How to Safely Tow Boats and Trailers
We Americans love getting out and doing stuff, whether it’s taking the boat down to the lake for some fishing, or taking the dirt bikes out on a trailer for a ride. Having the freedom to drive not only ourselves and our families around, but also our toys like boats and bikes is truly a privilege. Although a harsh reality of this is that there are over 50,000 towing related accidents each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). That’s why we offer towing services in Mount Jackson, VA.
This shouldn’t (and probably wouldn’t) put you off though, instead, it emphasizes the importance of being careful when towing things. As a professional provider of towing service Woodstock VA, we believe we have the knowledge to keep you and your family safe when towing anything. By sharing with you how to go about safely towing trailers, boats, RVs, and anything else, we hope that we can limit your need to call us at 540-481-0658 for our towing service.
Here are some of our best tips on how to safely tow boats, trailers, and anything else.
Work With An Experienced Professional – Towing Mount Jackson VA
If it’s your first time driving with a trailer, then you may wish to ask around to see if anyone you know can sit in with you to help you build confidence.
Trailers completely change the weight distribution of your vehicle, and if anything they add a lot more length to your vehicle than most are used to.
Before taking the boat down to the lake with the family, you should get some experience with lighter trailers first followed by heavier loads. If your street is quiet that may be the best place to practice, graduating onto any nearby rural highways, and finally a freeway.
Sporadic behavior in a car is dangerous enough, but add a heavy trailer into the mix and you can really harm yourself, your passengers, and other people on the road.
One of the most important things to do when driving with a trailer is to take your time, this is because at higher speeds you will have much less control over the movement of the trailer, and it will retain momentum even if you brake suddenly.
When speeding with a trailer one will notice it starts to wobble from side to side, if you notice this don’t brake suddenly, instead calmly reduce speed. Towing speed limits are there for the safety of all people on the road and usually range between 55mph and 65mph depending on the state.
Respect the Capacity, and Distribute Weight Evenly – Towing Mount Jackson VA
Your trailer will have a carrying capacity that determines how much weight it can carry safely, which incorporates both stationary and in-transit. Exceeding the weight capacity of your trailer will affect the handling of your vehicle and limit the stopping power of your brakes. It can also damage the suspension, drive train, and engine, so be sure to respect your load restrictions.
On top of this, weight capacity usually refers to the entire flatbed and not any single point on the trailer, so be sure to distribute the weight of whatever you’re carrying evenly. Not doing so can affect the handling and brakes, and can drag you off the road or into oncoming traffic. You should also ensure that the load is secure so that the weight isn’t shifting while you drive.
Inspect and Maintain both Trailers and Vehicles
Regular inspection and maintenance of both trailers and vehicles can ensure that both are in working order and won’t suddenly cause an accident. There are many parts that can malfunction on both a trailer and a car, so enacting regular checks can greatly reduce the chance of an accident.
Invest in Relevant Equipment
While that NHTSA report makes it seem like trailers are unsafe, they are substantially safer than their antiquated counterparts. In fact, towing technology is constantly evolving and producing more equipment that can further enhance the safety of towing trailers. Things like tow mirrors can eliminate the blind spot caused by a long trailer, and safety chains can ensure the trailer doesn’t get embedded in the concrete if it does somehow come off the hitch.
Using Towing Mount Jackson VA
Even if you invest in the highest quality safety gear for towing, you may still find yourself a victim of another driver’s mistakes and end up in an accident with your trailer. Prepare for this by having relevant emergency equipment in your car at all times, including a first-aid kit and the phone number of a local towing service.
If you’re looking for a towing service Woodstock VA, then you’re in luck. We’re based in Shenandoah and have years of experience in towing, and can also offer both roadside repairs and in-house repairs at our autoshop. Be sure to write down our number to put with your first aid kit in case of an accident.