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Car Trailer Safety
Adelaide Trailer Hire Safe Towing Guide.
ALL INFORMATION GIVEN IN THIS DOCUMENT IS TO BE USED AS A GUIDE ONLY. IT IS THE HIRER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THEY HAVE THE REQUIRED SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE TO SAFELY TOW AND OPERATE THE TRAILERS OR EQUIPMENT.
Using the trailer ramps
- Pre inspect the ramps before use to ensure they are safe to use for the job at hand.
- Ensure the trailer is attached to a vehicle before loading or unloading.
- Attach the ramps to the trailer using suitable straps so they can’t come unattached.
- Ensure the trailer ramps are secured to the trailer before towing.
Note: Never overload the trailer ramps.
Loading a vehicle onto the trailer (2 people required)
- Line up the ramps with the front tyres of the car.
- Monitor the ramps as the car is being loaded to ensure they are lined up correctly.
- Slowly drive or winch the vehicle onto the ramps.
- Continue straight onto the trailer until 60% of the weight is in the front half of the trailer.
How to secure a vehicle onto a trailer
- Load the vehicle onto the trailer straight and centered. (left to right).
- Ensure 60% of the weight is in the front half of the trailer. (Engine first).
- Always use rated ratchet straps (not rope) to secure the car to the trailer.
- Secure all four corners of the vehicle to the trailer.
- Tie down onto the vehicles rated tow points or over the chassis.
- Tie the vehicle down in such a way that the straps won chafe or move during transit.
- Disconnect winch strap during transit (if used) or it may snap or break.
- Ensure the vehicles handbrake is on and in gear.
- Check the tie down straps tension regally along journey.
Note: Never stand behind a vehicle whilst it is being winched onto a trailer as the cable may break.
Towing a car trailer
It is important to always allow extra space whenever overtaking, passing or turning with a car trailer.
- Always allow greater stopping distances when towing a car trailer.
- The weight of the trailer will reduce the performance of your cars brakes and require greater stopping distances. (Remember to break early and lightly for corners).
- Accelerate, break and steer smoothly to prevent swaying.
- Use a low gear when travelling down hills to increase vehicle control.
- It is a good practice to always have someone directing you when reversing with a trailer and apply your hazard lights to warn other road users that you are attempting to reverse.
How to use a trailer winch
Winches are very useful when loading broken down vehicles onto a car trailer, however it is important that all safety measures are carried out correctly to avoid damage or injury.
- Ensure the trailer is safely connected to the towing vehicle prior to operating the winch to prevent the trailer from rolling away.
- Only load vehicles onto and off of a trailer on a flat, sealed surface, ensuring the towing vehicle is in park with the handbrake on.
- If required, chock the towing vehicles wheels for added safety to prevent any movement.
- Open the winches safety latch and lock it into the open position.
- Pull the winch strap out towards the trailer ramps. (Watch out for spinning handle).
- Inspect the winch strap prior to use to check for excessive ware or fraying.
- Attach the winch strap to approved tow points on the vehicle only.
- Never stand behind a vehicle that is being winched onto a car trailer as the strap may fail at any time.
- Release the safety catch so that you can hear a clicking sound as you wind the winch in.
- Keep the winch strap centred and ensure the vehicle is loaded in the center of the trailer.
- Never wear lose clothing when using the winch as it may become caught in the cogs.
Note: The winch is designed to pull vehicles on to the trailer only and not to be used for unloading or for securing the vehicle to the trailer during travel.
How to unload a vehicle from a car trailer
- The trailer winch must never be used to unload a vehicle from a trailer.
- The vehicle must be unloaded using its own means and breaking.
- When unloading a vehicle from a trailer, a person must be steering and braking the vehicle from the driver’s seat.
- Always allow room for the vehicle to roll off the trailer in the event the brakes fail.
- Never stand behind the vehicle when loading or unloading the trailer as winch failure may cause the vehicle to roll off the trailer.
Adelaide Trailer Hire’s Safe Towing Guide
Trailer Safe Towing Guides
Our trailer safety guides include: Before you tow, How to check your car’s tow rating, Connecting a trailer, Loading a trailer, Towing a trailer, Long distance towing, Manual handling, Standard trailer brakes, Electric trailer brakes, How to use a jockey wheel, Trailer ramp user guide, How to use a ratchet strap, Sack truck user guide, Legal overhang guide, Car trailer safety, Motorbike trailer safety guide, Tipper trailer safety guide and more.
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