Driving with a trailer is an extremely useful skill. Whether or not you’re going to use that skill in your profession, it’s still highly beneficial if you ever need to haul large items or if you need to pick up lumber from a lumber yard for a home project.
Here are a few tips for save driving with a trailer attached to your trailer hitch in Eugene, OR:
- Do your research: Before you attach a trailer, make sure you’ve looked through your vehicle’s owner’s manual for information about how much weight you’ll be able to haul. You might be surprised at how much even regular-sized sedans can haul, but you still shouldn’t press your luck and attempt to haul more than your vehicle is capable of safely handling.
- Practice: Before you actually get out on the open road with your trailer, it’s a good idea to do some practice around your neighborhood. Go in and out of your driveway, practice backing up and maybe drive around some empty parking lots in your area before you really start heavily using the trailer. You’ll quickly find that the size of the trailer is directly proportional to how many adjustments you’ll need to make as a driver.
- Increase your distances: You should get used to keeping a greater distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you any time you’re hauling a trailer. This is because your stopping distances will be naturally increased as well, as the extra weight will make it much harder for you to come to sudden stops. If you’re on the highway, it’s best to stay in the right lane, as you’re going to be slower than other traffic on the road.
- Widen your turns: Your vehicle has likely doubled in length, or at least close to it. This means you’re going to have to take turns much wider than you’re used to doing so you can avoid hitting curbs or other vehicles and so you don’t run off the road.
- Reverse: As we already mentioned, it’s important you practice driving in reverse. This is a skill that can take a bit of time to master. You shouldn’t go too sharply when reversing, otherwise you’ll jackknife the trailer. You also need to remember exactly what the steering wheel does to the position of the trailer while you’re maneuvering it.
- Parking: Keep in mind that parking with a trailer can be difficult. Small parking lots could very well prove impossible to use. You may need to use multiple parking spaces, and make sure you have enough room to exit. Typically, you should park in a remote area of the parking lot so you can make sure you have plenty of room to maneuver around.
These are just a few tips to help you be safe when driving with a trailer attached to your trailer hitches in Eugene, OR. Contact the team at Ron’s Hitch N Tow today for more information about trailer safety or to learn about the variety of towing products we carry.