4 Safe Driving Tips for Hauling Trailers

Sep 12, 2022 | How To

The following guide answers the popular question – What are safe driving tips for hauling a trailer?

Hauling a trailer is very different from driving a car. Before hooking up that trailer, you should understand these 4 safe driving trips for hauling trailers.

1. Towing Vehicle Attachment

To ensure safety on the road, it’s important to make sure the trailer is properly attached to the hitch before hauling.

Hitch Lock
Each trailer has a slightly different way of locking onto the hitch. It’s important to do your research to learn how to properly lock the hitch.

Breakaway Chains
Also, make sure you are hooking the safety “breakaway chains” to the truck. The breakaway chains keep the trailer attached to the towing vehicle if the trailer disconnects from the hitch. It is not uncommon for a hitch lock to fail. 

Plug-in Trailer Lights & Brakes
Properly hooking up your trailer also includes plugging in the trailer lights and brakes. Your trailer will always have light hookups but may not always have brakes. Not all trailers are equipped with brakes. But the lights and brakes are hooked up using the same plug in. 

Emergency Brake
Some trailers are equipped with an emergency brake, often called an emergency breakaway cable. The purpose of the emergency breakaway cable is to lock up the brakes on the trailer if it becomes disconnected from the towing vehicle. Not all trailers are equipped with an emergency break. 

2. Secure the Tow Load on your Trailer

Depending on the type of load you are hauling, there are different ways to properly secure the load to the trailer. Regardless of if you are hauling an enclosed or open trailer, it is important to secure the load. 

The most common types of straps are ratchet straps or chains and binders. The type of strap you should use is determined by the weight of your load.

Ratchet straps – Nylon straps that you ratchet to cinch tight.

Chains and binders – A chain with hooks that binds to tighten the chain. Chains are binder straps are typically used for hauling large machinery or heavy equipment.

3. Towing Mirrors

Compared to standard car or truck mirrors, towing mirrors provide line of sight beyond the side of your trailer. When towing a trailer, there is a larger area of blind spot. Towing mirrors allow you to have a greater visibility of any moving object behind or adjacent to your tow load. 

Most three-quarter-ton or larger trucks come equipped with mirrors that fold out into towing mirrors. They also make aftermarket extensions for vehicles that are not equipped with towing mirrors.

4. Brake Time

When hauling a heavy load, it will take longer for your vehicle and trailer to slow down when driving down the road at fast speeds. Giving yourself plenty of space between the cars in front of you will allow you plenty of time to break and slow down. The heavier your tow load, the longer it may take for your vehicle to brake. Not sure if your trailer needs brakes? Read this article for more insight on the types of brakes that are offered for your towing trailer.

These are just a few safe driving tips for hauling trailers. See our video below for more information on BlueSwift Axles and the solutions we can provide for you.