Safe Trailer Towing Tips and Practical Protection Advice

Safe Trailer Towing Tips and Practical Protection AdviceDriving in the winter comes with its own set of hazards. Taking on utility trailers or dump trailers makes the drive even more difficult. If you’re using your truck with a trailer this season, make sure to get some experience on the road before you tackle the snowy streets. It is always important before heading out to fully inspect your vehicle and trailer. Here are 4 practical tips for towing and protecting your trailer. 

1.) Ensure the Towing Vehicle Is in Good Condition.

In the winter, it’s even more important to have your towing vehicle in good condition. Before you take your trailer out on the road, check the systems of the vehicle to make sure everything is in good operating condition. Pay special attention to the brakes, so you can stop effectively. Make sure you have a good set of winter tires that are properly inflated. Check all the fluids. If you’re using an electric brake system, you may want to check the wiring before you get out in bad weather. The last thing you want while you’re hauling extra weight is for your towing vehicle to break down.

2.) Ensure the Trailer Is in Good Condition  

Whether you’re using enclosed cargo trailers or open utility trailers, it’s important to check the trailer before any trip. Check the wiring and lights before you ever load up the trailer. Inspect the tires for wear and proper inflation. Double-check the lug nuts to make sure they are tightened to the specs. Once you’re sure your trailer is in good condition, you can load it up. Then check the load. Distribute the weight across the trailer with 60% in the front and 40% in the rear. Secure the load. Drive one or two miles, then check the load again to make sure it hasn’t shifted.

3.) Tips To Prevent Jackknifing

Slow down when you’re driving in winter conditions with a trailer. Don’t use cruise control. Drivers tend to be more relaxed when they’re on cruise control, which doesn’t give you as much time to react. Leave more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. You’ll need more time to stop with a trailer, especially if there is snow on the roads. Learn how to deal with jackknifing, so you can bring the trailer back in order. An empty trailer is more likely to jackknife, but don’t think you won’t jackknife with a full load. When you do turn, start to brake while you’re still driving straight. Use your mirror to watch the trailer for any swinging or swaying. Don’t accelerate in the turn. Wait until you can accelerate in a straight line. If the trailer does start to angle, acceleration will usually get it back in line. If you do brake, be gentle. Hard braking will not give you any control over the trailer.

4.) Prepare For the Worst

Hope for the best. Keep an emergency kit in your towing vehicle that includes extra tie-down straps, chains, spare tires, flares, and blankets. You may also want to include flashlights with extra batteries and water, just in case you end up in a ditch somewhere. Don’t drive with a trailer if you aren’t confident on snowy or icy roads. Waiting may be inconvenient but not as inconvenient as an accident or injury.If you’re looking for high-quality dump trailers, McFarlane Trailer Sales can help you find what you need. We have a good selection of trailers and trailer parts in stock, to keep you on the road when you have something to haul. As a dealer, we can help you find the right trailer to fit your needs or help you design a custom trailer that suits your business. Contact us to learn more.

Protecting Trailers From Harsh Weather Conditions

Protecting Trailers From Harsh Weather ConditionsA trailer is a big investment, so you want to properly protect it from the elements to extend its longevity. Regular maintenance and proper care are essential for keeping your trailer in good condition. Use these four tips to protect your investment and keep the trailer in great shape.

Store It Properly

When you aren't planning to use your trailer for a while, your best option is to store it to protect it from the elements. Obviously, the best option for trailer storage is an enclosed garage. Enclosed spaces protect your trailer from storms, debris, dust and water that could damage the exterior. Enclosed spaces also have hard flooring that preserves the tread on your trailer tires. If you make sure the tires are well inflated before storing the trailer, you can be confident that they will stay in good condition once you return to use the trailer.If an enclosed garage is not an option and you must store your trailer on grass, consider using pavers to keep the tires properly inflated. You can also store the trailer on asphalt to prevent wearing down the tires. The most important thing to think of if you are storing your trailer outdoors is how to cover it. Invest in a high-quality, waterproof trailer cover that can protect more investment from the elements.

Clean It Well

You probably know the importance of cleaning your vehicle on a regular basis, but you may not know that you need to clean your trailer for the same reasons. Spray down your trailer before putting it in storage so you can remove any dirt, dust, salt, liquid road spray or impurities that could damage the exterior. You don't necessarily have to wash your trailer every time you use it, but the more you can wash it during the winter months, the better off you will be. During the winter when snow is likely, most cities use salt on the roads to produce better traction for vehicles. While salt can be a lifesaver, it can also be extremely damaging to the exteriors of vehicles and trailers. It's best to hose down your trailer after every winter excursion if you want to keep it in good shape.

