Driving a car or truck with another set of wheels attached to it is a bit challenging than driving the vehicle by itself. There are several things to keep in mind because an improper trailer set-up can make the towing process bumpy and uncomfortable. This can also shift or damage the vehicle you are towing, which could result in serious accidents. So to avoid any potential downside, it is best to remember these tips before attempting to pull a vehicle.
- Proper tongue weight and load check
Before towing a vehicle, it is essential to set the tongue weight to ten to fifteen percent of the total weight of the trailer. Doing this is for food stability. Thus, make sure that you use the proper tongue weight before anything else. Aside from that, do not also forget to perform a load check from time to time. No matter how you keep the ropes tight for the load, they will loosen up eventually as the suspension jiggles. Stop after ten miles, check the weight, and retighten it.
- Check the tire pressure and inspect thoroughly
Never tow a vehicle without checking the tire pressure. If tires run cooler, it will consume less gas and will make you save a lot. However, if one of the tires is noticeably hotter, you are in trouble. Take time to pull over to check the tire, brake drum, and wheel-bearing temperatures. You do not need a non-contact infrared thermometer gun to do it. With just the palm of your hand, you will know if the tire pressure and wheel bearing are not okay.
Moreover, do not miss to check the safety chains or trailer harness you place under the hitch. Be sure that these chains are still connected so you will not encounter an accident along the way. Inspect the nut, hitch pin, and its hairpin if these are still holding the drawbar.
- Assess the brakes and the bearing life
As you begin your tow trip, check if the brakes are functioning correctly by sliding the brake controller level for more than an inch or so. It is important to feel the trailer brake actuate. When it comes to your trailer bearings, be sure to pack it with the most effective synthetic wheel-bearing grease. You can do this annually or whenever there is a need to do so.
- Bring the necessary tools for car repair
Whenever you are about to tow a vehicle, always have the tools and equipment for repair in case anything goes wrong with your truck. Bring in some extra tires, battery, cones, and other car essentials. Never forget to have your license and car insurance ready, as well as a contact number for prospective towing companies that you can seek help. Towing is a risky process and can put your life and your vehicle in danger. If you are not prepared for any unexpected damages or accidents, you might not be able to reach your desired destination. Have everything ready and do not start a towing process without an incomplete gear.