Towing a trailer in Melbourne, Australia isn’t hard, but you need to read these top tips to avoid any unfortunate accidents – so don’t risk your load on the road!
If you are moving home or you need to move items for commercial reasons, you might need to tow a trailer on the back of a vehicle. Towing a trailer is not difficult, but you will have to carry out the right checks and drive carefully to avoid running into issues with snaking and decoupling.
Loading the trailer is the first step in transporting your load safely to your destination. Needless to say, the way you load up the trailer determines how safe and compliant it is on the road. Before you do anything, check the weight allowances on galvanised trailers for sale.
It’s important that you don’t put too much weight into the trailer; it’s equally important that there is no negative weight on the towbar. Negative weight means there is more weight on the tail than the towbar leading to snaking. Always ensure the towbar has a satisfactory positive weight.
Once you have loaded single-axle trailers and checked the weights, it’s time to carry out your pre-journey checks to make sure you arrive without any mishaps and are fully compliant if you are pulled over by law enforcement. First, check the coupling is secure, and the chain is latched.
Other things you need to check before taking your trailer on the road is the shackle pins, the trailer lights, the handbrake and the trailer brake if you have one, and the reversing lights. When you have satisfied these checks, and the weight is within regulations, you’re all set to head off.
It’s not hard to tow tandem axle trailers but it is a lot more dangerous; not only is there a risk of snaking at higher speeds, but there are other factors to be aware of, such as the behaviour of other drivers, find out about what is the Difference Between Single Axle & Tandem Trailers.
When you are towing a trailer, always travel around 10 mph below the standard speed limit and stick to the left side lane as much as possible. Avoid overtaking if possible, but if you have to overtake, make sure you have a long stretch to account for the extended length of the vehicle.
More Driving Tips
When you are on the move, it’s easy to forget that you are towing a trailer, especially if everything is going to plan; however, you need to remain vigilant at all times and remember that your trailer circumstances can change at any time. It’s a good idea to check the trailer regularly.
After you have travelled a short distance, pull into the side and perform your checks again. Check the coupling, the lights, the tyres, and the loads. If everything checks out, you can continue on your way but don’t forget to check your trailer every now and again on your travels.
Hills and Descents
When it comes to hills and descents, you need to exercise additional caution when you are towing a trailer. Firstly, your engine will work harder on hills, and there is a risk of it overheating. Keep a close eye on your temperature gauge, especially when you are on an ascent.
When you heading downhill, you also need to take extra care when driving. Never put your vehicle in neutral and coast downhill as you might do without a trailer; this greatly increases the chances of a trailer accident. Instead, select a low gear and use the engine as a brake.
Occasionally you will have to reverse your vehicle and trailer, and while this should be avoided if possible, there is sometimes no way around it. The first thing you need to do is check there is nothing behind the trailer; you can do this using the trailer mirrors or by getting out the vehicle.
The good news is that reversing a trailer is not too difficult, especially if you have extended reversing mirrors to support your trailer. With your thumb on the bottom of the wheel, turning it right will turn the trailer right and turning it left turns it left. But it might still take some practice.
Whether you need to tow a trailer for work or personal reasons, it’s easy to rig something up and hit the road without much planning; the trouble is that these rigs are the ones that are most likely to snake, collapse, or contravene driving regulation. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you!
The good news is that towing a trailer is quite easy; all you have to do is couple the trailer to your vehicle and carry out the proper checks. Check out the Trailer Driving Tips for Safe Towing in the article and make sure you drive more carefully when you are towing a trailer.