A car trailer is an important investment that is very helpful and reliable as an attachment to your SUV or another tow vehicle for the purpose of hauling a wide range of materials like farming equipment, gardening tools, farm produce, farm inputs, fertilizer, mulch and so forth. This unpowered vehicle constitutes an interesting attachment and has come to occupy a leadership position in transportation. In certain circumstances, you may need a car trailer for specific engagements and the best answer to such situations is custom trailers. Irrespective of why you need a trailer, it is always important that your shopping is focused on the right trailer.
We have therefore culled out some useful tips to help you along the way:
Understanding The Popular Types Of Trailers
For most consumer applications, utility trailers and enclosed trailers are the two options. When you plan to deploy the trailer for hauling farm produce, farming equipment, scrap, gardening equipment, fertilizer etc the open type utility trailers are your best option. On the other hand, when your trailer is deployed for moving material that is weather sensitive, or movement over longer distances, enclosed trailers can keep you protected from the natural elements. An enclosed trailer can also be useful for storing your tow vehicle itself safely when you plan to be away for several weeks.
The next important consideration is the size of the trailer. Both utility trailers and open trailers are offered in varying sizes to suit your needs. However, the popular choice remains to be 20 feet and 40 feet. The purpose for which you deploy the trailer, the frequency of use and the quantity of material you generally expect to transport will help you decide the size. Taking stock of the dimensions of equipment and other stuff that you normally plan into your trailer will give you a ballpark view of the size that you need. Most vendors offer varying sizes and materials of construction.
Your Tow Vehicle
The ability of your tow vehicle is a critical factor that will impact the efficiency and utility of your car trailer. You can refer to the owner’s manual of your tow vehicle to understand that towing capacity for the trailer. If you experience any difficulty in this regard, your SUV dealer or your regular garage can help you. If the required information is not coming forth from these two sources, you can contact the SUV manufacturer who can certainly guide you. Further, you should also ideally, take your SUV or another tow vehicle to a garage and understand the towing ability as well as any constraints that may be present.
Safety Of The Trailer
Driving your SUV with a trailer attached is not the same as driving the SUV, particularly on public roads. You will potentially need a short learning curve towing the trailer along and in some jurisdictions, you may also need an endorsement in your driving license.
Loading The Trailer
Every trailer has a max weight or GVWR including the empty weight of the trailer also. When you load the trailer you should remember this and also ensure that the majority of your load is ahead of the axle. This will help proper dispersal of the load between the axle and tongue. Further, you should also take care to have the bulk of the load in the central part of the trailer so that you can avoid whip out and swing when the vehicle is in motion.
When you are moving with the trailer on public roads, you should also ensure to secure all the load inside your trailer and avoid putting cargo that can potentially hang at the back of the trailer when you are using an open trailer. Hanging cargo from the trailer can be a huge hazard for you and other road users from even a minor malfunctioning of your trailer on account of the unbalanced weight. The safe load that your trailer can carry is 20% less than the empty weight of the trailer.
Driving a trailer on tow is vastly different from driving only the SUV. Going at above 55 mph on highways with your trailer can be pretty dangerous particularly in instances where you may have to apply sudden brakes. Similarly while passing other vehicles too, you should exercise more caution to provide for the additional length of your trailer. If you are moving downhill, or shift gears while moving up the hill, you should reduce the speed to allow the engine to haul your trailer without difficulty.
Precautions And Maintenance Of Your Trailer Before You Start Towing
Proper maintenance of your trailer is also as important as its safe handling. By following a maintenance schedule, your trailer can stay fit for a longer period. Similarly, before you start towing you should also check several aspects of your trailer including:-
Inspect Safety Chains And Hooks For Signs Of Damage, Wear Or Cracks
Check hitch coupler and ball for its falls or cracks. Grease the locking device and see if the replacement is needed.
Ring and Pintle – Ensure that the ring and pintle are securely locked
Tyres – Check the tyre pressure in cold state and inflate when needed. Check for any damages/puncture.
Wheels – Check the lug nuts, bolt and hub an make sure proper tightness of the wheel
Make Sure The Load Is Properly Secured On The Trailer
When you are moving on public roads, at frequent intervals, check to see that everything is working properly. This check should be done at an interval of 10,25,50 miles, particularly when you are hauling a trailer for the first time.
Check your local regulations to see if you need a specific registration for custom trailers. Most Australian jurisdictions stipulate this. The trailer dealer/manufacturer will provide a title along with the trailer and this is useful to complete the process of registration of the trailer where required.