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Towing safely and legally

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The Trailer must be matched to the Towing Vehicle

It is crucial for you that the car that will choose to pull your trailer is suitable for the task.

Verify that the engine has enough power to pull the trailer and load.
Verify that the brakes are effective enough to stop your vehicle and trailer securely.
Verify that the Trailer’s Gross Weight is not greater than the capacity of the vehicle towing it.

The loading of a trailer to a vehicle will undoubtedly affect the way it drives on the performance of the vehicle. Beginning, especially in a hill, may be difficult as well as stopping takes longer distances, and cornering and negotiating sharp bends needs more attention. Take all of these factors into consideration carefully before deciding to load (and transporting) the vehicle.

Weight Distribution

There should be no load projections that extend beyond the trailer which could pose the risk of injury to other road users.

When possible, loads must be evenly distributed throughout the trailer, and placed in a manner to keep the load’s nose weight within the guidelines.

Follow the manufacturer’s advice or the weight limit for the nose for your car. Check out “Attaching the Trailer”.

If loads that are uneven must be carried, be sure that each wheel/axle is not loaded to the max.

It could be necessary to lower the total load in order in order to accomplish this.

Important: When towing, you must always consider the effects that will have on the vehicle’s handling, braking, and general stability when towing an unsupported trailer behind a vehicle.

A risky loss of stability if loads get moving around. Risk of the load breaking off of the truck.
Loads are able to shoot forward once the equipment brakes. This can be particularly problematic when the load is made of planks, bars etc., which are laid out across the front and back.
There is a serious risk of lighter items being tipped out of a trailer through the slipstream. All objects should be secured.

Visit this website when shopping for a trailer towing jaw.

The practice of loading must be able to take into consideration:

Restrictions that are secure
The recommended weight for the nose.
Weight Distribution

Livestock Trailers and Horseboxes

If horses have to be pulled, they tend to place the bulk the weight of them on their back legs. Due to this, horseboxes typically have two axles that are set behind the center.

(There are strict guidelines regarding the transport of animals, the condition of partitions, floors, Tethering points, etc.)
Checking the Trailer Prior to Every Journey

The operator of the trailer and/or the owner of the towing vehicle in the event that they are different, is responsible for the responsibility of ensuring the safety running of the towing vehicle. It must carry out the following tests:

In the event that the vehicle is loaded is the load distributed correctly i.e. Not too much or much weight on the nose?
Does the load fit in the trailer’s payload that is official? – i.e. not overloaded.
Is the total weight being towed within towing vehicle manufacturer’s recommended amount of towing (whether braked or not. )?
Is the load properly secured?
Do all lights appear unaffected and functioning properly?
Is the 7 core cable and plug unharmed?
Do you have it the right number plate installed? (both numbers and design)
Is the breakaway cable , or secondary coupling in good condition and properly connected to a suitable location in the bar towing or vehicle?
Are the pressures of the tyres correct and are all tyres free of cut, bulges, and adequate tread (including that spare)?
The tires should have a tread depth of 1.60 millimetres on vehicles trailers, vans and light vehicles at the center three-quarters of the length (1mm for all other vehicles)
Are you sure that the bolts/wheel nuts are set to the proper torque?
If they are required, Are the mudguards in good state and secured?
Is the trailer properly connected to the pin or towball?
Is the coupling’s height correct? I.e. not excessively nose down or up.

Be sure to follow the golden rules of towing

Check that the trailer’s level before it is connected to the vehicle towing it.
Check that the nose weight is between 50 to 100kg (unless the trailer is extremely light.)
Check that the pressures on your tyres are correct.
Are the jockey wheel , as well as any corner stabilizers or prop stands securely connected and secured?

NB. Make sure that the correct operation is in place for brakes and damper as quickly as is possible following the beginning of the travel.
Attaching the trailer to the vehicle

Make a habit of hitting and undoing so that you don’t lose any details.

If the mirrors of your towcar don’t provide a clear view of the trailer, you need to install towing mirrors.

Use the handbrake on the trailer take off any towballs as well as electrical socket dust caps as well as security devices, then turn the jockey wheel up to the desired level. Make sure the towball is oiled. (Not oil-lubricated) (If you are not using it with a head stabilizer.)

Find a person to assist you with their hands and show you exactly where you can find the hook (place an object against it if you’re on your own) and slowly reverse to reverse. Your assistant will indicate whether you’re off the line.

