Towing Tips

TIPS FOR LOADING AN OPEN TRAILER AND TOWING IT SAFELY

Open trailers are extremely useful for hauling recreational vehicles, lawn and gardening items, and even for commercial use for landscapers, construction, and other businesses. However, without following the proper steps for loading and towing, you put your own safety and that of others at risk, as well as risk damaging the goods you are towing. Let’s spend some time reviewing some best practices for loading an open trailer and towing it safely.

First, make sure you know the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to determine the most weight allowed of both your trailer and the cargo you wish to tow. Look for the GVWR on the VIN label of your trailer. Next, be aware of the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). This is the maximum distributed weight that the axle of your vehicle can support and will typically indicate FR for the front axle or RR for rear axles.

Other helpful things to know include:

With this information at hand, you’re ready to start loading your open trailer. Keep in mind that your open trailer should be loaded heavier in the front of the box – this should be about 60% of your cargo weight. Remember to pack your cargo closely and firmly, using tie downs or other tensioning devices to keep cargo secure. No small items should be loaded above the height of the sides of the trailer box, even if you are only transporting something a short distance across your yard.

Beyond those basics, there are some additional loading tips for open trailers to keep in mind.

Once your trailer has been properly loaded, be sure to follow all the precautions for towing safety, such as:

As always, consult with your owner’s manual or dealer for the most specific loading and towing instructions for your open trailer. You can find additional safety information in our Pre-Departure ChecklistGuide to Towing, and Vimeo Channel.

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