Load your trailer properly
Here are some practical tips on how to best position and secure the load. Both so that nothing will be displaced or fall off and so that the car's handling properties are maintained.
DISTRIBUTE THE LOAD AS EVENLY AS POSSIBLE.
Place heavy cargo in the middle or right in front of the axle (pair of wheels) on the trailer. Check that the tow hitch load (the load that the car's tow ball is exposed to) does not exceed the weight that is on the hitch.
Evenly distributed loads lead to proper tow hitch load (for maximum load, see hitch and/or the vehicle registration)
Back-heavy load leads to low tow hitch load. The coupling device is pressed upward and the rear wheels of the trailer are lifted, with the risk of the trailer meandering or wobbling so that you lose control of the vehicle.
Front-heavy loads lead to high tow hitch load and causes the front wheels of the trailer to lose traction. The braking distance becomes longer, the driving properties worsen, oncoming drivers risk being blinded by your headlights.
LASH HEAVY LOADS WITH STRAPS.
Heavier cargo must be secured so that it cannot move sideways, forward, backward or upward (such as when braking or turning). Remember that the load straps must be able to handle a load of at least twice the load weight (100 % front, 50 % rear and side).
- Load steadily towards the trailer's side boards.
- Lash with straps attached to the trailer's attachment loops or tie hooks (note: even if a tarpaulin or canopy is used). Beware the straps rubbing against sharp edges.
- Block in the sides with wooden blocks, pallets etc. (if the cargo only covers part of the platform).
- Fill out with shims to keep the load on the platform.
SECURE LIGHTER CARGO WITH NET OR STRAPS.
- Yard waste, empty boxes, insulation and similar lighter cargo is best secured with nets, tarpaulins or rope. A net gate makes it easier, but remember that the load on the open platform must also be covered from above.
MARK PROTRUDING LOADS
- Loads that protrude more than 1 m behind must be marked with flags (or cloth) and, in the dark, with red reflectors and red lights in the back. (The reflectors are positioned low to reflect the light from other vehicle's headlights).
- Loads that protrude forward are marked with flags in the day and in the dark with lights and white reflectors.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Connect the trailer to the car's tow bar when loading. Otherwise it is easy to put too big a load on the support wheel. Overloading voids your warranty, so think carefully when loading sand, gravel or other heavy material.
- Safety checks before driving: Is the ball joint locked? Is the electrical connection between the car and trailer working (check blinkers and lights)? Is the safety cable properly connected?