February 2011 Safety Tip

Trailer Towing

Pre-trip inspection:

  • Tires
    • Make sure the tire pressure is correct
    • Always check the PSI when your tires are cold
    • Make sure tires size matches what the manufacture recommends
  • Lights
    • Check your lights; make sure they are all working
  • Trailer brakes
    • Check the wire harness for wear marks or any cracks or tears
    • Check to make sure your trailer brakes are working properly
      • If your trailer has electric brakes make sure all components are in working order
    • You should check the break away system, battery and brake controller in the
  • Hitch
    • Check that their are no cracks or wear marks
    • Make sure the ball size matches hitch size and it is secure to the tow vehicle
  • Safety Chains
    • Make sure that their are no wear spots
    • Make the safety chains have the proper weight rating for your trailer
    • Make sure you attach them in a cross pattern and hook them to the tow vehicle
  • Cargo
    • Make sure that the cargo is secure and positioned on the trailer so that your tow vehicle pulls properly.
    • Too much weight on the tongue will cause the tow vehicle rear to sag and effect your steering.
    • Too much weight on the back end of the trailer can cause the trailer to sway while being towed.
  • Missing the pre-trip inspection could lead to various problems:
    • An inadequate tow vehicle or towing hitch for the trailer in tow
    • Failure to maintain proper tire PSI
    • Absence of brakes on the trailer
    • Lights not working