The additional weight of a trailer can not only reduce your ability to control your vehicle, but also exert undue stress on your vehicle. This increases both the risks of accidents and incidences of broken or prematurely worn-out vehicle parts. The following are towing tips that will come in handy in helping to ensure that you are safe on the road while also protecting your vehicle from unnecessary damage.
Use an equalizing hitch
Stability is necessary for safe travel. Normally, slowing down, speeding up and taking corners takes longer, and generally requires more skill and patience, when dealing with the weight of the added weight of a trailer. But when you add vehicle instability into the mix, things get way more complicated and way more unsafe.
To help eliminate the added complexity of instability, it is usually advisable that you ensure the tongue weight makes up at most 15% of the total weight of the trailer. You can however increase safety towing by investing in an equalizing hitch. This device usually works by transferring a portion of the tongue weight to the front axle. This then guarantees better weight distribution and hence a safer and incident-free journey.
Use an X safety chain pattern
There are times when a part of the hitch breaks or comes loose. This may then cause the tongue weight to drop to the ground – a potentially dangerous situation especially if you are driving on a busy highway. A safety chain is usually used to keep this from happening. The problem is that when not tied properly, the safety chain may not be of much use especially if you are dealing with a large load.
To ensure that the safety chain doesn't fail in case of an emergency, it is usually advisable that you use an X pattern when tying it around the hitch. Crossing the chains, side to side, under the hitch will make for a better bond and thus helping to ensure that the safety chain stands a better chance of minimizing the extent of damage or the risks of an accident when something goes wrong.
Ensure that the safety-switch battery is charged
Trailers with electrical braking systems usually have a breakaway switch which engages the trailer brakes in cases where the hitch system fails. This safety mechanism is powered by a battery. If this battery is left to run out of charge, the trailer will be left defenseless. This will increase the extent of damage and injuries that will occur in case of a hitch failure.
Making sure that the battery is charged is therefore advisable. You can also minimize the risks of this happening by running a diode from the circuit of the brake light to the battery. Doing so will ensure that every time you engage your brakes, the battery will get charged. Contact a business that handles flatbed towing for more information.