4 Tips for Towing a Trailer

Jul 2, 2012

When it comes to do-it-yourself moves, preparation and safety are both key. If you are renting a trailer to move your furniture and belongings, then take a look at our top four tips for a safe trailering experience.

1. Load the trailer heavy in the front

The way you load your trailer will affect how the trailer tows. By properly distributing the weight of the load so that more of it is up-front, you will avoid many potential problems. A good guideline is the 60-40 rule, meaning 60 percent of your cargo weight should be loaded in the front of the trailer. When the weight is properly loaded more upfront, the trailer better follows the movement of the car. When the weight is distributed more toward the back of the trailer, there is less weight on the tongue, which could cause the trailer to whip back and forth. Always follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions.

2. No need for speed

When towing a moving trailer, a general recommendation is to reduce your normal driving speed by 10 miles per hour. You may feel comfortable slowing down even more when driving at night or during adverse weather conditions.

3. Click it: 

One of the most important tips is to wear your seat belt. Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic-safety related behavior. Consider these seat belt facts:

  • If all passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older had worn seat belts, an additional 3,341 could have been saved in 2010.
  • Seatbelts save over 13,000 lives every year.
  • A collision at 30 mph is equivalent to falling from a three-story building.
  • Wearing a seat belt is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on North America’s roadways.
Moving Trailer Safety

4. Secure your load

If you’re moving by trailer, it’s important to tie down your load. Did you know that unsecured loads are responsible for about 25,000 accidents each year in North America, resulting in approximately 80-90 fatalities? Not only does securing your cargo prevent potential road debris and hazards for other drivers, but it also protects your valuables from falling from the trailer and becoming damaged in the roadway. To secure your items in the trailer, tie-down using heavy rope or straps, or cover with a tarp or a cargo net, and never overload your vehicle.

Always remember, when you are towing your moving trailer, load heavy in the front, slow down, wear your seatbelt, and secure your load. Also, be sure to read the safety instructions provided by the trailer company.

For more information on trailer safety tips, check out these videos:

Safe Trailering Pt. 1

Safe Trailering Pt. 2

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