How to safely pull a trailer
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.