Towing even a small load can be challenging to say the least, that is, if you don’t know what you are doing; thankfully, the secret to success is to simply follow a few basics. Here we will look at some of the most important elements to keep in mind.
Check your specs
Before you do anything else, find out how much your vehicle was designed to tow, which simply requires consulting your Vehicle Owner’s Manual or researching your vehicle online. A lot will depend on your hitch capacity as well, and its rating will usually be stamped directly onto it. Whatever you do, never try and tow more than your vehicle was designed to handle, as not only is it unsafe, but it can result in extensive and expensive damage to whatever it is that you drive.
Pack it right
The way that you pack your vehicle will make a significant difference; after all, the more balanced your load is the easier it will be to handle. For best results, pack 60% of your load towards the front of your trailer and 40% towards the rear, with the heaviest items on the bottom and the lightest on top. Be sure to tie down anything that could potentially come loose as well, as apart from making your load easier to control, this will reduce the chance of your cargo being damaged in transit.
Take it slow
Everything from speeding up and slowing down to changing lanes takes a little longer with a heavy load attached to the back of your vehicle, so allow a little longer for getting where you need to go and take your time. It is also well worth trying to time your trip for when traffic will be lightest so that you don’t feel pressured to go faster than it is safe to do so.
Watch for signs
No matter how far you are going, stop every hour or two during your drive to ensure that all is well with your load and your vehicle. Check that the back of your trailer is still locked, that the chains are still securely attached, and that your indicators are still working properly. Check that your tires are still fully inflated as well, because dealing with a heavy load can cause them to lose pressure faster than normal.
Towing can certainly take some getting used to, so if you are new to towing or just haven’t done so in a while, take some time to practice before embarking on your trip. Simply find a quiet street in your local area (or even an empty parking lot) and spend some time familiarising yourself with that wide and heavy load. Be sure to practice your reverse parking skills as well, because doing so with a trailer attached is an art form in itself.
Need tips and advice for an upcoming towing trip? Or perhaps even a new ride altogether? If so, the team of experts here at Bargain Auto Centre are more than happy to help. Just give us a call, get in touch online, or drop by and see us.