Workplace training and safety blog
Posted in Defensive Driving, Safety

Trailers Guide - Handy Tips

How to connect your trailer to your car

Firstly, move the trailer to an open, easily accessible area. Reverse your vehicle in a straight line to the trailer and raise the trailer coupler slightly higher than the tow ball.  Back your vehicle up until the coupler is directly above the tow ball and unlock the trailer coupler latch. Lower the coupler socket onto the vehicles tow ball, lock the coupler latch and insert the latch pin.

Wind the jockey wheel up and swing it out of the way, attach the safety chains to the back of your vehicle in a cross pattern and locate the wiring socket on the back of your vehicle. Plug the trailer wire into your vehicle.

Always good practice to test the taillights, indicators, and brake lights on the trailer. If your trailers GVM is over 750kg you will need to release the trailer brake.

Handy tips for towing a trailer

When towing a trailer there are a couple of things you will need to remember

  1. Your vehicle may not accelerate as quickly when pulling out from the kerb or from a side street.
  2. Leave a bigger space between you and the vehicle in front of you, as your vehicle with a trailer will take longer to stop.
  3. When turning you will need to take the corner a little wider to allow for the trailer.  Do a trailer course

Reversing a trailer

Here's a few tips to get you on the right path.

1.If you haven't reversed a trailer before, or if you haven't done it in a while, give yourself a chance to practice in a large empty space.

2.To start, get the tow vehicle and trailer as straight as possible.

3.If you can have someone assist you - it can greatly help especially in tricky situations such as a boat ramp. But make sure you discuss how you will communicate, otherwise you can end up worse off!

4.Work out the best way for you to see the trailer, using mirrors or looking out the window. But only do one as changing back and forth from mirrors to window tends to confuse most people.  Want to learn in a course

5.Place one hand at the top of the steering wheel and only turn as far as you can without letting go, this way you will always know where your wheels are pointing, and you will not over steer.

6.Most importantly, remember that the trailer will take a few seconds to start turning so you need to be thinking ahead.  

7.Always start with little movements of the steering wheel so you can get a feel for how the trailer will react as small trailers will turn faster than a long trailer.

8.The trailer turns in the opposite direction to the way you turn the steering wheel.

9.Turning the steering wheel to the right will turn the trailer to the left.  Turning the steering wheel to the left will turn the trailer to the right.  See drawing below.

Trailers Guide - Handy Tips

10.Follow the trailer around the curve by straightening your vehicles steering wheel a little.

11.If you turn too far the trailer can jack-knife causing damage to both vehicle, trailer and your ego.  It is ok to drive forward and straighten things up if you need to.  I can offer you a trailer course

Trailers Guide - Handy Tips