Continue reading to review some important tips about safely loading a trailer before you tow it.
Trailer Loading Physics
Loading a trailer takes some rudimentary understanding of physics, namely inertia. Inertia is the theory that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, whereas objects that are stationary tend to stay still. This idea can directly relate to the items loaded in a moving trailer or vehicle. Even if the brakes are initiated properly, trailers and their cargoes will still want to continue moving in the direction they have been. This is why it is important to position them in the trailer correctly, to avoid tipping accidents and other damages caused by imbalanced cargo.
There are several wrong ways to load cargo into a trailer. Too much weight in the front, or top-heavy loads, can cause a trailer to dive forward, and the towing vehicle’s front end to raise off the ground, when the brakes are applied. However, too much weight in the back can cause the trailer to violently sway, leading to traffic accidents and cargo damages. Weight distribution plays a major role in towing safety, and can make or break a towing journey. Here are a few tips to remember when loading cargo in a trailer that will be towed:
• Read vehicle’s owners’ manual for weight capacity.
• Glue mats down to the floor of the trailer to increase friction and reduce slipping.
• Distribute and spread cargo out as evenly as possible.
• Always place heavy items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
• Keep loads as low as possible for flatbed tows.
• Use straps and ropes to tie down large cargo items.
• Do not let anything protrude from the back of the trailer.
• Use a public scale to weigh your trailer after loading it.
Tips for Unloading:
• Always park on level ground.
• Use cement blocks if you must unload on an incline.
• Utilize ramps and dollies to reduce exertion and back injuries.
• Move heavy items slowly.