Hauling a trailer can be difficult and even pose a number of different hazards if the driver is unsure or unsafe in their approach. Whether driving a trailer is something you’ll do frequently or it’s a one-off, it’s important to ensure you’re completely prepared. Safety on the road with your trailer is vital in order to protect yourself, other drivers and the trailer itself.
Before driving trailers, consider these crucial tips.
Know the Weight
Whether you’ve recently bought a new trailer or you’re hiring or borrowing it, your first job is to properly identify how much weight the trailer can hold so you can be sure you’ve chosen the right trailer for the job. Trailers come in all different sizes and weight capabilities, but just as important as how much weight the trailer can hold is how much weight your vehicle can haul. If you’re unsure, you can speak to a professional. Regular sized cars can often haul smaller trailers, while SUVs and larger trucks are able to handle larger ones.
Understand the Size
Different sized trailers can cause different kinds of driving difficulties. Larger trailers are going to be a lot harder to haul on the road, so it’s important to consider whether you can handle it yourself or instead seek help from a professional. Smaller trailers are a lot simpler to haul and can usually be towed by drivers with limited experience if they take the right safety measures.
Before hauling any trailers on the road, it’s extremely important to ensure the trailer is properly and securely attached to your vehicle to avoid the danger of your trailer detaching while you’re on the road. Take time to check all of the safety chains, lights and the license plate, as these steps can help protect both you and surrounding drivers. It also means you’ll avoid ruining your trailer and needing to replace it, which can be quite costly.
Be Careful on the Road
When hauling trailers, drivers need to drive more carefully than they typically would in their everyday vehicles. Trailers require you to take wider turns and drive below the speed limit in order to avoid crashes and other issues. Wider turns are necessary to avoid hitting curbs, bumping other cars, running off the road or flipping your trailer. When driving with trailers, you should always keep a greater distance between you and the car in front of you. The added weight of trailers can make it more difficult to slow down or stop, especially suddenly.
Carry Out Pre-Safety Checks and Practice
To be extra safe, you should check that both the vehicle and trailer are in optimal condition for driving. Speak to a professional if you‘re unsure about driving a trailer, as there may be alternative options available. You should also allow yourself time to practice hauling trailers, as this will be the best way to build up your skills and help you feel more confident while you’re out on the road.