Towing Safety Tips

Aug 15 10:15 2017 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

When towing a trailer, you are more vulnerable on the road. Follow these simple safe driving tips to ensure your safety and that of other road users.

This month I thought I would provide some safe driving tips. I know that couriers are under a lot of pressure,Guest Posting and when you have a long day ahead of you with a lot of travel you just want to hit the road. Be careful not to get swept up by the hustle and bustle, though – if you overlook these simply safety checks you may be putting yourself and other drivers in harm’s way. Remember, road safety should always come first. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of key questions you should always ask yourself before getting behind the wheel.

Are Your Vehicles Roadworthy?

The first thing to check is if the towing vehicle and trailer are appropriate for the task and whether they are roadworthy or not. If the trailer has not been used in a while, you should make sure that the tyre pressure meets the required level and that both the front and rear lights are still fully functional.

Is the Driver Qualified?

Before a driver takes the wheel, they should have the correct licence. They need to be competent and have the right qualifications. I should also remind you that anyone born after 1 January 1997 may require a supplementary qualification.

Is the Vehicle Within the Weight Limit?

When loading the deliveries, couriers can sometimes exceed gross and axle limits (an easy mistake, I grant you). Be sure to check the weight of your vehicle and ensure that you are not towing an overloaded trailer.

Is the Load Correctly Fastened On?

It seems obvious, but one of the most important safe driving tips I can give you is to ensure that the trailer is securely fastened to the towing vehicle before you set off (you wouldn’t want it to detach itself!) Double and triple check that both the lighting cables and breakaway cables are connected correctly and that the trailer is properly hitched.

Three Final Safe Driving Tips

When towing a trailer, there are three things to remember:

  • The vehicle will handle differently

Remember that by adding the trailer, the vehicle will handle differently so make sure that you can manoeuvre comfortably and confidently before setting off on a long journey.

  • The braking distances will increase

The weight of the trailer added to that of your vehicle increases your braking distance. To avoid accidents, always stay attentive to the road ahead, keep your eye out for congestion and avoid braking suddenly.

  • Your vehicle is more vulnerable to side wind

When towing, your vehicles will be more exposed to side wind and turbulence on motorways. Keep your hands on the wheel and be careful not to drift out of your lane.

The Van Excellence Code

These safe driving tips are all taken from the Van Excellence Code. As a collaboration between expert van operators in the UK and the FTA, this code outlines the best and safest way of operating vans. The scheme aims to ensure that all couriers are operating to a nationally recognised best practice standard.

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About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Courier Exchange provides a valuable service, updating members with the latest information on issues affecting fuel costs, technology, safe driving tips and other news from the industry. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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