Lift the rear of the trailer using an assembly of jockey wheels until the desired height, then roll the it up towards the back of the vehicle towing it.

If the trailer is equipped with tandem axles raise it enough to lift the front wheels off the ground for better maneuverability.

Don’t attempt to lift the front end of the trailer. Lower the trailer with the help using the wheel jockey assembly on the wheel of towing on the car.

In the last foot or more, your assistant will need to make use of their hands to demonstrate the exact distance between towball and the head of coupling.

If you are forced to stop a few inches shorter then determine the distance back you’re moving by comparing the front wheels’ movement with something that is on the ground.

The jockey wheel is turned down for the purpose of lowering the coupling head to the towball.
Some coupling heads feature an locking handle that stays up and locks automatically onto the ball. Others need to be held and could be equipped with an indicator to indicate that the ball is in position.

When the coupling head seems to be to be locked it, turn the jockey wheel just a few turns and lift the rear of the vehicle to confirm the coupling head is mounted correctly, then raise the wheel, before taking it off and then by locking it securely elevated. Verify that the wheel is in the place you locked isn’t hindering operating the mechanism for coupling overload.

Attach the safety breakaway cable(s) to the rear of the vehicle. The cable will activate the hand brake in case of any reason, the trailer gets detached when towing. (Clip breaksaway cables on the rings that towbars come with or wrap over the bars being sure that it doesn’t get caught on the head of the coupling. Do not wrap it around the neck of the towball, unless you have no alternative.) Make sure that the breakaway and lighting cables are slack enough to allow cornering, but do not be in contact with the ground.

Plug in the light plug, then examine all lighting and indications. The electrical plug is only able to fit only one way and should be aligned with its cut-outs with the lug at the bottom of the socket. There are some cars that have two sockets . You should choose the one that has the black flap on the cover because it is designed intended for additional electrical systems for caravans.

It is your duty as the driver to make sure that all lights are working. Turn on the car’s lighting and examine the trailer’s lights. When the ignition is on, check that the right indicators are functioning the indicators for your car and trailer are in sync. are not in alignment, which is a common issue – and then ask someone else to check whether the brake lights for the trailer are working. (If you’re alone you can use a stick that is short in between the brake pedal and your chair to secure the pedal to stop.)

Adjust both mirrors to the outside to allow a view of the faces of the trailer could be achieved. (If this is not possible, extensions mirrors must be installed).

In loading your trailer,, make sure the weight is distributed in a proper manner. Weight of the nose is an crucial element in making your trailer and your vehicle unusable during towing. A lack of nose weight could cause issues with snaking. A heavy nose can cause additional problems.

Noseweight should not exceed 50kg when the equipment is stationary. Follow the guidelines of your vehicle and trailer manufacturers.

Your responsibility is, as a driver, to make sure that your trailer isn’t overloaded.

If the trailer comes with the eye coupling prior to connecting the trailer, make it sure the locking device on the pin for towing is installed correctly and the clip or safety pin is properly fitted.
(If this isn’t fitted the trailer may become unhitched).

Lift the up and secure the wheel of jockey. (If the lock is not locked then the wheel is likely to be damaged).

Driving With A Trailer

Speed limitations:

Be sure to follow the legal speed limit of the road you’re driving on.

Limits on speed for cars towing caravans and trailers.

30mph speed limit is applicable to all roads that have street lighting, unless signs state that it is not the case.
50mph applies to single carriageways, unless signage indicates otherwise.
60mph is the limit on motorways and dual carriageways.

It is important to remember that you should not drive in the right-hand side of motorways that has three lanes or more when you’re driving a vehicle that is pulling an trailer.

Use your gear to the best of your abilities:

Always keep an speed that is within your limits and adhere to the conditions of the road and weather that prevail at the moment.
If your vehicle begins to turn or swerve slow down the accelerator and slow down gradually.
(This could happen when you drive too fast, or the load in the trailer is incorrectly set up).
Avoid braking abruptly in a bend (this could result in a Jack-knife accident).
Lower speed just before the bend, and use the correct gear for the speed you’re doing.
After that, gently accelerate out of the bend.

Reversing with Trailers:

Before you reverse make sure you get out of the vehicle and ensure that everything is in order towards the rear prior to executing the turn.
Keep an eye out for pedestrians and children. If you are able, find someone to be on the lookout as the maneuver is being made.

Get all the information on: “Step-by-step Reversing”

WARNING!! Do not reverse a trailer without looking on the side due to the massive blind area.
It is best to have someone look you in return, particularly when you are in crowds.

