Towing, hauling and strapping
Carrying cargo can be a daunting task. You have to be sure that your cargo is secure, alter the way you drive and be more aware of your speed and brake time. But by carrying more weight and possibly objects that can slip and cause serious damage to others on the road, a driver is responsible for making sure everything is in order before getting onto the road. Securing cargo and learning proper towing techniques is a must for a safe driver.
Strapping down and hauling cargo –
Each state has laws that were written keep the roadways clear of debris coming from the vehicles on the road. However, with a moment of planning, a driver can take some common sense steps to safe hauling.
- Throw a tarp over the cargo in the back of a truck and secure it with rope or other tie.
- If objects in the truck bed (or the objects strapped to the top of a car) extend past the bumper, then attach a red flag to the cargo. This warns other drivers to stay an extra distance back.
- Drive slower than usual
- Allow more room between vehicles and more time to stop the vehicle.
Driving while towing a trailer or other vehicle requires thought. Some things work opposite than what you would think they would work, and an unprepared driver can cause damage to themselves and others.
Some of the tips for trailer hauling are the same as above; such as driving slower and keeping a lot of room between vehicles, but here are some additional tips. The best thing to do, however, is to
- Share the road. If you have a parade behind you, pull into a passing lane or pull over to let people by.
- Don’t be herky jerky while steering. The trailer can shift and become out of control. Drive as smoothly as possible.
- Don’t brake quickly. Keep an eye on what is happening well ahead of you. Anticipate traffic lights.
- Make turns carefully. Trailers cut the corners at a different angle than the pulling vehicle. The trailer can run into the hillside, vehicles in other lanes or curbs if the corner is taken too close.
- Try to always pull into a space that you can pull out of in drive. Trailers are difficult to manoeuvre in reverse, especially for beginners.
- Know your size. Allow for plenty of extra room when changing lanes or merging.
- Use your mirrors frequently to check traffic conditions beside and behind you.
- Trailers can act like sails, be careful when driving in wind.
- Towing a trailer will guzzle more gas, always keep an eye on your gas gauge.
Plan out your course of action. Be safe when hauling or towing.