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How to check the safety of your trailer

How to check the safety of your trailer

Connecting a trailer to your car is an essential part of towing. However, it's crucial to do it safely and correctly to avoid any accidents on the road. In this blog post, we'll cover some essential steps for connecting a trailer to your car and doing a safety check before driving away.

  1. Hitching the Trailer

The first step in connecting a trailer to your car is to hitch it securely. Make sure the trailer hitch is clean and free of any rust or debris that could prevent it from locking onto the ball. First, double check the ball and coupling are compatible as we have two common sizes in New Zealand, 1 7/8" and 50mm. Then, place the coupler over the ball, making sure it's fully seated. Lock the coupler into place and cross the safety chains underneath the coupler.

2. Tighten the Shackles

Make sure that the safety chains are secured with shackles and are tight before driving away. Loose shackles can cause the safety chain to detach from the car, causing a serious accident if the coupling also fails. We recommend tightening firmly with your fingers. 

3. Check the Lights

Before you drive away, it's crucial to check that all the lights on the trailer are working correctly. Have someone help you by standing behind the trailer and checking that the brake lights, turn signals, and tail lights are all functioning correctly. If any lights are not working, address the issue before you hit the road.

4. Check the Tire Tread

Inspect the trailer's tires and ensure that the tread is in good condition. Worn tires can lead to a blowout, which can be extremely dangerous while towing. Make sure the tires are inflated to the proper pressure and replace any tires that are worn or damaged.

5. Secure the Load

Ensure that the load is secured correctly before you drive away. Check that all straps or tie-downs are tight and that the load is evenly distributed on the trailer. It's crucial to ensure that the load is not too heavy for the trailer or the car. You can check your trailer’s payload easily on the drawbar of all Pinto trailers. 

6. Balance the Weight

When loading the trailer, make sure that the weight is distributed correctly. The front of the trailer should be heavier than the rear, which will help to prevent swaying and ensure that the trailer is stable on the road. 

7. Check the WOF

Finally, make sure that your trailer has a current Warrant of Fitness (WOF). A WOF ensures that your trailer is safe and roadworthy and is required by law. If your trailer doesn't have a current WOF, do not drive it until you've had it inspected and any necessary repairs have been made.

Connecting a trailer to your car and towing it safely requires careful attention to detail and adherence to safety protocols. By following these essential steps, you'll be rest assured that your trailer is connected securely and is safe to drive. As a responsible driver, make sure you  have made these checks before hitting the road.