If you have a friend that needs a car or trailer towed, and you happen to have a truck with towing capabilities, you might be willing to help them out. However, it is also important to do so carefully and safely, especially if you have never towed a vehicle before. Here are some tips to tow a vehicle safely and without incident.
Know How Much Your Truck Can Tow
Every vehicle with a trailer hitch has a certain towing capacity, which is how heavy of a vehicle or trailer you can tow. Remember this is not just the weight of the vehicle, but all contents inside it as well. If you are towing a vehicle that has boxes in the back seat, you need to add the weight of those boxes. Find out your truck's towing capacity, then figure out the weight of the vehicle and everything inside to determine if it is safe for you to tow it.
Inspect Your Trailer Hitch
The hitch on the back of your truck might be called a trailer hitch, but it is also used for towing smaller vehicles. This hitch is what the car will be attached to, so it must be in good condition. Inspect it thoroughly before you attempt to tow anything. If you notice any signs of corrosion or rust, have it replaced. Corrosion increases the risk of it breaking while you are towing the car, which could damage the car and put other people on the road.
Check Your Tires and Brakes
While checking the overall condition of your truck is always helpful when towing something, the two most important areas to inspect are your tires and your breaks. If you are towing a trailer, it is most likely going to be connected to your own brakes so that when your truck stops, the trailer stops as well. Make sure your brakes are in very good condition as there may come a point when you need to make a sudden stop, and you need to be able to do so with the extra wright. Also check that your tires are in good condition and have proper tire pressure.
You probably already know this, but it bears repeating: drive as slow and safe as you can when towing a vehicle or trailer. Your truck is attempting to handle extra weight, so maneuvering it is going to be different than what you are used to. You need to turn a little later, yet sharper, in order to make turns when towing something. This keeps you from clipping the curb. Apply your brakes to slow down if the car or trailer is swaying, as this helps even it out. Drive in the slow lane on the freeway and let all other cars pass if they want to go faster than you.
If you are not completely confident about towing a vehicle on your own, call a tow company, like Totem Towing.