How to safely pull a trailer

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

IT’S hol­i­day time again and thou­sands of ex­cited fam­i­lies will be trav­el­ling across the length and breadth of South Africa to enjoy the break.

Many of those go­ing on hol­i­day will be tak­ing with them a car­a­van, trailer or boat while they travel.

“Tow­ing an­other ve­hi­cle re­quires ex­tra at­ten­tion from the driver. Apart from en­sur­ing the tow­ing ve­hi­cle is safe and in a good con­di­tion, the ve­hi­cle that is be­ing towed also needs to be road­wor­thy and ca­pa­ble of making the jour­ney.

“It’s also im­por­tant that driv­ers fol­low the rules of the road and tow re­spon­si­bly,” said the Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion ( AA).

“Many peo­ple also in­ad­ver­tently over­load their trail­ers in an ef­fort to take as much with them on their hol­i­day.

“Re­sist this temp­ta­tion and take only what you need. Over­load­ing a trailer be­yond its size and weight ca­pac­ity may cause prob­lems with brak­ing or even dam­age the en­gine and sus­pen­sion of the tow­ing ve­hi­cle,” the AA warned.

The AA said driv­ers must en­sure that trail­ers are bal­anced prop­erly with even weight dis­tri­bu­tion in the trailer.

The cen­tre of grav­ity of the trailer is to­wards the front of the trailer but don’t over­load this ei­ther, as this will put too much pres­sure on the tongue of the trailer and may cause prob­lems.

Rather dis­trib­ute the con­tents of the trailer evenly on both sides with a lit­tle more weight packed into the front sec­tion.

If you are in any doubt as to trailer ca­pac­ity or the car’s tow­ing lim­its, con­sult the man­u­fac­turer’s hand­book or con­tact your dealer.

Be­fore set­ting off all the com­po­nents of the towed ve­hi­cle need to be checked to en­sure they are in work­ing con­di­tion.

This in­cludes the hitch, the cou­pler, and safety chain and light sys­tems. If any of th­ese com­po­nents are not work­ing, they should be re­paired or re­placed be­fore set­ting off. They are there for a rea­son and driv­ing with de­fec­tive parts may lead to se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

Also give ex­tra at­ten­tion to over­tak­ing, re­mem­ber­ing that you have an ex­tra load that must also pass the ve­hi­cle in front. And, don’t forget, the ex­tra weight will re­quire more dis­tance and time to stop. — Sup­plied.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.