McFarlane Trailers Sales: How To Safely Load A TrailerFebruary 20, 2023 by Kyle McFarlane
Whether you own or are looking to purchase utility trailers or any trailer, knowing how to load correctly is crucial to safe hauling. Improper loading can create risks to the trailer, equipment, driver, and other people on the road. Before you invest in a trailer, ensure you understand the fundamentals of loading.
Understanding Safe Loading
When loading a trailer, you need to consider various factors, including cargo, vehicle, and the trailer itself. Not all cargo is equal, and the weight distribution and shape of equipment or materials will matter when it comes to loading and placement. To stay safe, always follow four rules when loading your trailer.
1. Check the Specs of the Tow Vehicle
You may know that your trailer can hold up to 10,000 pounds, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle can manage such a heavy load. Before loading anything onto your trailer, make sure you check the specifications of the tow vehicle. The last thing you want to do is damage your truck.
2. Stay Below Weight Capacity Limits
Trailers, by design, are workhorses. The vehicles can handle significant loads, but people can get a little overzealous when loading their trailers. It is essential to know the weight of your haul. You might meet trailer capacity and still have room on the trailer bed. Having space does not necessarily mean you can load more, not even with enclosed cargo trailers.
3. Obey the 60/40 Rule
Most professionals agree that when loading your trailer, you need to follow the 60/40 rule. The rule suggests that 60% of the cargo is toward the front of the axle and 40% behind it. Obviously, there might be occasions when obeying the rule isn’t possible, but it is a safety measure for most jobs.
4. Center Heavy Objects
When moving heavier equipment, it is best to center it over the axle, which seems to go against the 60/40 rule. With extremely heavy or dense cargo, it is safer to load the equipment over the axle, capitalizing on the strength and design of the trailer.
Acknowledging Risks of Improper Loading
Improperly loading a trailer can lead to safety issues and potential hazards. Since you intend to operate the trailer on the roadways, improper loading is a safety risk for yourself and others. Improper loading techniques can lead to four potential problems.
If the weight is not distributed correctly on the trailer bed, you may experience swaying as you drive. Swaying can make it challenging to control your vehicle and stay in your lane. You want to distribute the load correctly to ensure driver control.
2. Trouble braking
Poor weight distribution can also make it difficult to brake. If the load is too far ahead of the axle, it will put excessive pressure on the tow vehicle. If it is too far back on the trailer, it will pull on the tow vehicle, causing significant drag.
Improper loading can also cause significant and costly damage to your trailer. For example, if the cargo is too heavy, it can bend the axle. Also, if overloaded, the trailer tongue can break, which is why it is vital to pay attention to stated weight capacities.
Swaying, inadequate braking, and damage can all result in severe accidents on the road. Knowing tow capacities and obeying loading rules can minimize risks.
Buying Your New Trailer From McFarlane Trailer Sales
Now that you understand the importance of safe loading and know the rules, it is time to invest in your new trailer. Contact a representative at McFarlane Trailer Sales and ask about the available inventory of dump trailers and customization options.