Getting bogged in the sand dunes

Three Preparation Tips for Towing a Trailer

by Andrea Muñoz

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 trailers.