We must admit that, nowadays the load transportation is improbable without having trailers. We are faced with a huge choice of trailers; with different shapes, sizes and colours. Do you know which is the best choice for you? If you already have a trailer, or you are considering of buying one, than you should know the following guidelines for proper loading and towing.
Is your trailer loading safely?
Each trailer has its own max safe loaded weight. Over drafting that weight can cause damaging the towing vehicle, brakes, wheels or engine. The max load that the vehicle can carry, can be calculated when you subtract the unloaded weight from the max safe loaded weight.
The loads have to be arranged safely. They cannot distract the driver or hurt anyone. The objects` height should be as low as possible. Arrange loads so they don`t project outside the body of the vehicle. If the loads extend more than 200mm beyond the sides of the trailer, then you must attach flags or standard hazard warning panels. All loads should be properly restrained so they can`t shift around while the vehicle is moving. If you need to use lashing to secure the load – fasten it to the vehicle using as many lashings as required. A minimum of 2 lashings should be used to prevent the load from twisting, rotating and slewing.
Do you need to cover the load? If it may be affected by air flow or by the motion of the vehicle, then yes, you have to cover it.
Is your trailer towing safely?
Every light vehicle and trailer combination must be capable of stopping within a distance of 7 metres from a speed of 30 km/h. This means that the maximum allowable weight of a non-brake trailer is limited by the weight and braking ability of the vehicle being used to tow it.
The lights and the brakes are 2 important components that a trailer has to have. A trailer that is more than 2 metres wide must have one pair of side lights, stop lamps and at least one red tail light. The letters and numbers on the registration plate must be lit by a white light. It is important because you don`t want to confuse the other drivers about which way the trailer is facing. You do not want to endanger them.
The brakes should be in good working order and placed on both wheels. There are 3 types of brakes:
– Direct service brake system allows the driver of the towing vehicle to directly control the trailer brakes from the driving position. On the other hand, the indirect system causes the trailer to push against the vehicle and this force indirectly controls the trailer’s brakes;
– Breakaway brakes will apply themselves automatically if the trailer is accidentally disconnected from the vehicle;
– Parking brakes are useful for holding the trailer and they are applied by hand.
Regular maintenance of the trailer is very important. The wheels pressure has to be checked, and to identify any sign of their damaging. Complete working of the lights and cleaning them occasionally. Tow mechanisms must be well lubricated. No matter how good you are at towing, you can never tow a badly maintained trailer well and safe.