This towing guide for truck owners is extremely helpful to anyone. If you own a pickup truck, there’s a good chance you’ll be using it to tow at some point. However, this task isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Hauling a load the wrong way can lead to disaster. You need to develop a whole new set of driving skills. Here are a few important towing tips to keep in mind.
Research Your Truck’s Limits
Before you even attempt to haul something, first research the truck’s tow rating. Always stay within your limits. Attempting to tow too heavy of a load can have some serious consequences. The excess mass will cause handling to be especially poor, which ultimately increases the chances of you being in an accident.
A load that exceeds the maximum towing capacity puts extra stress on your truck. The suspension can only handle a certain amount of weight. You must also consider the damage that could be done to the powertrain. Both the engine and transmission may begin to heat up like a pressure cooker.
It’s always a good idea to practice safe driving habits. However, you need to use even more caution when towing a load. Far too many people fail to reduce their speed. Although the posted speed limit may read 70 mph, you may want to reduce your speed to 60 mph. Don’t hesitate to travel in the slow lane.
Never forget to factor in the added weight of the trailer. Expect to notice a big difference in braking performance. It often takes up to two times longer for a loaded truck to come to a complete stop. Be sure to maintain a safe distance away from the next vehicle ahead. Not only will slowing down help keep you secure, but it will also boost fuel economy. Traveling at a faster speed naturally creates more wind drag.
Consider Getting a Friend to Tag Along
When hauling with your truck, it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes. If you don’t have a great deal of experience at towing, consider asking a friend or family member to tag along. The extra peace of mind is well worth.
It’s important to keep your eyes on the road while at the wheel. Although you should routinely glance into the rearview mirrors, avoid completely turning your head to check on the trailer. Ask your buddy to monitor things. Another option is to upgrade your truck cargo-view camera system.
Check Your Tires
Develop a habit of checking the condition of your tires. Underinflated tires can have a negative impact on the truck’s driving dynamics. As temperatures heat up, a dangerous tire blowout is also more likely to occur.
Don’t forget to observe the speed rating for the trailer’s tires. The majority of trailer tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph. This is especially true for cheaper-grade tires.
Practice Towing In a Vacant Area
Before you take a trip on a crowded roadway, first practice towing a trailer in a vacant parking lot. Many first-timers make the mistake of cutting corners too sharp. You’ll need to make wider turns to clear curbs and street corners.
For many truck owners, backing up with a trailer often proves to be an even bigger challenge. Reversing too fast can lead to jackknifing, which is when the truck and trailer to meet at an awkward angle. After a while, you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
Know the Local Laws
It’s in your best interest to get more familiar with local laws regarding pickup truck trailers. You definitely don’t want to get ticketed by the police. While trailers don’t need to be inspected by an auto shop in North Carolina, they do need to be titled and registered. Among the few exemptions are farm trailers. Red reflectors are required to enhance safety. However, trailers that weight more than 4,000 must have full working lights.
Properly Secure Cargo
Always take the time to properly secure your load. When making sudden maneuvers on the road, stuff can quickly begin to shift. Tie-down your cargo with ropes or chains to enhance stability. You also need to balance the weight of the trailer. Ideally, heavier cargo should be placed forward. This will help prevent unexpected swaying. Lastly, we hope this article, “Towing Guide for Truck Owners” has been helpful!