roadside assistance packages that you check for hidden fees. Most people who have multiple roadside assistance options usually do so based on a free addition to an existing program they have. For example, your cellular phone service may offer free roadside assistance if you are on contract and not a prepaid option. If you opt into this free option, make sure you aren’t actually paying a hidden fee that could be avoided by simply sticking to one policy and denying the free option. Hidden fees generally relate to services like towing that exceeds the mileage limit or exceeding the number of roadside assistance calls you can have in a given time frame. These are just three things to consider when you have multiple roadside assistance policies. The key factor is to try and reduce your policies to one main policy that does everything you need it to with the lowest rate...

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Have Your Car Towed If You Notice Any of These Problems

Posted by on 9-09-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have Your Car Towed If You Notice Any of These Problems

Some mechanical problems with your car are not so serious that you can’t get your car to a nearby repair shop, but all too often, car owners overlook serious mechanical issues and drive their car when they shouldn’t. There are some problems with a car that make it dangerous and unsafe to drive even a short distance, and doing so can put you at risk and also cause more damage to your car overall. Before you decide to drive your car when you know it needs repairs, note the following. 1. Obvious overheating Never ignore the dashboard warning light or any other signs that your car is overheating, and don’t drive it even a short distance when it does. Heat in the engine cause extreme wear and tear and overheating is often the result of excess friction between parts.  This problem can be because a part has broken or because your car is leaking oil or another fluid, but no matter the cause, you don’t want to drive your car. Your engine could actually seize up if it gets too warm, and driving your car when it’s overheating means causing more damage to its parts. Have your car towed if you notice the warning light, smoke coming from under the hood, or can smell signs of heat from the engine. 2. Skidding when braking If you slam on the brakes and your car slides on wet or slick pavement, that is to be expected. However, if the pavement is dry and your car slides when braking, this can be an overly worn tire, brake pads that are slipping, loss of brake fluid, or a number of other problems. No matter the cause, this can be very dangerous and typically will only get worse. Don’t risk driving your car even a short distance when the brakes are acting up in any way, but call a towing service instead. 3. Obvious clunking noises If your car clunks with every bump in the road, this can be a broken shock. Driving this way can cause damage to the axle or suspension. A clunking sound at any other time can be a broken part; this can be broken lug nuts on a tire or even ball bearings. Driving with this type of damage to the car can make it worse, and if it’s broken lug nuts, a tire could actually come off. Note the location of the noise and then have your car towed to a shop for...

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When to Call a Towing Service Rather Than Drive Your Car

Posted by on 8-08-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When to Call a Towing Service Rather Than Drive Your Car

Thinking that your car is safe to drive simply because it can be turned on and put into gear is a mistake, if you’re having certain mechanical issues with the car. In some cases you may put your own safety at risk when on the road, and in other cases, you may be risking more serious damage to your car by driving it. Note a few times when you want to call a towing service to get your car to a repair shop rather than drive it. 1. When the gearshift is very sticky The gearshift of your car may be sticky for a number of reasons, but trying to force it into gear or out of park is probably only going to make matters worse. In some cases the chain under the shifter may be breaking down or seizing up, and trying to force the stick into gear can cause the chain to break. Your car may also be very low on transmission fluid, and if it were to leak out while you were on the road, your car may not hold the gear and slip into neutral. No matter the cause, don’t try to force the gearshift but instead, have your car towed to a nearby shop. 2. When the shocks are obviously broken You know your car’s shocks are broken when your car slams down with every slight bump and dip in the road. Shocks are large springs that allow your car’s axles to bounce slightly, and these shocks absorb the impact of those bumps and help to keep your car cushioned. Driving your car with broken shocks can mean damage to a number of parts that may make contact with the road. Without that cushioning provided by the shocks, you might also actually break an axle if you were to hit a very steep bump and your car slammed onto the pavement. 3. When a tire is flat A tow truck can actually change your flat tire and put on the spare tire, but if you don’t have a spare, it’s best to avoid driving your car. A flat tire can be dangerous, for the same reasons that broken shocks are dangerous. The air in tires cushions your car against bumps and getting slammed onto the pavement. A flat tire is also very difficult for the brakes to grip, and your car might instead skid rather than stop when you hit the brakes. For your own safety, have your car towed if it has a...

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Lockdown: Choosing The Right Towing Lock For Your Trailer Or Caravan

Posted by on 8-08-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Lockdown: Choosing The Right Towing Lock For Your Trailer Or Caravan

It’s fair to say that security is one of the primary concerns of anybody who owns a trailer or caravan – thieves are always becoming more inventive and efficient when it comes to stealing them, sometimes in broad daylight and right out of their owner’s driveway. Fortunately, there are a dizzying array of towing hitch locks available on the market to thwart trailer thieves (not to mention lower your trailer insurance premiums), but not every towing lock is suitable for every trailer, or every budget. Below are some of the most common types of hitch locks, along with their strengths and weaknesses: Swivel lock pins These simple devices take the place of the standard pin and clip that are fitted as standard to almost every hitch receiver, and provide much more security. These small metal cylinders are inserted in the hole in a hitch receiver where the pin and clip would normally rest, and are secured in place with a sturdy padlock. Because of their simplicity and small size, swivel lock pins are very cheap, and can be found for as little as a few dollars. They are also very easy to fit, and can potentially be supplemented with other locking devices, although this will depend on your hitch configuration. However, they only provide very basic security – they are only as secure as the padlock fitted to them, which can usually be taken off fairly quickly with an angle grinder or pair of bolt cutters. While they are suitable for securing your trailer or caravan temporarily while travelling, more robust measures should be taken while at home. Dog bone locks Essentially an extension of the swivel lock concept, these larger, heavier locks are more robust, due to the bone-like shape that prevents easy access to the lock, and gives this kind of lock its name. Most dog bone locks come with an integrated locking system rather than an external padlock, for added security. Many dog bone locks also come with metal box enclosures, which fit around the entirety of the hitch and make it much harder to reach the lock. These locks are much more secure than simple swivel locks, and are not considerably more expensive for low end models. That said, it’s worth spending a little extra of a top-of-the-line device, preferably of galvanised steel or titanium construction. Dog bone locks represent the minimum level of security suitable for trailers that are left alone for long periods, but if you supplement them with wheel clamps and other devices you can be reasonably assured of your trailer’s security. Coupler locks Coupler locks are some of the most common towing locks, due in no small part to their excellent security. These U-shaped locks slot over the entire hitching arrangement of your trailer or caravan, and are enclosed in a robust, lockable casing. A well-fitted coupler lock can withstand a great deal of punishment. These devices often come with security balls, which fit into the cup of the trailer’s hitch where the tow ball would normally be placed, to provide even more protection. Coupler locks are generally more expensive than other options, but are generally considered well worth the extra expense. The biggest advantage of coupler locks is that they can remain fitted to your trailer even when it is...

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