Have you got an opportunity to tow a box trailer or any other trailer and had a chance to feel the ‘Trailer Sway’ experience? Well, let’s first understand what exactly is meant by ‘Trailer Sway’. Trailer Sway occurs when the trailer starts to sway from side-to-side when the trailer is towed by a tow vehicle. Several factors can contribute to this unpleasant experience and they are high speeds, faulty weight disbursement, loose tow ball or hitch, the wind, tyre pressures, too much load, poor trailer design and over correcting the steering.
We’ll now discuss the most common components that cause trailer sway:
What many people don’t understand is the fact that on a windy day, this can play chaos with anyone towing a trailer. The wind inclines to get under the trailer and forces it from side to side. On extremely windy days, ensure to reduce speed to a point that facilitates you to have better control of your trailer instead of the wind.
Loose tow ball or hitch:
The tow ball on the towing vehicle’s tongue should be tight and not loose, remember to inspect this at all times; this can cause the trailer to have too much movement when being towed or it could also cause the tow ball to loosen all the way and come out. It has the similar outcome with the hitch on the trailer. At all times, inspect the trailer and tow ball hitch bolts.
Too much load or incorrect weight disbursement:
Most of the trailers aren’t designed to carry too much weight (load) behind the rear of the axle. If a trailer has a considerable amount of weight behind the rear of the axle; it will cause the trailer to lean upwards leaving the load on the towing vehicle’s tongue lightly. Suppose, the towing vehicle’s tongue weight is less than 10% of the total weight of the trailer; it will obviously facilitate the trailer to begin swaying.
How to avoid ‘trailer sway’ from occurring?
Here are some tips and tricks on what you should do and what you should avoid doing to have your trailer under control:
1. Drive at a pace at all times
* Always ensure to drive within the recommended speed limits.
* The pace should be suitable and comfortable for the driver who is towing the trailer (driving the tow vehicle).
* The tow vehicle is not driven at a pace that is too swift to cause the trailer to sway.
2. Refrain from over correcting the steering wheel
In the event where your trailer starts to sway, your immediate reaction would be to get hold of the steering wheel and correct the direction that the trailer is swinging too. However, this is not the right method to acquire trailer sway control; over correcting the steering wheel may push the trailer to sway to the other side and in some cases may also cause the trailer to jack-knife and meet with an accident.
3. Reduce the speed
Reducing the speed of your tow vehicle is the safest way to regain control of your trailer. Tow your box trailer safely and enjoy your outback adventures to the fullest.
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