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Old 06-08-2010, 01:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
diesail
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Safety items to ALWAYS do when towing

In light of the recent "Two killed when trailer comes loose" thread I thought it might be a nice idea to build a list of items we can compile into a safety check list. I am going to start with just a couple of items to get the flow going. By no means are these couple of items all I do I just wanted to get the list rolling and see what others add. Thought it would be good to not only include them item but if possible the reason.
1) Attach and CROSS safety chains – they are crossed so they catch the tongue in case of a disconnect.
2) Stop in the first mile and recheck the connections – often I find coupler will bind when dropping it on the hitch and think it is best to recheck it after a short distance to make sure it has indeed connected correctly.
Please add your items, perhaps when we have a complete list we can make the list a sticky.

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Old 06-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesail View Post
In light of the recent "Two killed when trailer comes loose" thread I thought it might be a nice idea to build a list of items we can compile into a safety check list. I am going to start with just a couple of items to get the flow going. By no means are these couple of items all I do I just wanted to get the list rolling and see what others add. Thought it would be good to not only include them item but if possible the reason.
1) Attach and CROSS safety chains – they are crossed so they catch the tongue in case of a disconnect.
2) Stop in the first mile and recheck the connections – often I find coupler will bind when dropping it on the hitch and think it is best to recheck it after a short distance to make sure it has indeed connected correctly.
Please add your items, perhaps when we have a complete list we can make the list a sticky.
I always check brake lights, emergency blinkers and turn signals.

Good tip on crossed safety chains.

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Old 06-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have heard conflicting theories on crossing the chains
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard conflicting theories on crossing the chains
Interesting, do share!
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One thing I've always wondered, this being a safety thread and all, is how to set up the weight distributing hitch properly. I was taught to hook up the trailer, latch it, then lift the weight off the truck by the tongue jack so it sets level , hook up the weight distributing bars, then lower the weight onto the the truck and trailer so it loads the weight evenly across both vehicles. Is this how you all do it? Seems to work for me just fine...
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Something to do with them binding or pinching on each other if the hitch comes undone and jerks them hard. I guess it can cause too much stress on a chain link if they are twisted or something like that. I really don’t know for sure on any of it since I have never had a hitch come undone nor do I have a degree in Physics or Engineering.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Never ever ever trust someone else to hook up your load. Even if it's a 30 year veteran who has towed everything under the sun. Always walk around your trailer and check your connection before starting out again everytime you leave your vehicle unattended.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I do a visual check of my hitch/tires and test brakes prior leaving a stop/rest- whether my rig is left unattended or not.

Upon reaching a stop I check my wheels for heat (just to the touch) to hopefully avoid a bearing failure.

These little checks have served me well and take little to no time.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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check for a tight electrical plug connection. Make sure nothing will cause it to come loose (bed mat, stuff in bed, cord to tight coming from trailer, etc..)
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Check the nut on the bottom of the ball. I had one back off about half way eventhough I had been using it for years, it had a lock washer, and a coating of rust.

I was wondering where the clunk was coming from when hitting a bump.

Inspect your trailer tires closely between the treads. Seems like during storage they will start to crack there sometimes and can lead to tire failure.

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