Inspect It

Make it a habit to inspect your trailer on a regular basis. Check the exterior for any dents or scratches. Check the tire pressure and cap the valve stems as needed. Add more air as necessary. You should also thoroughly inspect the components underneath the trailer. If everything is in good working condition, you won't have to do anything to extend the longevity of your trailer, but inspecting its performance regularly allows you to catch small issues before they spiral into major problems and need significant repairs.

Maintain the Tires

Your trailer tires are just as important as the ones on your primary vehicle, so if you plan on storing your trailer for any length of time, it's important to take proper care of the tires. If you neglect tire maintenance, you may find deflated or dry-rotted tires the next time you take your trailer out of storage. Make sure you examine the valve stems and check the tire pressure (keep at the PSI recommended by the tire manufacturer –stated on the wall of the tire) on your trailer before storing the vehicle. Clean off any dirt that has built up on the valve stems and cap them to prevent air from leaking out. You should also ensure that your tires are dry before putting your trailer in storage.

Find a Great Selection of Trailers at McFarlane Trailer Sales

McFarlane Trailer Sales has a great selection of trailer models to fit individual needs. We also provide trailer service and repair to keep your investment in great working condition. If you're looking for a new trailer and want to be sure that it is properly serviced and made of high-quality materials, contact us today to ask about our current inventory.

Practical Advice for Parking and Storing Trailers

Practical Advice for Parking and Storing TrailersYou probably know that there are parking laws regarding where you park your vehicle, but you may not be aware that a trailer, whether it's used for personal or business purposes, is considered a commercial vehicle and is also subject to parking laws. Restrictions vary widely among cities, so the best way to ensure you are following the law is to check with specific localities. In general, this is what you can expect about parking your trailer.

Where Can You Park Trailers?

As long as you don't park a trailer in your front yard, you can store it anywhere on your property. Your backyard makes a great place to store a trailer, and you can also park it alongside the side of your house. Rented a storage space or keeping the trailer in an outbuilding on your property when not in use are also good options. Some cities even allow you to store trailers on your driveway, but make sure you aren't violating any rules set forth by your homeowner's association if you choose this route.If you're traveling with a trailer, the same rules apply on any private property. You can park your trailer on public streets for up to 24 hours at a time, so you can park without fear of fines for short durations while traveling to different cities or states.

Where Should You Not Park Trailers?

Most cities prohibit you from parking a trailer in your front yard or blocking a neighbor's driveway if you park on the street. You must have express permission to park on private property for long periods of time. If you park in an alley or on a public street, you must move the trailer within 24 hours if you don't want to incur a fine. Your trailer may be towed if it is left on public property for more than 48 hours. Some cities have additional restrictions for parking, so make sure you check local regulations to avoid racking up fines by parking illegally.

Where Can You Store Trailers?

When you don't use a trailer frequently, you must store it properly if you want to keep it in good condition. Most cities don't allow you to park trailers in your driveway for extended periods of time, and even if they do, they aren't protected from the elements. If you aren't planning to use your trailer for a few months, it's best to store the vehicle in an enclosed space such as a garage or rented storage facility. It is important with seasonal temperature changes that you put a wood plank or board under the tire so the ground temperature doesn’t affect it. You should also:
  • Invest in a waterproof trailer cover to protect the vehicle from moisture and dust
  • Buy a security system to prevent theft
  • Jack up the front of the trailer to preserve tires and prevent water pooling on the roof
  • Remove brake batteries to extend longevity
  • Grease moving parts to keep them from becoming stiff

Where Can You Find a High-Quality Trailer?

Just like any other vehicle, trailers need maintenance to stay in good condition. If you purchase a trailer that hasn't been properly maintained, your investment probably won't last long. It's best to purchase used trailers from a reputable dealer such as McFarlane Trailer Sales. We have a wide variety of models in stock, including gooseneck and cargo models. All of our trailers are made of durable materials and undergo routine maintenance so you can be sure that you are getting the best value for your money.

Browse Our Selection Today

If you're in the market for a new trailer, McFarlane Trailer Sales has a great inventory of new and used options. Browse our selection of used trailers for sale or contact us today to find the one that best meets your needs.