The first thing to learn about trailer towing are the names of the various components and parts used to connect the vehicle and the trailer. As you know, there’s a whole range of terms devoted to towing, and you need to know the correct names to make the right choices.
Make no mistakes, for all of us that are in business of towing company or personal trailer, it is critical that you understand your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity before you begin towing. If you exceed the manufacturer’s rated capacity you are creating an unsafe driving situation, and you are very likely to damage your vehicle’s engine, transmission, rear axle, brakes and wheel bearings, and as such you may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Before towing, you should make sure of the following:
- Ensure truck is properly equipped and maximum tongue weight / towing weight is not exceeded
- Be aware if any road bans are in place on your trip, plan accordingly (larger trailer required, rerouting of trip)
- Check break away battery and operation of break away switch / brakes activation
- Breakaway cable is not to be attached to safety chains but attached separately, preferably around the bumper
- Jason B. recommended that we should get into the habit of using our Wheel Chaulks as needed. In the past Jason has noticed most often that we use pipeline skids in the yard but, not sure of what we use in the field if anything.
- Adjust brake controller level to match load
- License plate light operation – according to Jason, this is another aspect of our towing operation that we often overlooked and could result in a ticket is pulled over by DOT.
- Pintle hitch safety latch must be secured
- Travel time will be increased when pulling a trailer, plan trip accordingly
- Following distances must be increased as braking distance will increase
- Extend towing mirrors if required
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