8 Trailer Towing Tips

Driving a regular car is far from towing a trailer truck. The experience is different, so you should take note of many things to become the tow trip a successful. Before you tow some load and head out there, make sure that your tow truck is ready and road worthy. The trailer truck has different capacity compare to the regular vehicles you’re driving.  

Remember that during towing, everything is longer, the cornering, slowing down and speeding up. The following tips should be noted so you won’t damage your truck and get into road troubles.  

  1. Proper Tongue Weight 

For the trailer to have a good stability, set the tongue weight to 10-15% of the vehicle’s total weight. If it doesn’t have enough rear suspension spring rate to accept the tongue weight, get an equalizing hitch. This will transfer some of the tongue weight to the vehicle’s front axle.  

  1. Tire Pressure 

When you prepare the trailer for your next town, check the tire pressure. Make sure to run the tires at their maximum recommended pressure. This will make them run cooler and the vehicle will consume less gas when booting.  

  1. Safety Chains 

Cross the safety chains in an X-pattern. If the hitch adrift, the trailer tongue will drop onto the chains instead of dropping onto the ground. Doing so will also minimize the damage on your truck and maximize your control over it.  

  1. Load Check 

Even if you’re super sure that you’re loading the exact weight, don’t forget to double check. Even if the tie downs for the load is tight, they could loosen up when the suspension jiggles everything. Re-tighten the tie downs every once in a while.  

  1. Inspection 

Don’t forget to do an inspection! If you’re on a long tow mission and you make stops on the way, do a walk-around inspection of the tires, hitch and wiring. Check if the breakaway cable and the harness connector are still connected. Check the hitch ball and the nut on the bottom of it. Make sure the hairpins and hitch pins are still holding the draw bar. Check the tire pressure every time you pull over.  Check the wheel-bearing temperatures, brake drum and the tire.  

  1. Brakes 

Before you start the trip, don’t forget to check the electric brake function once you slide the brake controller level over an inch or more. The trailer brakes should actuate. Hold the brakes on partway on for 10 seconds so make sure the brake shoes are working. Pull over and check if its heating equally with the IR thermometer.  

  1. Battery Charge 

Check the status of the battery charge. Many trailers need their batteries to be charged manually.  

  1. Bearing Life 

Get the best synthetic wheel-bearing grease that you can find and pack the trailer bearings with it. Do this annually. If you’ve got a boat trailer which is regular immersed, do the packing of trailer bearings twice. If the trailer encounters a lot of saltwater, it should be doubled.  

7 Things to Consider When Towing

Towing is not only about rescuing stranded or malfunctioning vehicles. Towing goes a long way like hauling horses or hay or loading up the vehicle for a family trip. Whatever your purpose it, towing should be carefully considered since you’re going to load up another weight on your vehicle, which could be a camping trailer or a boat. If you want to purchase a vehicle especially for towing, there are things to consider. We listed these things below and we hope you’ll find them helpful.  

  1. Towing Capacity 

The amount of weight that the vehicle can tow is important. Most of the time, the capacity is written on the owner’s manual. Although the capacity indicated is low, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t exceed it. If you are don’t have experience with towing yet, take note that exceeding the capacity will damage the car’s transmission and engine.  

  1. Suspension Upgrades 

If you plan on towing heavy loads, suspension upgrades are recommended for you. You can find trailering packages that include suspension upgrades. Towing heavy loads can strain the suspension of the truck, so the upgrades are necessary to avoid that.  

  1. Manual Shift Mode 

Most of SUVs and full-size trucks come with an automatic transmission now. But a manual shift mode is important if you’re planning to use the vehicle for towing. Manual shift mode is useful when you’re descending or climbing steep grounds. If you’re going down, the manual shift mode will help you stay in a low gear so prevent the brakes from overheating. If you’re climbing up, you need to shift down some gears to pass slower cars.  

  1. Additional Cooling 

If you plan to do towing often, purchase a truck with a transmission cooler. Additional cooling is a good additional options if you’re planning to tow big loads. Towing heavy loads can strain the transmission of the truck, and the additional cooling will help you prevent that.  

  1. Braking System 

A trailer braking system is important to have especially if you’re in a panic situation. The trailers don’t normally come with anti-lock brakes, which means the wheels lock up under heavy braking. The braking system will control the brake’s force, which helps the wheels from locking.  

  1. Sway Control  

A sway control is also important when you’re towing heavy loads. A trailer sway can happen because of these reasons: driver over-correction, poor weight distribution, and strong winds. The sway control system will monitor the movement of the truck so a precise braking is applied to stop the swaying motion. Look for a vehicle with sway control especially if you’re inexperienced with towing.  

  1. Towing Mirrors 

Mirrors on towing trucks should be large, this is because the driver needs to see past the trailer. If the truck you like doesn’t come with huge mirrors, don’t worry because there are companies that offer extended mirrors.  

How to Hire A Tow Truck after a Car Accident

You may not have a lot of options as to who would perform the job if you have been involved in a car accident and need your car towed. Fire departments or police officers often dispatch the wrecker to the accident scene.  

However, getting your vehicle towed could be a less nerve-racking event with a bit of initial research on towing firms in your location. This could be applied in other scenarios like engine trouble, slide-offs, breakdowns, or one-car accidents.  

Here are several tips that you could use to get the most from the towing company before you call one.  

Research the Reputation of the Company 

When choosing the best towing provider for your car, reputation matters. It is just like other services. For example, you could research the reputations of towing firms online if you are in an area that receives a lot of snowstorms that make for dangerous driving.  

Contact the company and ask for information on pricing. This should include whether or not the firm accepts credit cards. Add their number to the contact list of your phone once you have discovered a reliable firm with a great reputation. Also, you could place their number in your car.  

Insurance Might Cover Tow 

In the case of a breakdown or accident, your insurance company might cover vehicle towing. This greatly depends on the condition. Insurance firms might even have favored towing companies they could contact on your behalf. Make sure you know the coverage if you belong to a 3rd-party assistance association, such as AAA. 

Ask for a Receipt from the Towing Firm 

Always remember to ask for a copy of the receipt and the copy of the invoice once the job is done. This is to make sure you are billed only for the charges you require.  

Wisely Sign Paperwork 

Be sure your signature is right below or close the dollar amount that you agreed upon when you sign off on the job paperwork. This would minimize the possibilities of extra fees that are added without you knowing it.  

Snap a Photo of your Vehicle 

Snap several photos of the condition of your car if you’ve got a digital camera or camera-equipped phone handy. You should do this before the tow truck arrives at your location. The photo might come in handy if any unexplained or unexpected damages happen on the way to the towed destination of your vehicle.  

Do not Hire a Tow Truck the Simply Shows Up 

As what we have mentioned above, you might not have a lot of options as to who tows your car. However, if you are involved in a breakdown or slide-off, be careful of any tow truck that immediately shows up and provides to tow your vehicle.  

Reliable firms would show their federal Department of Transportation ID number on the truck. They will also display any extra license numbers that might be needed by the law. These numbers could show that the firm is insured to offer the job.