Do you know the best practices when using a trailer?
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers is hosting National Trailer Safety Week this week.
It is designed to improve the safety on roadways by educating drivers on safe towing and attaching trailers.
Officials said they see accidents involving trailers often.
After speaking with a few trailer owners, they said they aren't surprised.
"You got to stay on it, because a lot of times, stuff will go down, and you don't even know it," said Robbin Loud. He drives a trailer every day for his lawn and gardening business.
"I check it all the time. Sometimes I can feel it vibrating. You can feel it vibrating when you're driving, and I had to tighten it up," said Loud.
Loud said he knows the risk he is taking when using his trailer, especially after his own experiences.
"My chain saved me, you know the chain stayed hooked up, but the trailer hitch came off," explained Loud. He was driving down Westover Boulevard one day when he hit a bump.
"But the trailer, the chain that was hooked up to, so that's what kept the trailer onto the truck," said Loud.
Since that day, Loud said he always pays attention to his surroundings.
That is similar to what William Posey said about his hitch.
"I watch both mirrors, you know what I'm saying? All three mirrors, because you have to watch the other drivers, plus your own driving," said Posey.
Posey and Loud both agree that many accidents happen because of other drivers.
"Turning short on curbs, a lot of times people follow too close to trailers, and not checking your chain," said Loud.
Here is more information on how to properly secure your trailer before hitting the road:
- Check and correct tire pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer, including the spare tire.
- Make sure the wheel lug nuts/bolts on the tow vehicle and trailer are tightened to the correct torque.
- Be sure the hitch, coupler, draw bar and other equipment that connect the trailer and the tow vehicle are properly secured and adjusted.
- Make sure the safety chains are properly crisscrossed and connected, not touching the road but with enough slack to make turns.
- Check that the wiring is properly connected; not touching the road, but loose enough to make turns without disconnecting or damaging the wires.
- Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals and hazard lights are working.
- Verify that the brakes on the tow vehicle and trailer are operating correctly.
- Ensure the breakaway system lanyard is connected to the tow vehicle but not to the safety chains or ball mount.
- Check that all items are securely fastened on and in the trailer.
- Be sure the trailer jack, tongue support, and any attached stabilizers are raised and locked in place.
- Check load distribution to make sure the tow vehicle and trailer are properly balanced front to back and side to side.
- Check side- and rear-view mirrors to make sure you have good visibility.
- Check routes and restrictions on bridges and tunnels.
- Make sure you have wheel chocks and jack stands.
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