How To Drive Safely With a TrailerAugust 24, 2022 by Kyle McFarlane
Hooking up a trailer takes practice. Driving with a trailer takes even more practice to be confident when you’re on the road. Check your driver’s manual to make sure your vehicle can handle the weight of the trailer and the cargo. We recommend practicing in your driveway without any cargo in the trailer to get used to backing up and parking with the trailer. McFarlane Trailer Sales has a wide variety of aluminum trailers for sale to fit the cargo you haul most often. Here are some tips on driving safely with a trailer.
Although regulations may vary by province and community, tow mirrors are important whether the law requires them or not. You want to be able to see the back end of your trailer with your mirrors. If you can’t adjust the regular mirrors out to be able to see the car behind you, you should invest in tow mirrors. Larger trailers and/or closed trailers make it more difficult to see the car behind you. Get tow mirrors before you start driving around.
Drive below the speed limit when you are hauling a trailer. Stay in the right lane. Remember that it may take longer to accelerate with the weight behind you. Don’t get in a rush. Stay relaxed. Many drivers without trailers have accidents when they get stressed and are trying to go too fast. The trailer will make it even more difficult to drive defensively. It’s better to get to your destination safely without damaging your vehicle, cargo, or another car than to try and rush. Plan more time than your GPS allows.
Take Corners Wide
A trailer changes the length of your vehicle, so you’re going to want to take corners a little wider than you’re used to. Pay attention to where your wheels are. It’s easy to hit the curb or a post on the corner when you’re driving a long trailer. Generally speaking, it’s not the vehicle that will be the problem. It’s the trailer. The wider you can take a corner, the more room the trailer has to get around the corner. When you’re on a two-lane road, turning onto another two-lane road, wait for other cars to get out of your way, to have more room to turn. Once you get more familiar with how the trailer handles, you may find that corners are easy.
Just as more weight makes it difficult to accelerate, it will also make it more difficult to slow down and stop. Put more distance between you and the car ahead of you. Three to four vehicle lengths are recommended, but the more weight you have, the more distance you should leave. Other drivers aren’t often aware of the distance rule for vehicles with trailers, so you may find yourself having to make adjustments when other cars pull in front of you.
Before getting out on the road, make sure the trailer is hooked up correctly. Check the brake lights. Drive for about 15 to 20 minutes. Get out and check everything again. Sometimes, the load can shift, which can change how the trailer handles. If you didn’t hook up the trailer right, you have a chance to fix it before you get out on the highway. Check the tires again. It’s just safer to do a double check on all the connections to catch any problems before you take the trailer too far.
Find a large inventory of aluminum trailers for sale at McFarlane Trailer Sales. Not sure what you’re looking for? Ask our team to help you find a trailer that suits your needs.