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How to correctly load a trailer

Posted on June 26th 2017 by Towbar2U

Car towing a trailer
When towing a trailer, it is very important that the cargo is safely loaded and stable. This will ensure that you can drive on the roads risk free. The trailer itself, and towing vehicle, should also be in good working condition and the two need to be connected correctly. In this article, we will be providing you with advice so you can make sure you can load and tow your trailer safely and legally.

How to load your trailer

Loading your trailer correctly will ensure that your cargo stays in place and in one piece during transit. What’s more, how you load a trailer will impact upon the ease and steadiness of your drive as well. Incorrectly loaded trailers can cause problems through swaying, imbalance and instability.

When you come to load goods onto your trailer, you should aim to distribute weight evenly across the left and right sides of the trailer. This will reduce the likelihood of your trailer tipping and becoming unbalanced, especially when driving round bends.

A big problem when towing can be trailer sway and this can often be minimised by correct trailer loading. You should aim for the tongue weight of your trailer (the weight measured at the tongue of the trailer which is exerted onto the hitch/towbar) to be 10-15% of the gross weight of your trailer.

To further reduce the likelihood of excessive trailer sway, you should place heavier items in front of the trailer’s axle and oriented across ways rather than length ways. You should load your trailer from the front, working backwards and ensuring the biggest things go in first where they should. A loading guideline is that approximately 60% of the weight in a trailer should be preceding the axle.

Make sure you don’t overload your trailer. This can cause imbalance in your towing vehicle and diminish your ability to steer and brake effectively. Trailer weight limits for your specific vehicle can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Finally, make sure that you secure items that have the potential to fall over or shift about in transit by tying them down firmly. This will help keep the goods from breaking and from being thrown from your trailer. Furthermore, you may wish to cover your trailer with a tarpaulin to further protect goods from weather conditions and to reduce the likelihood of small parts flying off.

Towbars for trailers

To allow you to tow a trailer, you will need to attach a towbar to your vehicle. There are two main forms of towbar available – the flange ball towbar and the swan neck towbar – and your choice between them will depend on personal preference and desired usage.

Flange ball towbar:

Fixed flange ball towbar
  • Used for serious towing, good for heavy loads and caravan towing
  • Versatile
  • Can carry bikes at the same time as a trailer or caravan
  • Allows you to alter towing height

Detachable Swan neck towbar:

Detachable swan neck towbar
  • More aesthetically pleasing option
  • Doesn’t obstruct boot at all
  • A lot less likely to set off parking sensors

Towbar2U provide a range of high quality towbars – including fixed, detachable, swan neck and flange ball options – for all vehicles for customers across England. Our expert fitters provide an efficient mobile fitting service so you can have a suitable towbar fitted at a time and location that is convenient for you. To find your nearest professional, use our helpful postcode finder. For further information or advice about our products and services, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.

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