It is important to know how to safely load a car onto a trailer, be it an enclosed trailer or a flat trailer. While we pride ourselves on how safe our trailers are, it is still important to load them correctly to avoid any problems.
Before doing anything it is important to check how much your vehicle weighs and how big it is and compare this to your trailer. It is obviously vital the trailer can support your vehicle in both its weight and size. It is also worth noting that if you are planning to transport a very low sports car with minimal ground clearance, you would need to consider how to get it on the trailer without damaging the car or trailer.
You would also need to check your towing vehicle to ensure it can tow the trailer and the loaded vehicle. You may need a larger towing vehicle such as a 4×4 or motorhome if your trailer and load weigh a lot. Also worth mentioning, if you are using your own ratchet straps remember to check for any tearing or fraying in the fabric and any wear and tear on the ratchet and hooks.
Before loading, attach the trailer to the tow vehicle to prevent any movement when loading the vehicle being towed. The most critical part of towing a vehicle is weight distribution. The bulk weight needs to be at the front, so the engine should be at the front. Most cars are front-engined so this is just a case of driving on, in a mid or rear-engined car, however, this will mean reversing onto the trailer.
The aim for weight distribution is to have around 60% of the weight at the front of the trailer and 40% at the rear. When the weight is closer to the front of the trailer, it’s much more stable and the risk of jack-knifing in strong winds is minimised. If the weight of the car is too far forward on the trailer you could risk lifting the front of the towing vehicle, meaning steering will be light and vague. On the other hand, if the weight is too much toward the rear of the trailer the rear of the towing vehicle could be raised and you may face handling issues.
All four wheels need to be secured to the trailer to ensure the car has minimal chance of moving around on the trailer if there is sudden movement during transport. Wheel chocks are also highly recommended as a further precaution. Many car trailers have these as full-width chocks. If required, these wheel chocks can be used and may need an additional small strap to keep them in place. If the vehicle needs to be winched onto the trailer, keep the winch cable attached to the car. Likewise, make sure any excess straps are tied up and out of the way so they don’t flap about in transport. The last thing you want is to cause potential damage to the vehicle or other vehicles around. You should always have the parking brake or hand-brake on once the car is in position on the trailer.
It is worth pulling over and checking the trailer every so often to ensure the straps are correct and the car is secure. It needs to be kept in mind whilst towing that the trailer has a high centre of gravity. With a vehicle loaded on, it will be more prone to moving side to side so take corners and roundabouts carefully. If the trailer starts snaking, gently let off the accelerator and try to keep the vehicle as stable as possible, as you slow down the snaking should become more controllable.
At Eco-Trailer we believe that your safety is paramount, that is why we use only the best components on our trailers. To find out which of our trailers is best for you then get in touch today!