If you will be hitting the road with a trailer behind your rig this summer, make sure that you are keeping things safe, especially if you don't frequently tow a trailer with your vehicle.
Practice Before Hitting the Road
If you don't have a lot of experience towing a trailer behind your vehicle, get in some practice before your trip. Find a large parking lot near your home and take the vehicle and trailer to the parking lot to practice. Practice how to switch lanes, make turns, and back up with your trailer. Work to get a feel for the size of your trailer before you get on unfamiliar roads with lots of traffic.
Check the Attachment Before Leaving
Before you get on the road, you need to check the attachments. Start by making sure that the trailer is properly attached to the hitch of your vehicle. Then, make sure that the license plate on the trailer is firmly attached and visible; sometimes the license plate is not put on the best position on the trailer, so move it if necessary to make sure that it is visible.
Next, make sure that the lights are set up properly. You'll need someone to help you with this. You need someone to press on the brakes and use the left and right turn signal while someone else watches the lights on the trailer to make sure that they respond properly. Never get on the road with lights that don't work; this isn't safe for you or for the other drivers on the road.
Give Yourself Extra Space to Stop
When driving with a trailer, you need to give yourself extra space to stop, which means giving yourself more space between vehicles as you drive. You never know when you are going to need to stop, so be sure to increase your follow distance. Ideally, you want to maintain double the follow distance that you normally would. It will take more time for that extra weight to come to a stop. Try to gradually stop as often as possible, and avoid situations where you need to slam on your brakes.
Make Your Turns Wider
In order to avoid running into curbs and other vehicles located on the passenger side of your vehicle when you make a right hand turn, and on the driver side of your vehicle when you make a left hand turn, you are going to need to make wide turns. You are going to need more clearance in order to make a turn without running into something. When in doubt, give yourself more space.
Avoid Reverse as Much as Possible
Reversing with a trailer is tricky. Try to avoid situations where you have to reverse as much as possible. It takes a lot of skill to effectively back up with a trailer, so try to set yourself up for situations, such as when you get gas, where you can pull through instead of having to back up.
If you need to pull a trailer this summer, get as much practice as you can before you get on the road. When you are on the road, give yourself extra space to stop, make your turns wide, and avoid having to reverse as much as possible.
For more information, reach out to companies like Maggio Truck Center.Share
7 August 2018
The first time I had to have a vehicle towed, I was confused by why they asked me if the car was two or four-wheel drive. When the tow truck driver showed up, I asked him. He explained the difference in how the two types of vehicles were towed, then started telling me about some of the general best practices for safe towing. That's when I started to research the fundamentals and the tips for successful towing. I built this blog as an opportunity to chronicle everything that I learned, hoping that it will help others understand what type of tow truck they'll need for their vehicle.