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Matching the Trailer with the Towing Vehicle

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Affixing the Trailer to the Towing Vehicle

It is crucial for you that the car that will choose to haul your trailer is able for the task.

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

The loading of a trailer to a vehicle is bound to affect the way it drives on the performance of the vehicle. The beginning, particularly when on steep hills, is difficult as well as stopping takes longer distances; and negotiating sharp bends needs special care. Take all of these factors into consideration carefully when deciding on and loading (and the towing) the trailer.

Weight Distribution

There shouldn’t be any load projections beyond the trailer which could pose the risk of injury to other road users.

If possible, the loads should be evenly distributed throughout the trailer and placed in a manner to keep the weight of the nose within the limits recommended by the manufacturer.

Follow the manufacturer’s advice or the weight limit for the nose for your car. Also, refer to “Attaching the Trailer”.

If loads that are uneven must be carried, be sure that the wheels or axles aren’t loaded to the max.

It might be necessary to decrease the load overall in order to accomplish this.

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

A risky loss of stability if loads get loose and move. The risk of loads separating of the truck.
The load is pushed forward as the outfit is stopped. This is especially true in the case of planks, bars etc., which are laid out across the front and back.
There is a significant risk of lighter items being tipped out of an enclosed trailer due to the slipstream. All objects should be secured.

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

Restrain yourself
Weights for the recommended nose.
Weight Distribution

Livestock Trailers and Horseboxes

While horses are towed they are likely to put the majority the weight of them on their back legs. This is why the horseboxes are usually fitted with two axles located behind the their centre.

(There are strict guidelines regarding the transport of animals, the conditions of floors, partitions connecting points, etc.)
Trailer Inspections Prior to Each Journey

The operator of the trailer as well as the operator of the towing vehicle in the event that they are different, is responsible for the responsibility for the secure running of the towing vehicle. The driver must carry out the following tests:

When the truck is loaded, is the load evenly distributed i.e. Not too much or small a weight on the nose?
Is the cargo inside the trailer’s maximum payload? – i.e. not overloaded.
Does the weight of the vehicle within the towing vehicle manufacturer’s recommended amount of towing (whether braked or not. )?
Are the loads properly secured?
Do all lights appear unaffected and are they working properly?
Are the 7 core cables and plug intact?
Do you have it the right number plate installed? (both the registration code and design)
Is the breakaway cable , or secondary coupling intact and properly connected to the correct spot in the bar towing or vehicle?
Are the tyre pressures accurate and are all tyres free of cut, bulges, and sufficient tread (including those with spares)?
The tires need to have a constant 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 confident that the bolts/wheel nuts are adjusted to the right 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.

The golden guidelines for towing:

Make sure that the trailer’s level before it is connected to the vehicle towing it.
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 correct.
Are the jockey wheels and any corner steadyes or prop stands properly 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

Get in touch if you need a trailer towing jaw.

Be organized about hitting up and undoing so that you don’t lose everything.

If the mirrors on your towcar aren’t giving a good view of the trailer beyond it, you need to install towing mirrors.

Use the handbrake on the trailer take off any towballs or electrical socket dust cover, and security devices, then turn the jockey wheel up to the appropriate size. Make sure the towball is oiled. (Not coated with grease) (If you are not using it with a head stabilizer.)

Find a person to assist you with their hands and show you which way to go (place an object against it if you’re in a room by yourself) and then reverse it slowly to reverse. Your assistant will indicate that you’re off the the line.

The rear of the trailer using an assembly of jockey wheels up to the height required, then roll the trailer until it is in the rear vehicle towing it.

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

Do not try to lift the front end of the trailer. Lower the trailer using the help by the wheels of jockey to the wheel of towing on the car.

In the last foot or then, the person helping you will make use of their hands to demonstrate the distance between the towball and the coupling head.

If you must stop just a few inches you can determine the distance you’re moving by comparing the front wheels’ movement with something else on the ground.

The jockey wheel is turned down for the purpose of lowering the coupling head to the towball.
Certain coupling heads come with an locking handle that stays up, and then locks automatically onto the ball. Others require a steady hold and could include an indicator that indicates that the ball is in position.

When the coupling head is fixed it, turn the jockey wheel by a couple of turns to raise the rear of the vehicle to confirm that the coupling head is in place properly. Then, fully raise the wheel prior to taking it off and then making sure it is securely up. Make sure that the wheel is in the place you secured it in is not hindering operating the mechanism for coupling overload.

Attach the safety breakaway cable(s) to the rear of your vehicle. This cable will trigger the hand brake in case of any reason, the trailer gets detached when towing. (Clip breaksaway cables into the rings that towbars come with or wrap over the bars taking care not to irritate the head of the coupling. Don’t loop it around the neck of the towball unless there is an alternative.) Verify that the breakaway as well as the lighting cables are slack enough to corner, but they will not reach the ground.

Plug in the light plug, then examine all light and indicator. The electrical plug is only able to fit in one direction therefore, make sure you align its cut-out to the lug that is on the bottom of the socket. Certain cars come with two sockets, and you should use the one that has the black flap on the cover because that one has a white flap intended for the caravan’s electrical systems that are supplementary to.

It is your duty as the driver, to ensure that all lights are working. Turn on the car’s lighting and examine the trailer’s lights. When the ignition is on, ensure that the proper indicators are functioning the indicators for your car and trailer are in sync. do not match is a common issue – and then ask someone else to check whether the brake lights on the trailer are working. (If you’re on your own and you are not able to get a shorter stick in between the brake pedal and your chair to hold your brake lever.)

