Trucks can be heavy-duty, medium-duty and light-duty. This depends a lot on their weight. Many people combine trucks with trailers to haul loads or transport heavy materials. However, towing trailers is not easy for the uninitiated.
Safety is paramount when driving truck trailers in New Zealand, and you need to know the following essential considerations before you drive your truck and trailer.
Consider Your Truck and Trailer Weight
Gross combined total weight rating (GCWR) refers to the maximum weight your truck can safely haul in combination with a trailer. The tongue weight is the quantity of your trailer’s weight which is exerted on the truck’s hitch. The gross trailer weight (GTW) refers to the weight of a fully loaded trailer. Make sure you do no surpass the GCWR, while your tongue weight should be less than 10 percent of your GTW to avoid overloading your truck.
The hitch connects your trailer to the truck. It requires ball mounts, safety chains and trailer balls for a complete connection. It is crucial to select the correct type of hitch for your trailer and truck according to your specific manufacturer, receiver opening size and maximum capacity rating. Ensure you properly hitch your trailer and truck to avoid accidents.
Before hitting the road ensure all your wires are correctly connected. Maintain the vehicle hitch and trailer coupler in an equal position to minimise fishtailing, which is the irregular side to side trailer movement. Make sure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended maximum cold pressure to avoid overheating the wheel bearings or tyres.
Your choice of a braking system also depends on the type and weight of your trailer. Some states may require a breakaway switch and separate braking system for trailers with loaded weights exceeding a certain amount. Your cargo also needs to be well distributed to improve your ability to control the vehicle.