Towing a trailer on the highway requires careful consideration to ensure the safety of yourself, other motorists, and your property. By following these five important tips, you can minimize risks and enjoy a secure and comfortable towing experience. Before hitting the road, make sure you are familiar with these safety practices.

  1. Ensure a Secure Trailer-Trailer Connection: A proper connection between your vehicle and the trailer is crucial for safe towing. Follow these steps:
  • Lift the trailer tongue using the tongue jack, ensuring it is above the level of your vehicle’s coupler.
  • Position your vehicle centrally with the trailer and lower the tongue onto the coupler until it aligns properly. Secure it with the hitch pin.
  • Ensure the coupling chains are attached beneath the tongue and connected to the vehicle using a D-shackle.
  • Test the connection by moving your vehicle forward slightly to confirm that the tongue and chains are secure.
  • Plug in the electrical cables to enable functioning brake lights, indicators, and tail lights.
  1. Perform Safety Checks: Performing safety checks before each towing trip is essential. Take the following steps:
  • Verify that trailer lights, indicators, and brake lights are functioning correctly.
  • Check the alignment of the tires to ensure they are straight.
  • Ensure all wheel bolts are properly in place and not loose.
  • Adjust your vehicle mirrors for a wide field of view, allowing you to see vehicles on your sides while maintaining a comfortable driving position.
  1. Know Your Trailer’s Capacity: Before embarking on your journey, it is vital to understand your trailer’s capacity. Consider the following:
  • Check the compliance plate on your trailer, which provides information such as the net weight, load capacity, and Aggregate Trailer Mass (combined weight of the trailer plus load).
  • Overloading the trailer can affect braking response, turning ability, vehicle stability, and control.
  • Aim for a uniform weight distribution to prevent tilting on slopes.
  1. Understand Driving Techniques: Towing a trailer requires different driving techniques than regular driving. Take the time to become familiar and confident with these techniques. Consider the following:
  • Longer and heavier trailers, such as Car Carrier Trailers and Tandem Trailers, require additional skill and caution compared to smaller trailers like 6×4 or 8×5 cage trailers.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, as the trailer’s weight can affect braking response.
  • Stay in the right lane whenever possible, and overshoot turns to provide ample space for the trailer to follow without risking collisions.
  1. Drive Below Speed Limits: For the safety of everyone on the road, always drive below the designated speed limits while towing. Benefits of driving within speed limits include:
  • Improved control over your vehicle and the trailer.
  • Smoother ride and reduced stress on the towing components.
  • Enhanced braking response and maneuverability, especially when navigating sharp turns.

By following these five essential tips, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable towing experience. Remember to establish a secure connection between your vehicle and the trailer, perform regular safety checks, understand your trailer’s capacity, adopt appropriate driving techniques, and adhere to speed limits. Prioritize safety and enjoy worry-free trailer towing on the roads of Melbourne, Australia.