How to Safely Haul Loads on a TrailerSeptember 22, 2022 by Kyle McFarlane
Safety should be every cargo hauler’s top priority. Knowing your weight limits, having the right security equipment, conducting proper inspections, and using corner protectors will keep your load secure and other motorists safe on the road. A single-axle utility trailer may be your best option for lighter loads. Read more about how to set up your trailer for a safe ride.
Know How Much Weight Your Trailer Can Haul
Every trailer has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This is a combination of the trailer’s empty weight and the weight of the cargo. It is usually not possible to measure a load by itself, so you will need to complete some basic math before you load your trailer. Subtract the weight of the empty trailer from the GVWR, and you will have your maximum load capacity.
You can also look for the data plate on your trailer. It is usually located near the tongue. Under “axle capacity” you should see a number that lists the weight capacity of your trailer. This corresponds to the diameter of your axle and how much weight it can hold. For example, a 1.5″ axle diameter can hold up to 1,000 pounds, whereas a 5″ axle diameter can hold up to 10,000 pounds.
Have the Right Safety Equipment
Straps, ratchets, tie-downs, nets, and blankets all may be required, depending on the load. Plan ahead to make sure you have everything you need before you haul. Protect your safety equipment against excess sun, rain, wind, and road salt to ensure they last as long as possible.
Ratchet Strap Tie-downs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that you need one ratchet strap for every five feet of cargo length and every 1,000 pounds of cargo weight. You simply cannot overdo it when tying down your cargo. Always err on the side of caution. Inspect each strap for frays and damage. Make sure the ratchets are operating under their breaking strength and working load limit.
Heavy-duty blankets will keep your cargo from jostling and bumping into the sides of the trailer and other pieces in the load. Cargo will inevitably shift, so it’s a good proactive strategy to cover valuables to avoid dents, dings, cracks, and scratches.
Install these with bungees on the corners, between large items that may slide or tip while the vehicle is in motion. You can also use these to create safe partitions or barriers between different sections of the trailer.
Install Corner Protectors
As ratchet straps are tightened, they often dig into the sharp corners of a metal trailer, causing cuts and weak points. Corner protectors solve this problem by using tough, durable plastic, rubber, or steel that fits snugly against the sides and edges of your trailer bed. Thread the strap against the guiding gulleys of the corner protector to help your straps last longer.
Corner protectors are versatile in length and design. They are relatively inexpensive and come in bulk quantities. Find the size and shape configuration that meets your needs.
Buy a Single Axle Utility Trailer from McFarlane
We have dozens of utility trailers for sale, whether you’re looking for aluminum, steel, used, or new. Many of our trailers come with a three-year warranty. Our brands include Enbeck, Millroad, One Sixteen, and Rescraft.
Take advantage of our personalized customizations as well. We can retrofit any trailer to your specs, including:
- Custom brake controllers
- Interior accessorizing
- Plug-and-play vehicle wiring
- Drawbars and trailer hitches
- Mags and tires
Give us a call today or visit our website. We treat each trailer like our own and go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.