Reversing a trailer is an skill that can be learned with a bit of perseverance anyone who understands the basics. Find a place with plenty of space, and continue to work until you have it perfect. It’s helpful when you have someone that is aware of how to to show you what you’re doing wrong.
Step-by Step Reversing Guide

This illustration demonstrates how reverse the car to the right since that is much easier than reverse on the left.

If you’re not sure what direction your wheels point at any given moment, lean forward and examine them.

A lot of trailers built prior to 1989 have an auxiliary lever that stops the brakes from operating while the reverse.
All trailers with brakes constructed on or after March 31, 1989, are equipped with reverse brakes that can be reversed automatically.

1. ) Start by placing the gear as straight as you can and approximately a trailer’s length from the area into the reverse direction. There should be plenty of space for the towcar to rotate.

2. ) In the event that you are watching the trailer through the driver’s windows Reverse slowly, then start moving the steering wheel towards the left. It’s simpler to increase the steering rather than to correct excessively.

3. ) When the trailer starts turning then you will begin to straighten the trailer but you are still turning. If you are left too long the trailer may ‘jack-knife’. (This means it will be at to an extreme angle with the towcar, that it cannot be reversed. This can cause damage to the rear of towcars that have long overhangs. ).

4. ) Then you’ll start turning the other direction and reversing the steering so that the towcar’s front wheel is brought to the right so that the vehicle “follows” that trailer however, you must be aware of the direction the trailer is heading to determine if it requires a adjustment.

5. ) 5 ) Reverse the vehicle in an even line by using mirrors in the door. Reverse slowly and cautiously. If more of the trailer appears in one mirror towards the mirror that is visible to get the trailer in the opposite direction. This correction is only required for minor shifts in the steering wheel.

6. ) Don’t let your mind locked in reverse! If your trailer is off-line It may be simpler to pull it forward in order to rectify it. If the turns are tight or it does jack-knife, pulling forward is the only option.

The use of stabilizers

Stabilisers are not designed to substitute for proper practice in loading or towing.
They’re valuable, especially when used with horse trailers, caravans and other high-sided trailers.
They won’t, however solve the problems caused due to inadequate loading or poor driving.

The golden guidelines for towing:

Install the trailer in a way it is level when connected with the towing vehicle.

Be sure that the weight of the trailer’s nose is between 50 to 100kg (unless the trailer is extremely light.)

Check that the pressures on your tyres are in the right place.

Remember that you are not allowed to travel in the right-hand lane on motorways with more than three lanes in the event that you are driving a motor vehicle pulling an trailer.

The principal function of a stabilizer is to prevent a trailer or caravan becoming unsteady and ‘”snaking” between sides. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most well-known varieties are the trailing arms leaf spring as well as the head stabilizer for the coupling.

“Snaking” is the term used to describe when the trailer’s axles get out of alignment with towing vehicles.
In this case the caravan or trailer tries to make it back on track and then it gets over the limit.
This triggers the cycle in which the vehicle is “snaking” between sides. If the snaking doesn’t stop in its progress, it will continue to increase and can cause the driver to lose control.

Snaking could be caused by many factors, like:

Uncorrectly correctly placed loads (excessive load to at the rear end of the axle(s)

Very light or even negative nose weight

Side winds (when the size of a commercial or bus is able to overtake it and creates air shake the trailer or caravan, causing wheels out of the proper alignment)

Special purpose trailers are constructed with unbalanced internal fixtures which could not be balanced, leading to instability.

To prevent snaking, here are some simple guidelines:

Make sure the steering of the vehicle is on a straight track

Reduce a gear, then remove both feet from the pedals

If you notice the snaking is occurring while climbing downhill, switch down a gear , then delicately apply the brakes

Do not try to accelerate out – this could INSERT INTO tmp_cms_page (`title`, `page_layout`, `meta_keywords`, `meta_description`,`identifier`,`content_heading`,`content`,`is_active`,`sort_order`) VALUES ( in disaster unless the vehicle is exceptionally powerful.

Don’t brake too hard, this could make the truck be jack knife.

Don’t try to avoid it It is extremely difficult to discern the snaking motion and can cause it to get worse.

Stabiliser Checks:
(Each manufacturer has their own service and checks manual that should be included in the manual or the fitting instructions.)

Stabilisers should be checked at the beginning of every journey

Verify whether the friction is obvious (if it is)

Verify that the stabiliser can be inserted into its place in a proper way