If you’re one of the three million truckers now working in the United States, towing a cargo trailer is something you need to know how to do. Of course, this can be easier said than done. A fully-loaded cargo trailer can easily weigh more than a dozen tons, depending on what you’re transporting.
If you have never had to tow cargo trailers before, the prospect of doing it for the first time can be daunting. However, there is no need to panic. Once you know the basics, loading up and towing a cargo trailer will like the easiest thing in the world. Read on to find out the five essential tips for towing a cargo trailer from start to finish.
1. Before You Tow
Before you hitch up your tow truck to anything, it’s important to make sure you have the right vehicle for the job. Any long-haul trucking vehicle should do the trick, but there are some important specifications to look out for. First, check that the tow rating for your truck is suitable.
If the tow rating is lower than the weight of the cargo trailer, you have a problem. In addition, the cargo trailer should not weigh less than 10% of the fully-loaded trailer weight. If it does, then it is likely that the trailer will sway when driving. In addition, make sure to double-check your tires before setting off. Safety first!
2. Loading Your Cargo Trailer
The next step is loading your cargo trailer. As this comprehensive guide on how to load a cargo trailer explains, there are a few easy things you can do to improve safety and efficiency.
For instance, you should always load heavy stuff and the front and put light stuff on top. You should consider using chain tie-downs, especially when using an open cargo trailer. These simple steps will keep your cargo safe and secure.
3. Hitching Your Cargo Trailer
The next step is hitching your trailer, which requires a working knowledge of which cargo trailer parts go where. Make sure that your truck and your trailer are in an open safe where you can easily align the two.
Once you have done this, slowly reverse your truck until the trailer coupler is positioned slightly above the hitch ball. Then all you need to do is to lock the coupler socket onto the vehicle’s hitch ball, and you’re good to go.
4. Towing Your Cargo Trailer
When towing your cargo trailer, it is important to have your wits about you. Go slow and steady. Always keep a greater distance between the vehicle in front of you and the vehicle behind you.
Make sure there are no protruding cargo trailer accessories that could cause damage to anything that you drive past. Take wide turns wherever possible. All of these steps will keep you, your cargo, and everyone else on the road safer.
Now that you know everything there is to know about towing a cargo trailer, it’s time to learn more. By consulting our in-depth Automotive Resources, you will be able to find everything you need to drive and deliver like a pro. Check it out today.