Trailer Safety

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 in Tech Tips

Safety Facts and Suggestions for TrailerĀ Loads or Towing

1. Make sure you always have an emergency road side kit, extra light bulbs, and fuses. Also, always have a working jack.

2. Always follow recommended inflation pressures. A good rule of thumb for safe tire tread is a minimum of Ā¼ inch depth. Inspect tires for signs of dry rot. A tire with dry rot is not dependable. Remember to have a spare tire that is well maintained.

3. Every towed vehicle must be coupled to the towing vehicle by means of a safety chain, cable, or equivalent device in addition to the regular drawbar, tongue or other connection.

4. If your vehicle is an actual tow truck. A load should be coupled to the tow truck by means of at least two (2) safety chains in addition to the primary restraining system.

5. Any vehicle transported on a slide back carrier or conventional trailer must be secured by at least four (4) tie down chains, straps, or an equivalent device, independent of the winch or loading cable.

6. Check the coupler for fatigue, damage, cracks or missing parts before towing. Test the lock mechanism for complete and correct latching so the trailer will not come unhooked. Be sure that the hitch ball size matches the coupler size for the trailer and check that the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the hitch ball exceeds the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the trailer.
7. Check your lug nuts frequently. During the first 200 miles of towing your new trailer, check them every 50 miles. After the first 200 miles, check them before every trip. Proper torque for tightening lug nuts is between 90 and 120 foot pounds.