How to Drive When Hauling a Bigger Trailer

How to Drive When Hauling a Bigger Trailer

Hauling a bigger-sized trailer comes with its own hazards. Think back to your basic physics lessons. Something in motion tends to stay in motion, and something in rest tends to stay at rest. The heavier the object in question, the more true that is. 

When you’re dealing with pulling a heavier trailer, either because your trailer is enormous, or because you’ve loaded it up with a heavy haul, you’ve got to think ahead about how that is going to have an impact on the way you drive. This is crucial for your safety and the safety of those with whom you share the roads. 

Let’s dive into this important topic. 

  • Inspect Both Vehicles Before You Begin Your Haul
  • Do a routine check on both your tow vehicle and your big trailer before you begin the drive. You want to read the owner’s manual to see if there are any special tips on the subject in there, for sure. Know if your state has specific safety rules about what you’re going to do, too. This will prevent stops by police, and possibly expensive tickets, too. Depending on where you live, you may have to stay in the slow lane, or not exceed a certain speed.  

    Check your…

    • Lights
    • Turn signals
    • Hitch & tongue
    • Locking mechanism
    • Two chains crossing the lock to form an X

    Make sure you inspect the clearance connection and that your trailer’s wheels are in the drive position, and up. Hook up the electrical wires and be sure the license plate can be seen easily enough. 

    What to expect When You Haul a Heavier Trailer

    The trailer will probably sway back and forth a little more than you are used to. You’ve got to make sure all hook ups and installations were done properly, because you don’t want the trailer to swing into any other lane. Check your connections before leaving to make sure. Doing small things right can prevent big sways. Consider rearranging your load so that the heaviest objects lie down low between the front wheels, and that the rest of the weight (40% of it or so) nearer the back. 

    You need more room to brake. Far more than you might expect. Consider the tremendous amount of extra mass you need to bring to a halt. Start early, go steady, don’t slam. Sudden stops can cause unwanted movement in your haul. 

    Remember to maintain situational awareness, and drive defensively. Encourage other drivers to pass you. No slow speed will ever delay you more than a ticket or accident, so be responsible with how you haul.

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