Do you know how to tow a trailer safely?

by | Sep 26, 2019 | Trailer Tips

At Belco, we are advocates for safety. All our trailers come with an operational checklist, a manual, and where necessary, risk analysis documents, engineers’ certifications and any other documentation needed to get your trailer operational. However, once you drive away with your shiny new trailer, we want to make sure that you are well equipped to use and maintain your trailer safely for many years to come.

Towing a trailer requires knowledge and skill. All trailers affect the performance of the towing vehicle. They affect fuel consumption, acceleration, braking ability, general control and maneuverability. Plus, there are external variants that affect towing such as, the wind, road surface, and passing vehicles, putting additional responsibilities on to the driver.

The most important thing to check is that your trailer drawbar and vehicle tow bar are level. Towing a trailer that is not level puts unnecessary stress on both your vehicle and your trailer.

We like to remind our customers to “Keep your trailer C.L.O.S.E” when hooking up to your vehicle:

Connect the trailer

Lock the Coupling

Overlap the Chains

Secure the Jockey Wheel

Electrics – plug in and test

Your trailer needs to be roadworthy!

Belco is a fully accredited Safety Certificate Inspection Station, as approved by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. All vehicles must comply with all relevant standards for registration and be roadworthy. Even with a roadworthy trailer, you should get into the habit of doing your own safety checks before each trip.

Make sure you check:

  • All tyres are properly inflated
  • The trailer’s wheel-bearings, suspension and brakes work correctly
  • All lights work and safety chains are properly connected
  • You have sufficient oil, water, brake fluid and battery power on the towing vehicle

Your towing vehicle
Before towing your trailer, you will need to consider whether your vehicle is legally up to the job. You need to ensure that your vehicle’s towing capacity is high enough to tow your trailer. You will also need, towbars and couplings of a suitable type and capacity, electrical sockets for lighting, brake connections if the trailer is fitted with power or electric brakes and additionally, extra mirrors if towing a large trailer, an extra transmission oil cooler for vehicles with automatic transmission, and some vehicles may need structural reinforcement and/or special suspension and transmission options and load-distributing devices to be able to tow heavier trailers.