Could you kindly tow my car? If you are in possession a pickup truck, chances are you might have heard this question from a neighbor or friend as they requested for your services. Towing is not difficult. However, it requires a little knowledge and preparation, with some necessary steps needing to be followed before hooking anything to the trailer hitch.
Here are some towing guidelines and advice you can follow for a smooth process.
- Read your truck’s owner’s manual to understand the maximum load limit of the pickup. See if the manufacturer has included any individual notes that are associated with towing.
- Learn about the different types of trailer hitches and ensure that your hitch is appropriate for the item you want to tow.
- Perform a check on the tires and the tire pressure on the tow vehicle and the trailer and ensure all lug nuts are tightened correctly.
- Connect the trailer wiring to the truck and inspect all lights to ensure that they are working.
- Put a light grease coating of oil on the trailer ball before connecting it to the trailer’s tongue. Ensure that the trailer tongue is locked or latched securely on the hitch ball without any looseness.
- Ensure that you connect the safety chains from the trailer to the tow vehicle.
Note that trailer equipped with electric brakes have a device that instantly applies the brakes in the event of a disconnection. Using a cable, the system connects to the vehicle or truck, with this cable that pulling a lever that engages the trailer-mounted brake unit in case the trailer becomes separated.
Ensure that you adjust the exterior mirrors so that you are able to see the sides of the trailer and that if the tow vehicle. You may consider pointing the mirrors down so that you can see where the tires are in relation to the pavement lines.
While loading a trailer, confirm from your owner’s manual as it is a good source of information for weight distribution instructions. Ensure that the weight is balanced from side to side and alongside the length of the trailer.
While towing uphill and downhill, note that downshifting provides more uphill power and helps slow the vehicle on a downhill grade. Brakes overheat if you keep your foot on the brake when going downhill. Engage the tow-mode if your truck has that feature.