Before you start taking your trailer down the road, there are a few things you need to do to make sure that you are following the law.
Weigh Your Load
Your normal license has a weight limit for what you can drive. This is to keep you from driving a large vehicle that you are not experienced enough to drive. You need to fill up your trailer and weigh it. If you are planning on bringing heavy equipment, consider a lighter trailer unless you want to test for a new, higher-level license. Custom trailers can be built to fit your needs, making them ideal if you need a lighter trailer that will just 'do the job.'
Read About Your Vehicle
Your vehicle also has a weight towing limit. Obviously, the bigger the vehicle, the more it can tow, but that does not mean that a truck can tow an infinite amount of weight. Your vehicle's owner's manual should have the instructions for your specific vehicle. Also, you may need to install a few extras on your vehicle to make it ready to tow a trailer. These extras may include power brakes, upgraded axles and suspension and mirrors.
Follow the Safety Rules
Don't do anything that could cause harm to someone in your group or in a another group. It is always a good idea to read up on the rules of the road, which may have changed at least a little since you started driving. You will also be reading them with a different mindset now that you have a trailer. A few of the most important safety rules are the following:
- Keep a fire extinguisher with you at all times.
- Close any electrical and water connections before you move the trailer.
- Maintain and check your vehicle regularly.
- Never allow passengers to ride in the trailer.
Change Your Stopping Time
Because you are carrying a lot more weight, be aware of the space you need to properly stop. You will need more space and time to carefully stop the weight in your trailer. Remember that having a custom trailer will allow you the ability to change that weight amount, affecting the stopping time. It is always better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. Last of all, rain, snow, etc, will affect the stopping time even more, as with all vehicles. Make sure that your brake pads still work well and will be able to control the vehicle, even with its extra weight.