Top Safety Tips When Driving With A Hired Trailer
You might need a trailer now and again, however, unless you’re using it regularly, you wouldn’t need to buy one. That’s why trailer hire is a more convenient option. Yet, driving with a trailer hitched to your car doesn’t come naturally. If you want to keep safe on the road while driving with a trailer, here are a few tips that will come in handy.
Why Safety Is Necessary
If you’ve never hired a trailer before, you might think that driving with a trailer hitched to your car could be simple. However, it requires more skill than just driving a regular car. It can be affected by your lack of experience, which means that your trailer could become a hazard on the road.
What you need to remember is that the trailer is an extension of your vehicle, and therefore it adds more weight to the car. You might find that pulling away from a dead stop to be the riskiest, as you are unfamiliar with driving a more substantial vehicle. The extra weight could throw the balance off, causing an accident and damaging your car – or another vehicle around you.
Tip 1: Secure The Trailer Properly
Each trailer is manufactured with a coupling and a safety chain. The coupling is the main component that attaches to your car. The coupler should slide into place over the tow bar, and lock on securely with the release pin that attaches and releases its hold. When you hitch the trailer, make sure that the coupling is securely fastened so that it doesn’t come off while you’re driving.
The chain is an added safety component. Once the coupler has been attached, you should wrap the chain around the trailer and the tow bar, to ensure that the trailer stays secured even if the coupling detaches. You shouldn’t rely solely on the chain, as it isn’t strong enough to haul a loaded trailer for the whole journey, but it will keep the trailer attached long enough for you to stop and reattach the coupling. If you don’t use the chain and the coupling is not correctly locked onto your vehicle, the trailer will detach and slide along the road into traffic, or come to a dead stop. Either way, it could cause a severe accident, so make sure that both mechanisms have been safely secured.
Tip 2: Check The Tyre Pressure
If you want a smooth ride while you’re transporting goods with your hired trailer, check the tyre pressure before you leave. Remember, flat tyres sink under immense weight and start breaking while on the road. If they don’t start tearing while you drive, the journey will be bumpy and unpleasant, making it harder for you to control the trailer safely. The items that you’ve loaded onto the trailer might also fall around and get damaged from the unsteady drive. If you’ve hired an open or caged trailer, the force of the bumping might even tip the trailer or knock some items out onto the road.
If the tyres start tearing, bare metal could scrape along the road, causing sparks which affect the drivers behind you, and damage to the trailer. Although your rental company should pump the tyres before you pick the trailer up, you should check them regardless. You can request for them to be filled before you leave the rental company, or you could have them filled at a service station while you’re on the road.
Tip 3: Take Corners Carefully
When you’re driving with a trailer attached to your car, your vehicle has essentially become extended. That means that you can’t take corners as tightly as you usually do when you’re driving. If you don’t give the pavement a wide berth when you turn a corner, half of your vehicle could end up on the sidewalk. Keep the length of your car in mind the entire time that you’re driving, so that you don’t make careless mistakes while the trailer is in your care.
Even though you are paying for the trailer hire, the vehicle is in your care for as long as you have it. Your rental company should be insured; however, it’s better to practise caution than to deal with problems that arise because you’ve been reckless. When you hire a trailer, safety is essential – especially if you’re inexperienced with towing a trailer. Remember to brake sooner than you typically would due to the added weight, and to drive at a safe speed limit.