Towing is a technical service that involves detailed safety instructions that should be precisely followed. The process of moving heavy vehicles from one point to the other requires extra care. As it is in most driving situations, towing a trailer exposes those involved to certain hazards. Towing a trailer becomes safe when precautions are observed.
If you plan to enter the towing industry, or you are already in it, here are some essential safety measures and recommendations you need to observe.
General driving tips
1. The POWER Check
When starting your vehicle, the POWER check is the first thing to do. POWER stands for Petrol, Oils, Water, Electric and Rubbers. Every aspect under these categories should be duly checked to ensure they are in optimal operating standards.
2. Safety Gap
At all times, you have to maintain a two-second gap from the vehicle ahead of you, irrespective of the speed you are cruising on. On a bad weather such as a foggy night or rain, the gap should be made bigger. Always keep a safe braking distance away from the vehicle ahead of you.
At all times, keep left unless you are overtaking. For countries that require you drive on the right side of the road, observe the same unless you are overtaking. Where time allows, use your indicators for at least 30 meters before initiating a possible turn or change of lanes. Always tell other road users what you intend to do.
At all times, ensure the trailer is not overloaded. Observe the rating of gross weights, which defines the maximum total weight of the trailer. Also, keep the rating of the gross axle which defines the maximum load axles can bear. Always remove and adjust trailer load to get correct tongue weight. At all times, never let tongue weight exceed coupler and hitch rating.
5. Tilting of The Trailer
Tilting of the trailer should be controlled as lack of control could result in equipment damage or personal injury. Ensure that you distribute weight so that the trailer tongue weight is about 10 percent of the gross trailer weight. Wrong tongue weight may result in loss of control of towing vehicle.
6. Check Lights
Incorrect working lights can cause accidents. Federal and state regulations require trailers to use lights properly when on the highway while making stops and turns. Trailers destined to use off-road may have limited use of lights. Check all connectors and lights for proper installation and operation before using a trailer. Check condition of the wiring and connectors and replace all damaged parts and wires. Replace any broken reflectors, lenses and bulbs.
What we have discussed is just a summary of the basic safety standards as required by federal, state and local law enforcement. If you believe your vehicle may have a defect which could cause a possible crash that could lead to death or injury, report such to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who can inspect any safety defects in vehicles. More information can be obtained by making a reference from your law agency.