Everlite Trailers Trailer News
PRO TIPS FOR LOADING AND TOWING OPEN UTILITY TRAILERS
February 9, 2018
Open utility trailers are a convenient and practical way to haul cargo. However, whether you’re towing boxes, furniture, building supplies, motorcycles, or ATVs, it’s important to follow guidelines for safe loading and driving.
Open Trailer Loading Tips
Loading the trailer properly will make for a safer, smoother ride.
1. Measure and weigh your cargo to be sure it fits the trailer dimensions, and that the trailer and tow vehicle can bear the weight. Consult the owner’s manual of both your tow vehicle and trailer to determine how much each can handle.
2. Use a ramp to load heavy cargo, including equipment and vehicles. Most trailers come with a ramp, but if yours doesn’t, make sure the one you use can bear the weight of the cargo plus the person loading, and that it slopes away from the trailer gradually.
3. When loading a trailer, load top-heavy items first and tie them off at several angles, not just top down, before loading the rest. This helps prevent the top-heavy items from falling over when cornering or stopping suddenly.
4. Load the trailer heavier in the front. The standard is 60% forward of the front axle, with the weight evenly distributed from side to side. This will reduce sway.
5. Secure the cargo. Use ropes and tie-downs to hold the cargo in place. Shifting cargo can unbalance the load, damage the cargo, and even lead to losing cargo onto the road. Not only is that not safe for you and other drivers, but it will cost you money. It’s a good idea to cover the cargo with a tarp, especially if there are many pieces or you want to keep it out of the elements. Be sure to tie the tarp down securely, as well.
Utility Trailer Towing Tips
No matter how many years you’ve been driving, towing a trailer is a different road experience. Rolling and jackknifing can happen with a trailer if you aren’t careful. Take the following precautions to make sure you, your cargo, your towing vehicle, and your trailer arrive at your destination safely.
1. Reduce your normal speed when towing a trailer. Drive on the conservative side of the speed limit, whatever it is. In fact, experienced drivers often recommend you not exceed 55 mph.
2. Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Having to stop unexpectedly increases the chance of rolling or jackknifing.
3. It should go without saying but obey all traffic laws and wear your seatbelt.
4. When turning a corner, give the curb a wide berth by pulling out a little bit away from the direction in which you’re turning. Be sure to signal.
5. Remember that there is something behind your towing vehicle! When passing, you will require more space to get past the vehicle in front of you.
6. Hills require extra attention. Slow down before going downhill. Also, if you use the same gear to go downhill as uphill, you can better control your downhill speed.
With these tips and the right trailer, you can be king of the road—and the cargo. Call or visit an Everlite dealer to learn more about the many choices of open aluminum trailer dimensions, weights, and payload capacities we have to offer. You’ll be sure to find one that fits your needs.