Summer is here, so of course that means hitting the road and sometimes trailing a load with you.
Maybe it’s because you are camping, you need something to trail all the extra equipment on. Perhaps you’re moving some of that old junk you cleared from the loft this spring.
Whatever the reason for you hauling a load across the road network, you had better make sure you are safe to do it first.
Follow our handy tips for staying safe with your trailer this summer!
1) Remove all hazards. Never carry anything flammable like petrol in your trailer truck. Empty all dangerous liquids out before commencing your journey.
2) Get the balance right – when packing the trailer pack the front part first and put 60 percent of the load before the front axle. Remember to spread the load evenly across the trailer so it isn’t unbalanced.
3) Get the load as low down as possible in your trailer. If you need to, secure it with ropes. Don’t have anything dangling on the end of the trailer.
4) Before setting off with your load check your vehicle carefully.
Make sure all the tires are correctly inflated – on the car you are using to pull and on your trailer.
5) Remember, once you set off with your load (properly secured first) that you are no longer driving the same vehicle that you were before.
You need to be fully aware of this fact at all times. Remember your new length – and width – when making turns, especially.
Parking up is going require more thought now. It would be best not only to park somewhere with much more space around it, but also in a bay that allows you to move forwards to get away, rather than having to reverse.
Consider the space on the road which must now be left between you and the next vehicle. It needs to be much bigger, not only to allow for a safe gap, but the fact you require much more time – and space- to stop safely in.
You also need to take more care overtaking, possibly only doing so when absolutely necessary.
On bends and turns, allow for the fact that your trailer may not follow the exact same trajectory as your vehicle does. Give it some extra room.
6) Slow down – the speed the law may state you can travel at legally, is not always the one it is safe to do so at. You need to move much more slowly now you are trailing a cart.