Before towing, perform a full pre-tow safety inspection of your vehicle and trailer. The tongue weight should be about 10- to 15-percent of your load. If it’s not, the trailer might sway. Swaying is extremely dangerous. If you detect sway in your rig, slow down immediately, pull over, and adjust your load. Also make sure your truck’s load is level and even, too. You will want to make wide turns to avoid clipping a curb or other obstructions. Always remember to leave extra following room between your vehicle and those in front of you. When towing a heavy load, braking distance may be significantly increased.
As you drive, use your side-view mirrors. Your rear-view is useless because all you will see in it is the broad bow of your boat. As soon as you arrive at the boat ramp, walk back to the trailer hubs and check that they’re cool to the touch. If they’re hot, your bearings aren’t functioning properly and need to be serviced immediately. It is always best to practice driving if you are not used to pulling something behind your vehicle. Go to an empty parking lot and practice backing, turning, and making other maneuvers in a controlled setting.
Just like a car or a boat, every part of a trailer needs regular maintenance or it can deteriorate and fail. Wheel bearings are an item to constantly watch. Always touch them after long drives, to feel if they’re hot. If they heat up enough to be uncomfortable to the touch, they need to inspected by us.
Another common maintenance issue is trailer tires. Maintaining proper inflation can be tough, since trailers tend to sit for long periods of time between uses. Follow the same rules as you would with automotive tires. Hold a penny with Abe Lincoln’s head upside-down and facing you, slide the penny into the tread, and if it’s deep enough to touch Abe’s head, you still have enough tread depth to drive. If you notice an issue, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the vehicle for you.