Rugged, resilient, powerful, fearless, raw. These are just some of the words you use to describe that sweet new towing truck sitting in your garage. Towing trucks are built to pull heavy and sluggish trailers, as well as just about anything else you can attach to their hitch. However, if you’re new to towing, then you should be aware of the safety precautions associated with hauling large objects.
Today we’re going to talk about some of the most useful tips that will help you tow your load as safely as possible.
Check the Weight Ratings of Your Truck and Your Trailer
Inexperienced drivers usually only pay attention to the maximum tow rating. This is a mistake because there are several other numbers that you should consider when trying to match your truck to the load you’re pulling. Grab your owner’s manual and look up what are your payload and gross axle weight ratings, gross travel trailer weight (if you’re towing a trailer), gross combined weight, and tongue weight. A lot of drivers forget to include tongue weight and the weight of the passengers when calculating their gross weight.
Once you know these ratings, understanding whether you’re overloading your truck or not will be much easier.
Never Overload Your Truck
Overloading your truck is a big no-go when hauling long distances. Avoid hitting that maximum capacity number or else you’ll be jeopardizing your life, your insurance, and your vehicle. Not to mention your fuel economy will go through the roof. Pay attention to the ratings we mentioned above and keep it safe.
Whether you are using an SUV or a heavy-duty truck for towing, be sure to stay in the allowed weight limit and avoid overloading. Find out how much your vehicle can tow safely if you do not want to risk damaging it, or even worse, ending up in an accident.
You can look it up on the internet or in the owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle. When calculating the weight,
Check Your Vehicle Before You Leave the Driveway
No matter how many times you tow something, it’s always important to double-check if you have all your towing equipment with you. Inspect the truck by checking the condition of the tires since worn-out tires can cause bounce and sway. Trailer sway can be very dangerous and is one of the main reasons accidents happen. Finally, before you move out, make sure that the towbar is properly connected and is parallel to the ground.
Inspect the Brakes
Always make sure that the braking system is working properly both on the vehicle you’re using to tow, but also on the one that’s being towed. Malfunctioning brakes can jeopardize your life in a matter of seconds, so never leave your driveway if you’re not completely confident in their ability to stop in traffic. Also, be mindful of how you use your brakes. Keep your speed low and avoid braking suddenly. You can also utilize engine braking to reduce brake wear and fuel usage.
Choose the Right Truck for the Job
If you’re considering purchasing a truck for the sole purpose of towing, then you need to understand that there are only a few jack-of-all-trades types of trucks on the market and they don’t come cheap. Pay attention to the towing capacity, camper weight, and all of the other ratings we mentioned in this article. Also, consider the size of the trailer or vehicle that you’re towing.
Fifth-wheel towing requires a truck with a long bed to accommodate the larger hump of the trailer. There are workarounds, but their safety is debatable. The Dodge Ram 2500 and the Ford F350 are both respectable trucks in their own right, but at the end of the day, the best truck for towing travel trailer is the one that you can afford and the one that’s capable of meeting your towing needs.
Hire a Professional Towing Service
In case you don’t want to bother with all these weight ratings and safety precautions or you don’t own a truck capable of towing campers, trailers, and other vehicles, then hiring a professional towing service like Phoenix Towing is the way to go. We offer various towing services and own a fleet of more than capable trucks that are guaranteed to meet your needs. Call us today or contact us via our website for more information!