There are many aspects to safely towing cargo. Everyone knows you need the right type of vehicle to safely handle hitches in Eugene, OR. Experienced towers know too that your engine better be in good condition, along with quality tires, and knowing how to load your cargo is critical to a safe journey. Above all else, every tower should know the towing capacity of their vehicle in order to avoid costly repairs.
Another component of safe towing deals with the tongue weight. If you are unfamiliar with this term, then read ahead to learn why tongue weight plays a part in safe towing:
Hopefully when you’ve purchased hitches in Eugene, OR the employee that sold it to you mentioned tongue weight. Basically, tongue weight refers to the amount of weight borne by the trailer hitch. Think of it this way: when your vehicle tows something, a certain amount of weight is applied to the vehicle and tow. Every part of the vehicle takes on different parts of the weight, hopefully evenly disbursing it to ensure safety. Your vehicle’s suspension takes some of the weight, as do your tires, the tow and the tow’s wheels. Some of this weight is taken on by the hitch itself.
The amount of this weight taken on by the hitch is called your tongue weight. Most experts suggest that about 10 percent of all the weight should be applied to hitches in Eugene, OR. This may seem like an arbitrary number, but it actually is critically important. Especially if you think about the location of the hitch, right in the center from your vehicle’s front to the tow’s back, this is an important junction point also tasked with acting as the connection between two heavy weights. Too much or too little weight applied to the tongue can therefore result in significant issues.
The most common issues associated with tongue weight are steering problems and fishtailing problems. Too much weight on the tongue will result in far less responsive steering. If you have ever towed, then you know the importance of having quality and responsive steering. Whenever steering is compromised during towing, then consider checking your tongue weight.
The opposite problem is to have a trailer that sways around or even fishtails into another lane. This is caused by too little weight applied to the hitch. The dangers of this are obvious—you can endanger your own life and the lives of others by failing to account for tongue weight.
Don’t let any of this happen to you. Tongue weight is easily measured using specialized scales. Visiting a towing specialist can result in you easily having tongue weight measured in order to determine whether you are safe to tow or not. Given how easy it is, there is little excuse to not having a good idea of your tongue weight every time you tow. Considering the risks involved, make sure you have your tongue weight checked next time you plan on towing.