Avoid the Five Worst Towing Mistakes

January 16, 2018 11:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Unless you’re a towing pro, like our team members at AMR Auto Repair & Towing, you probably don’t know as much as you should about towing a trailer behind your truck or SUV. That’s not just an issue for you, your trailer and your vehicle—it’s also a problem for other drivers out on the road. Keep reading to learn some things to check and take notice of while you’re towing something behind your vehicle.

Know what you can tow

All vehicles aren’t created equal when it comes to towing in Salt Lake City, UT. Smaller vehicles can’t tow as much cargo as larger vehicles. Among other problems, towing more than your vehicle can handle leads to problems with your brakes, suspension, tires and transmission. Thankfully, info about how much your car or truck can carry is easy to find:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): This is the weight limit for your car, truck or SUV. This figure includes everything from the passengers in your car to the fuel in your gas tank.
  • Gross combination weight rating (GCWR): This is the GVWR plus the weight of the trailer and cargo you’re hauling.
  • Gross axle weight rating (GAWR): This is the amount your axel can bear without breaking. You’ll need to know the weight of your tow vehicle and trailer to figure out the number.
  • Towing capacity: This is the amount of weight your vehicle can pull. Your manufacturer will have this information.

Check your local regulations

Laws vary from state to state regarding brake and trailer lights, maximum trailer width and more. Be sure to check state regulations for each state you’re traveling through. The last thing you want is a ticket while you’re on vacation!

Don’t forget the brakes!

The heavier your trailer and cargo, the longer it takes to slow down and come to a complete stop. Because of this, many states require trailers over a certain weight to have a separate braking system. This braking system improves control and ensures that the trailer can stop if it becomes detached from the towing vehicle.

Properly load your cargo

Cargo that’s loaded unevenly on the trailer is more likely to sway from side to side while you’re driving down the road. That’s not good for you or your fellow drivers! Double check that 60 percent of the total weight of your cargo is in front of the axle. Also be sure to double check that all of your cargo is strapped down. You don’t want your belongings to fly out the back of your truck while you’re driving down the highway!

Remember you’re towing a trailer

Believe it or not, it can be easy to forget that you have a trailer attached to your truck. Make sure you have plenty of room on both sides of your truck and trailer. Give yourself extra time to slow down and speed up while you’re out on the road. Turning is also more difficult with a trailer—don’t try to make any tight turns!

Follow this advice about towing in Salt Lake City, UT and you’re sure to have a pleasant experience the next time you’re towing a trailer or vehicle. Feel free to give AMR Auto Repair & Towing a call if you have any more questions before your next trip!

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