Towing a Car on a Flatbed

flatbed trailer

Towing a car on a flatbed is one of the safest ways to get your vehicle from one place to another. There could be any number of reasons to tow your vehicle on a flatbed. Perhaps you don’t want to damage the tires on rough surfaces. Maybe your car has broken down, and you’re better transferring it without the wheels turning – this holds particularly true for four-wheel drive vehicles. Regardless, if you want to purchase any flatbed trailers which are for sale, you need to know how to secure your car on a flatbed safely.

How to load Your Flatbed Trailer

Using a flatbed trailer to tow a vehicle is safe and reliable. The first part of towing a vehicle on a flatbed is getting it on the trailer. Follow these steps and your vehicle will be secured to the flatbed trailer safely:

Park your towing vehicle a few car lengths ahead of the car you’d like to tow. This provides plenty of positioning space for the flatbed trailer. Make sure the wheels of the towing vehicle are aligned with the wheels of your car;

Next, you’ll want to use the hydraulic system on the flatbed trailer. Lower the back of the trailer to make a ramp – this way your car can be rolled up the trailer;

Hook your car to the winch using the two available hooks. These hooks will be attached to the two slots normally found at the front of your car;

Your car – in neutral – will start to move up the ramp as the operator of the towing vehicle uses the winch lever;

Once your car is mounted, another lever is used to level the flatbed trailer;
At this point, the emergency brakes are applied to the winch and your vehicle is ready to be tied down.

How to Properly Secure the Vehicle to the Flatbed Trailer

Now that you’ve got the car on the flatbed trailer, it’s important to tie it down and secure it properly. Again, as you’ve probably guessed, there are several ways to do this. However, many of them can cause damage to your car, particularly if your trailer passes over uneven surfaces. Ideally, you don’t want to hook or tie anything to the car frame – this can wreak havoc on your car suspension system.

For this reason, one of the best methods of securing your vehicle to the flatbed is the 8 point tie down method. Once the tie down chains is secured to the trailer hooks at both the front and back, each harness strap is placed over the top half of the car wheel. The ratchet, attached to both the strap and tie down chain, can then be tightened. Each wheel will have two secure corresponding tie-down points, providing a safe and secure connection to the flatbed.

The Risks of Poor Technique

The technique required for towing a car on a flatbed trailer may sound complicated, but it’s very important that you’re aware of these steps. Get any of it wrong, and the results can be devastating. At best, a poor tie down method is going to cause damage to the vehicle you’re transporting. If you’ve put the straps around any axles, or worse, any of the suspension systems, then the journey is likely to pull and damage precious parts. At worst, the car could begin to move on the trailer and come loose, causing danger to other drivers.

Speak to the trailer experts at McFarlane. Not only do they have the best selection of trailers for sale, but they can advise on towing with a flatbed trailer safely.