Sadly, not all of us are privileged enough to live right on the water where we can conveniently dock our boats, jet skis, and canoes right outside our homes. For the inlander communities, it is necessary to hitch and haul our amphibious engine-powered toys across the state, and sometimes even the country! For people who do this often, or travel seasonally, it is certain they probably have a pretty good idea on how to haul and tow boats. As for the rookies, learning can be quite overwhelming, and understandably so.
If you need to brush up on your boat towing safety, continue below for a brief review of what you need to know.
Towing a boat with your car, truck, or trailer requires undivided attention and care to ensure driver and passenger safety, as well as, the protection for the vehicle, trailer, and load itself. Once a person learns the ins and outs of boat towing, they are ready to take on the road, but before doing so, it is crucial to review the important basics of boat towing to ensure a safer hauling experience.
Driving in a straight line is not much of a challenge when hauling a boat on the road, however, when it comes time to make a turn, there are some strategies that help ensure extra care and caution. When making a turn with a boat attached to your car or truck, understand that turns are going to need to be much wider to accommodate the load. Remembering to make wider turns will help keep a driver safe on the road, and not a moving disaster for other drivers around them. Cutting a turn too narrow can result in exterior damage to the load and the vehicle and possibly other cars on the road. Narrow turns can cause the load to hit mailboxes, street signs, cars, curbs, and worse, pedestrians. Also, the load will always turn narrower than the vehicle, so drivers need to give everything plenty of room when turning and always check the mirrors too.
Visibility is the first and most important component to backing up a vehicle with a boat attached, safely. Using the mirrors is crucial, and if they are not big enough, larger mirrors can be purchased and installed for better visibility. In a perfect world, it is better to just avoid having to back-up the vehicle and load altogether. This is not always the case, so there are some more tips to backing up a towed boat safely. The vehicle will weigh more, be longer in length, and have a pivot right in the middle. These things all affect the way it is backed up. Moving slowing, making small adjustments with the wheel, and constantly checking mirrors will help overcome this challenge.
When a boat is being towed, it adds more weight to the vehicle. This added weight makes the vehicle take longer to brake and takes longer to completely stop. It is important to give the vehicle plenty of stopping room when beginning to brake. Paying attention to the other drivers and the road ahead can decrease chances of having to stop abruptly. A slow steady force of the foot will ensure a smooth deceleration of the vehicle and its load. Having a steady foot and an attentive mind will ensure a safe braking experience every time. Practice never hurt either!
Jack-knifing on the road is a huge inconvenience to other drivers on the road. Jackknifing is when a vehicle and the load attached get out of sync and create a “U” or “V” shape. We have seen semi-trucks do this while attempting a U-turn on a narrow street. There are some key tips and reminders to help avoid this undesirable situation. One way to do this is to double check the load that is attached, and be sure it does not sway at all when in tow. The swaying load can get enough momentum and swing all the way to the front of the vehicle, creating a jackknifing accident. Also, braking appropriately when approaching turns or bends in the road helps prevent jackknifing as well.
These are just some basic reminders to safe boat towing. Reviewing these topics before taking on the road is a good idea. Sometimes all we need are a few reminders to get our minds in focus before a big trip. It is helpful to make a list of things to check before leaving, and to brush up on techniques and skills to better and safer towing.
Professional Boat Towing and Transportation Services in Indianapolis
Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour boat towing services in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get your boat to or from the water, safe and sound! We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.