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Boat Trailer Safety: Proper Hauling on a Boat Trailer

Blog | September 29th, 2017

Boat trailer safety takes a nosedive if the proper hauling procedures are ignored. Sure, you’re eager to get out of town, determined to make your getaway before somebody calls you back to work. Still, safety-centric checks trump the desire to hop into your vehicle and speed off towards the nearest recreational waterway. Take a break for a moment, sip some water, and check out our boat trailer hauling guide.

Does Your Vehicle Have Hauling Horsepower? 

Seems like an easy enough opening question, doesn’t it? Your truck or utility vehicle needs muscle. Check the owner’s manual for towing information and know the combined weight of your trailer and the boat it’s cradling. In other words, the vehicle engine, brakes, and handling characteristics must safely conduct the boat trailer and its load to its final destination.

Safe Hitching Mechanics

The vehicle hitch ball and the mating trailer tongue must align before this next step commences. Lower the trailer section, start cranking the trailer jacks and engage the ball and hitch. Follow up by securing all fitted safety systems, including the safety chains and the ball latch. Check again, you can never be too safe, and pay special attention to the locking pins.

Considering Electrical and Loading Issues 

In terms of loading problems, everything on the boat should be stabilized. At the moment, while the boat trailer is parked, a stable load equals a secure load. As you slip onto the highway, though, a poorly distributed boat load affects vehicle handling. Spread the weighty contents and tie them down. Back at the hitch, attach all brake couplings, plus their matching brake light wires. If you brake a heavy boat trailer, you’ll want its independent brake system to operate safely.

Proper Boat Hauling Tips: On the Road Again 

Your vehicle has grown in length, plus there’s at least one additional axle to manoeuvre. You can’t safely pick up the needed driving skills on a busy highway, so drive the trailer around your neighbourhood and a few local roads until you feel comfortable in the driver’s seat. Again, spread the load and ensure the trailer is level. Know how to handle a gusty wind if it’s moving across the road.

Boat trailer safety can easily be split into three discrete sections. Boat, trailer, and vehicle weighting issues are first, so know the gross weight of your rig. Follow up this safety tip by installing a tow package that’s classed to accommodate that combined weight. Next, know the ins-and-outs of the hitching segments, then connect the electrical cables. Finally, before ever entering traffic, drive the suddenly elongated vehicle rig around some quieter roads.