How to Drive With a Trailer

Trailer Towing FAQs

Trailers require significant care and practice to ensure that they are maneuvered effectively. They are, after all, large additions to a vehicle and come with their own handling quirks that you will need to adapt to for driving with a trailer to start feeling intuitive. With that said, a high-quality trailer is designed to be driven with, and if you understand the basics, you should start to feel more comfortable driving with a trailer before you know it.

At Big Man Trailer Co, we are dedicated to providing affordably-durable galvanised trailers to individuals and businesses in Australia. Because of this, we get a lot of questions from new trailer owners about how to best tackle the learning curve ahead of them. So, to ensure the safety of our customers (and our trailers), we decided it might be a good idea to create a quick guide to different questions we receive, which we can then expand on in later articles and pieces.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at a few of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to driving with a trailer.

How Do You Reverse a Trailer?

Driving in reverse with a trailer is one of the things that causes new trailer owners the most trouble, and it’s not hard to see why. Reversing is its own mechanism, and rather than simply trying to navigate backward, you’re also pushing a large piece of equipment that tends to go in its own direction when not adequately accounted for.

With the reversing of a trailer, the main thing you need to do is remain calm and confident. Start off slow, and take note of how the trailer moves with your vehicle. By practising this in a safe area, you can start to get an intuitive sense of how the trailer will respond to your vehicle’s smaller movements and, in turn, get more control over your, well, turning.

For more specific information about reversing a trailer, you can read our helpful blog on how to reverse a box trailer. Most, if not all, of the points discussed will be relevant to all trailers rather than just box trailer varieties.

How Can You Prevent Trailer Sway?

This is another big issue with new trailer owners, and one that can feel quite dangerous when you’re out on the road. Your trailer is, as you know, a secondary piece of equipment on a set of wheels that can move side to side based on the movement of your vehicle. This is all well and good under normal circumstances, but if you start to see a swaying back and forth in your trailer as you drive, this can be cause for concern.

Generally, this can be attributed to something being uneven, such as the roads, but it can be caused by anything from debris to strong gusts of wind. One good way to prevent major sway is to ease into any movements with your vehicle more than you otherwise would. Take softer turns, and try to avoid big changes in speed where possible.

For more information on how to prevent issues like this from arising, and the factors that can cause them in the first place, you can read our blog on understanding and preventing trailer sway.

How Do I Use Ratchet Straps Effectively?

For those that are planning on using their new galvanised trailer to move furniture and other large items, knowing how to use ratchet straps effectively is going to be a big topic. Luckily, using ratchet straps with a trailer is actually quite simple, as they have an easy-to-understand lock and unlock mechanism that will allow you a bit of peace of mind when travelling with unstable items. Simply open the ratchet, thread the strap through, tighten around the item in question, hook them to your trailer and lock the ratchets into place.

This is a very limited explanation, as it’s best to have a more robust step-by-step guide. Luckily, we have one in the form of this post on using ratchet straps. With that said, if you have any concerns after reading the piece, feel free to ask some follow-up questions while buying your trailer, and our team will be happy to help.

Can You Pull a Trailer Without a Hitch?

The short answer is yes, but it’s risky and legally dubious. Most trailers are designed specifically to work with a hitch, making not doing so a less overall stable way of using a trailer. However, whilst it’s important to check the legality of doing so in your specific jurisdiction, in emergency situations, there are ways that you can pull a trailer without a hitch.

Before attempting anything, you’ll also need to make sure that your vehicle can handle the weight of the trailer and its contents. After all, pulling a trailer without a hitch will put A lot of extra strain on your vehicle, if your vehicle is capable of towing without a hitch in the first place. So, definitely do your research before taking something like this on.

Do You Need a Trailer License in Australia?

There is a lot of inconsistency between countries when it comes to trailer laws, but the question of needing a trailer license in Australia is actually one of the simpler ones. The short answer is no; you don’t need a specific license for your trailer as long as it doesn’t exceed the weight limits that would put it into the territory of heavy vehicles. You will need a vehicle license and a registered vehicle, but there is no specific stipulation regarding a trailer license.

If you’re buying a trailer in Victoria, you can read our article on Victorian trailer laws if you want to learn more about the specific regulations and state requirements involved with trailer ownership.


If you have any other queries, feel free to explore our trailer blog for more monthly posts, or contact us with any questions you may still want to ask.

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