Did you know that there is, in fact, a wrong way to tow a trailer? Incorrect latching, too-heavy or unevenly distributed loads can result in inefficient hauling or accidents.
Here are a few strategies and tips on towing your trailer.
Hitch it right. The gross trailer weight (GTW) and maximum tongue weight are not equal. Your hitch class needs to correspond with the appropriate weights to ensure a proper and safe hitch. Don’t forget that this can include your load weight too!
Generally speaking, the bigger the hitch ball, the greater the capacity. This is not always the case and you should refer to the manual before purchase, but it is something to keep in mind.
Chains are a helpful, last resort precaution. Though hopefully they won’t be needed, crossed chains under the tongue should keep your trailer from swinging off drastically in the event of a hitch failure.
If your trailer is swaying when you drive, make sure you keep that your tongue weight is optimized and that your load is balanced. It doesn’t hurt to check your tires as well; a low or flat tire can cause uneven wear and driving capabilities.
Just like everything else in life, there are proper and improper ways to use utility trailers. To maximize its longevity and your safety, here are a few things to remember when you’re loading it up.
DO load it heavier up front unless the manual specifies otherwise. The common “ideal” ratio is 60% in the front and 40% in the back.
DO make sure your load is properly secured! This is not an area to skimp on when purchasing tie-downs.
DO load the heavy items first. By securing these well in place, you’re less likely to find your smaller items (which should also be secured) sliding.
What’s the first thing you do when loading your trailer?
We love utility trailers. They’re practical, versatile, and… well, useful! You may have come across this article by accident, or received it because you’re a part of our mailing list (if you aren’t, it’s easy to join). Either way you clicked it because you’re interested in knowing just why we keep raving about them.
Moving. Dining room table? No problem. Sofa? No problem. Kitchen set complete with mega-sized, double-door refrigerator and oven? Yes, even that. Forget trying to squeeze your stuff into the bed of a pickup truck; a utility trailer will make the move a million times easier.
Equipment and vehicles. Maybe you run a small business that requires transportation of things like lawn mowers or multi-terrain vehicles. Or maybe you enjoy taking your dirt bikes and four-wheelers out for a spin every weekend. Utility trailers make transporting these across long or short distances simple.
Building supplies. Hauling wood, paint, ladders, cinder blocks, and more is a breeze in utility trailer. You just load, secure, and haul.
Considering buying a utility trailer? Check back next week to read our checklist guide for deciding what kind you want and need.
Utility trailers are incredibly useful and pleasantly low maintenance in comparison to some of their more specialized counterparts. Whether you’re planning on hauling frequently or only once and a while, or carrying multiple items of various shapes and sizes or just some simple equipment, knowing these three things can help you make the right purchase.
1. Licensing and insurance. If you’re paying your hard-earned cash for a solid piece of equipment, you’ll want to be sure that you include licensing (and insurance if you plan on paying for a separate plan) in your budgeting and/or timeline. This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, but you should do some research or ask about it at your local DMV.
2. Size and load. Consider what you will be hauling. There are a lot of different models with many different specifications, and so keeping your goals in mind will help narrow down the search and leave you happy with the end product. Many general purpose users like open trailers, and err on the smaller side so that it isn’t too difficult to park and tow (think 5’x10’ or 6’x12’).
3. Trailer hitch. You need to make sure that your hitch has the right capacity. You also don’t want it riding too high or too low, which can result in an imbalance and could possibly cause an accident. Keep the road and yourself safe by making sure it’s properly installed and locked before using.
Are you looking for a utility trailer? Let us know what you’ll use it for!