If you want to ensure a trouble-free trip, make sure you stash your stuff safely when you’re loading your trailer and be aware of your extra load as you drive.
Adrian Flux Insurance Services has compiled 12 handy tips to help you pack up and head off safely, from loading advice to trailer driving tips.
The specialist broker doesn’t just insure your vehicle, it also has a specially designed insurance policy to protect your trailer and its contents, so if the worst happens, you know your trailer is covered.
Trailer safety tips:
- Always load the front of the trailer first and place 60 per cent of the weight forward of the front axle, distributing it evenly.
- Empty flammable material – such as petrol cans – and never hang anything over the tailgate or tie anything to the top or outside of your trailer.
- Ensure that your load is as low as possible in your trailer and, if necessary, secure using ropes and tie-downs so that your gear is firmly anchored. Improperly secured items can affect your vehicle’s balance and trailer stability.
- Once your trailer is attached to your vehicle, it’s not the same vehicle any more and you need to adjust the way you drive and the precautions you take: first of all, check the tyres on the trailer are correctly inflated and reduce your speed, which will not only help your control of the trailer but also your fuel efficiency.
- Plan your journey ahead and look for hazards that could cause problems. Leave extra time and distance between you and other vehicles on the road when you are towing so you can stop safely.
- When towing, allow extra time for changing lanes and overtaking other vehicles – the addition of a trailer adds weight and length to the towing vehicle, meaning it will take longer to speed up.
- Always remember the extra length of your vehicle when you are reversing or travelling round bends or corners. Your trailer won’t follow the exact path of the vehicle that tows it, so swing out wider than usual when you make any turns.
- When travelling up large hills or along gravel-lined roads, use a lower gear to ease transmission and similarly, slow down before going downhill and, if need be, use the same low gear as you make your descent.
- Be on the look out for potholes or obstructions in the road which can damage your vehicle or trailer and affect stability.
- If your trailer begins to sway following a gust of wind or a larger vehicle driving past, gradually reduce your speed and steady the steering wheel. Never slam on the brakes or you are at risk of jackknifing.
- Never tow a trailer that continues to sway – stop, reload your trailer and try and resolve the problem. If it persists, seek professional advice.
- When you park, try to find a place where you can pull forward to drive away so you don’t need to reverse.
* Adrian Flux offers bespoke policies for trailers. For more information, visit www.adrianflux.co.uk