This guide is designed to help you stay safe on the road while driving with a trailer. It also includes some tips on how to pack your trailer load, as well as some ideas on where to hire a trailer in your local area. Trailer safety is very important, and if you follow the steps below you can be sure that you’ll stay safe on the road. It’s best to err on the side of caution, after all, most of us don’t usually drive a car with a trailer attached and it can be dangerous if you’re uncertain of the safety precautions necessary.
Hiring a trailer
When hiring a trailer in your local area the best place to start is probably the trailers & trailer hire category of your Yellow Pages. You could also try a local service station as they often have trailers for hire. If you have a large load you might like to consider hiring a trailer with a cage on it or possibly choosing a longer trailer. Trailers come in many different sizes, so have a look around and decided which size will work best for you.
How to attach and prepare to drive with a trailer
1. Be aware of all of the road regulations surrounding trailer driving. A list of regulations can be found on the NZ Transport Agency site. Your trailer has to be registered correctly to be insured
2. Make sure that when attaching the trailer to your tow ball that it is secure and that the safety chain is connected. You should never drive with a trailer without a safety chain.
3. Ensure the tyres are pumped up and to the correct pressure. This ensures that you will be safe when driving, braking and turning
4. Check that the brake lights, indicators and reverse lights are working. Remember than when you have a trailer attached, the back of your car is largely not visible
Once you have attached your trailer correctly, hop in the car and practice driving, turning and reversing. Most of the driving is pretty straightforward but reversing can be a bit difficult, especially with a heavy load on the back.
How to load your trailer
1. It might seem obvious, but pack the heaviest, largest and flattest items first. Then fit everything else in around these items
2. Don’t pack the load too high
3. Tie everything down securely with rope or straps. Use a tarpaulin if you need it, and make sure that it is secured as well
4. Make a second or third trip if you need to – there’s no point compromising the safety of yourself or your items just to save on time
Now that you have loaded the trailer and you’ve practiced driving, it’s time to put your skills into practice! There are a couple more things to consider while you driving, so follow these last few steps.
How to drive with your trailer
1. Ensure that you can see well out of all mirrors. Adjust this before you start driving as it can be a hazard if visibility is poor
2. Take off slowly and make sure you maintain a safe speed throughout your journey.
3. Check your load after driving a short distance to ensure that it is still secure and not moving around
4. Don’t exceed speeds of 90km per hour
5. When you’re turning corners you’ll need to take a wider berth than usual
6. You will need to leave a bigger gap than usual between the car in front and you. The load you’re carrying means that you will take more time to stop
Tags: trailer hire