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Loading your trailer

Date: 12 Dec 2011

Topic: Articles : Trailer Information

Important points to follow when towing trailers

  • All trailer loads must be securely tied down. It is illegal to tow a trailer when the load being carried is not correctly secured.
  • Never overload your trailer, check your towing vehicle load capacity and stay within its limits as well as the trailers load capacity.
  • Always load your trailer with the bulk of the weight over the trailers axle(s). If possible keep the load as low to the trailer deck as is practical.
  • The load on your towbar should be between 30 to 60 kg depending on your trailer type and the trailer drawbar should be sitting on the towing vehicle , level or slightly nose down.
  • If your load is unbalanced too far to the front of the trailer you will struggle to lift the drawbar onto your towing vehicle. Likewise if the load is too far back, the drawbar will tend to lift very easily and in extreme cases tilt the trailers rear to the ground. In both these cases, the load should be repositioned.
  • An unbalanced load can cause your trailer to pivot on the towbar, forcing the towing vehicle to sway from side to side. To reduce the chance of swaying always concentrate the largest proportion of your load in the centre of the trailer, and try to avoid sudden changes of direction, especially when changing lanes or overtaking.
  • If your trailer starts to sway, do not apply your brakes but remove your foot from the accelerator and allow the vehicle to slow down.
  • On a long trip, regularly check your securing ropes and straps. The load in your trailer may settle due to road vibration and come loose.
  • Your load must not extend more than 1.25 metres on either side of the trailer centreline (The maximum allowable width is 2.5 metres)
  • Any load that extends more than 1 metre behind the trailer must have a clearly visible white, red, orange or yellow fluorescent flag attached, The flag must measure 400mm x 300mm. Any load hanging from the back of the trailer must not touch the ground or obscure your indicator and brake lights.
  • Your load must not extend more than 4 metres from the trailer axle or the centre of the axles

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