Lifestyle

Special skillset needed for safe towing

Towing has a higher level of difficulty because you’ve increased the overall length and weight of the vehicle.
Towing has a higher level of difficulty because you’ve increased the overall length and weight of the vehicle. Brett Wortman

TOWING a caravan or trailer of any kind requires a different skill set compared to normal motoring.  It presents many issues never faced by those who remain unhitched.

Unfortunately, many people underestimate these challenges and their consequences.

Here are a few important points to remember.

Firstly, you need to keep in mind that towing a trailer of any sort behind your vehicle will have an impact on the tow car's performance and handling.

Towing has a higher level of difficulty because you've increased the overall length and weight of the vehicle. These factors will alter your acceleration, braking and cornering and therefore you'll need to modify your driving to compensate.

You also have legal obligations to ensure that the vehicle and trailer are legal and comply with all the relevant standards.

This includes issues like:

  • Correctly fitted towbar and couplings
  • Safety chains
  • Braking systems
  • Not exceeding the vehicles towing capacity

The exact details can be obtained from your local transport department so be sure to check these out and make sure your rig is legal.

Vehicle manufacturers stipulate load limits upon towing capacity and tow ball weight. These must always be adhered to.

Russell White
Russell White

Exceeding these limits is illegal and dangerous.

Correctly distributing the weight you carry in your caravan will also have a dramatic impact on safety and towing performance.

As with any form of motor vehicle, the importance of correct tyre pressures cannot be underestimated. An under, or over inflated tyre will not only cause uneven wear, but in the case of a loaded caravan or trailer, can completely alter its handling characteristics.

Before you drive off have a good look at the rig from side on and make sure it is balanced. Having too much weight on the tow bar will lift the nose of the car up and affect your steering.

Once you're on the open road remember to be as smooth as you can with the controls. You'll need to allow for the extra length when entering traffic and a much longer braking distance.

Always brake in a straight line and be sure to use low gears when going down steep hills so as not to overheat the brakes.

Caravans, like all heavy vehicles require more room to stop and manoeuvre. All road users should make allowances for this. Caravaners too should always consider other road users and keep left unless overtaking, and pull over occasionally to allow following traffic to safely pass on narrow or single lane roads.

Russell White's experience in the driver training industry spans more than 24 years. He is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading road safety advocates. His business offers the complete range of driver training and fleet management services, visit driversafety.com.au


Topics:  cars news motoring russell white



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Council news at a glance

Roadworks are expected to cause minor delays over the next few weeks.

See what's going on around the Shire.

Take a walk along the Murwillumbah Art Trail

WORK OF ART: "Workers Store” acrylic on canvas by Scott McDougall, one of the artists featured in the Murwillumbah Art Trail.

Get to know Tweed's amazing artists.

Local legend of the land shares his Jersey herd

LIFE ON THE LAND: Murwillumbah dairy farmer Pat McDonald with some of his prized milking cows.

LIGHTNING literally struck twice for legendary dairy farmer.

Local Partners

Take a walk along the Murwillumbah Art Trail

The Murwillumbah Art Trail kicks off this weekend.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!