Posted on: Feb. 18, 2017 in Driving, Safety

For some, the need for transportation can go beyond the basic. You may need to haul items, so a vehicle you can secure a trailer to may be in order. But how much do you know about using a trailer properly? And if you’re in the market for a new car, do you know what kind to buy that can withstand towing something?


First up, you need to make sure that the car you have, or the one you intend to buy, is capable of towing that which you need to tow. You’ll need to know the weight of the trailer and that of the cargo you’ll be towing. Make sure the vehicle you’ll be using can pull this combined weight. The manufacturer should provide guidelines for towing capacity.

It’s also a good idea to find out the regulations in your state that govern trailers. Your Department of Motor Vehicles should be able to provide this information. You’ll likely need to register the trailer and possibly have it inspected as well.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you might think you’re ready to hit the road, but wait! You should perform safety checks each time you use your trailer to be sure everything is in proper working order. The trailer manufacturer should provide you with guidance as to how to maintain the trailer, but here are a few tips:

  • Be sure the trailer and all accompanying hardware is free of corrosion.
  • Test the lights and wiring to be sure the connections are working properly.
  • Check the tires of the trailer for dry rot (especially if it’s been sitting for a while) and be sure the tires are properly inflated.
  • You should have a spare tired that is also properly inflated.
  • Inspect the winch, cable, lock, and any braking mechanism on the trailer. Also, be sure to check that the trailer is properly secured to your vehicle and safety chains are properly in place.

The ability to haul larger items may be a necessity for you, whether for work or for pleasure. However you go about this, take all the proper precautions to lower your risk of injury, accident, or damaging the vehicle, the trailer, or the items you’re towing.

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