Trailer safety

boat-trailer[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ave you ever seen a boat and trailer rolling down the road without its tow vehicle? Ever had the experience when you thought you hooked your trailer to the truck correctly and suddenly it slammed into the back of your tow vehicle? Following several simple steps every single time you tow your boat will eradicate any worry you might have.

First, check to see that your coupler and tow ball are the same size. Once you know they are of matching size, you can line the coupler up slightly behind the tow ball, lower the coupler onto the ball, close the coupler clamp over the ball, and lock the coupler with a pin or a padlock. The next step is to attach your safety chains. The safety chains should always cross underneath the coupler. There should be enough slack to allow the trailer to turn, but not enough that the chains are dragging on the ground. Securely attach the safety chain hooks, which should have a closing clasp, to your tow vehicle.

After your safety chains are attached, connect the electrics from your trailer to your tow vehicle, checking all of your lights. Running lights, brakes, signal lights and the license plate light should all be in good working order.

At this point, focus on the condition of the trailer and tires. Check your tire pressure. Most trailers have a sticker detailing the appropriate pressure for the tires. Next, make sure your lug nuts are tight. For trailers that have surge brakes, attach the emergency stop breakaway cable to the tow vehicle, so that if the trailer separates from the tow vehicle the brakes will engage. Check your brake fluid to be sure the reservoir is at the required level. Lastly, walk around your trailer and inspect it for corrosion, checking the frame, the cross members, the bunk brackets and the axle(s) for excessive rust.

Following these simple steps and taking the time to inspect your trailer before you hit the road will allow you to safely transport your boat to your destination.

Charleston Trailer