Adjust the mirrors on both sides to ensure that a clear view of the faces of the trailer could be achieved. (If this is not possible, extensions mirrors should be used).

If you are loading the 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 problems with snaking. Overweighting the nose causes various other issues.

Noseweight should not exceed 50kg when your outfit is stationary. Check the recommended weights of your trailer and vehicle manufacturers.

As a driver, it is your duty as the driver, to make sure that your trailer isn’t overloaded.

If the trailer is equipped with an eye coupling prior to attaching the trailer, be it sure the locking device on the pin for towing is correctly positioned and the clip or safety pin is properly fitted.
(If this isn’t fitted the trailer may become unhitched).

Lift and secure your jockey wheel. (If you don’t do this the wheel of the jockey could be damaged).

Driving with a Trailer

Speed limit:

Be sure to follow the speed limit that is legal for the route you’re on.

Limits on speed for vehicles towing caravans or trailers.

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

It is important to remember that you are not allowed to travel in the right-hand lane on an expressway that has three lanes or more in the event that you are driving a motor vehicle pulling an trailer.

You must operate within the capabilities of your vehicle:

Always travel at the speed that is within your limits and adhere to the conditions of the road and weather that are in place at the time.
If your trailer starts to swerve or snake slow down the accelerator and slow down gradually.
(This is possible when you drive too fast or the weight in the trailer is incorrectly placed).
Don’t brake too hard when you bend (this could lead to a scenario of a jack-knife).
Lower speed just before the bend and choose the correct gear to match the speed you’re doing.
And then gently accelerate away from the bend.

Reversing with Trailers:

Before you reverse make sure you get out of the vehicle and make sure everything is in order to the rear prior to making the turn.
Be alert for pedestrians and children. If you are able, find someone to be on the lookout during the process.

Find out all the details about: “Step-by-step Reversing”

WARNING!! Don’t reverse a trailer and not check in the rear due to the large blind area.
Ideally, you should have someone watch you in return, particularly in areas with a lot of people.

Reversing a trailer is an skill that can be learned with a bit of perseverance those who have learned the basics. Find a location with ample space and try until you master it. It’s helpful when you have someone that understands how to to show you what you’re doing wrong.
Step-by Step Reversing Guide

This illustration demonstrates how reverse to the right, as it is simpler than reverse towards the left.

If you’re unsure the direction that the wheels are pointed at any point, you can lean back and take a look.

Some trailers prior to 1989 feature an unlocked lever that blocks the brakes from working during the reverse.
All trailers that have brakes manufactured from March 31st, 1989 onwards are equipped with reverse brakes that can be reversed automatically.

1. ) Begin by putting the outfit as straight as is possible and at least a trailer’s distance from the area into the reverse direction. There should be plenty of space to turn the towcar around.

2. ) The trailer is being observed through the driver’s windows Reverse slowly, then start moving the steering wheel toward the left. It’s much easier to add steering rather than to correct overly.

3. ) Once 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 towards 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 but you’re still turning so that the towcar’s front wheel is brought around so that it “follows” tow trailer however, you must be aware of the direction the trailer is heading in the event that it requires adjustments.

5. ) reverse in straight lines by using the mirrors on the door. Slowly and slowly reverse. When the trailer begins to show in one mirror, turn towards the mirror that is visible to get the trailer in the opposite direction. These corrections are only tiny movement of the steering wheel.

6. ) Don’t let your thoughts stuck in reverse! If your trailer gets out of alignment It may be simpler to move it forward to rectify it. When turning in tight turns, or if it does jack-knife, pulling forward is the only option.

The use of stabilizers

Stabilisers should not be used to substitute for good practice when loading and towing.
They’re valuable, especially when combined with horse trailers and caravans as well as other trailers with high sides.
However, they will not be able to solve the problems caused due to poor loading or bad driving.

Be sure to follow the golden guidelines for towing:

The trailer should be set up so 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 very light.)

Check that the pressures on your tyres are correct.

Remember that you should not drive in the right-hand side of motorways with more than three lanes in the event that you are driving a motor vehicle pulling an trailer.

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

“Snaking” is the term used to describe when the trailer’s axles are displaced from the vehicle that is towing it.
If this happens the caravan or trailer tries to make it back on track and then it gets over the limit.
This is the first step in the process in which the vehicle is “snaking” between sides. If the snaking doesn’t stop the speed will increase, which could cause the driver lose control.

Snaking could be caused by various factors like:

Improperly put loads (excessive loading on at the rear end of the axle(s)

Very light or even negative nose weight

Side winds (when an enormous commercial coach or vehicle passes it and creates air sway around the trailer/caravan, shifting an axle out of their proper alignment)

Specially designed trailers have odd internal fixtures that could not be balanced, leading to instability.

To avoid snaking, there are some simple guidelines:

Maintain the vehicle’s steering to a straight path

Switch gears and remove both feet from the pedals

If the snaking begins 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 slide under the knife.

Do not attempt to steer away It is extremely difficult to discern the snaking movement and can cause it to get worse.

Stabiliser Checks:
(Each manufacturer has their own guidelines for servicing and checks and it should be found in the handbook or the fitting instructions.)

Stabilisers should be checked at the beginning of every journey

Make sure whether the friction is evident (if it is)

Make sure that the stabilizer is positioned in a proper way