You are currently viewing Bad Loading Methods Can Ruin your Day: Here’s How to Properly Load a Trailer

Bad Loading Methods Can Ruin your Day: Here’s How to Properly Load a Trailer

Bad Loading Methods Can Ruin your Day: Here’s How to Properly Load a Trailer

Are you planning to drive with a loaded trailer for the first time? If so, you need to learn how to properly load a trailer. Or else you run the risk of losing control and causing a wreck, which can put your life and the lives of anyone around you at risk.

But, no need to stress, we’re here to help! In this article, we’re covering the ins-and-outs out of how to load a trailer so you can rest easy knowing you (and your belongings) are safe when you hit the road.

What to Know About Trailers

Before you load your trailer, it’s important you know how much weight you can actually put in it. To determine this, you need to know your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which should be posted on the VIN label of your trailer. This weight calculation is the max weight you can have for both your cargo and trailer.

Another thing you need to know is the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). This is the max weight that the axle of your vehicle can support. This rating should indicate the weight limit for both the front and rear axles.

You should also know the weight of your fully assembled trailer, as well as the payload capacity, which is the total weight capacity of your trailer. You can calculate the payload capacity by subtracting the weight of the trailer from the GVWR and multiplying it by 80%. That should give you the total payload capacity of the trailer.

How To Properly Load a Trailer

To properly load your trailer, start by loading it heavier in the front. The majority of the cargo weight should be in the front and the rest can be in the back.

The heavier cargo should be centered left-to-right and be tied down enough to prevent shifting. You should also load all of your top-heavy items first and securely tie them down at multiple angles. If you don’t, chances are these items will fall over if you change your direction too quickly or brake suddenly.

Ultimately, you should pack as much weight as you can above your trailer’s axle. This is super important because if you put too much weight in the front you increase the ball weight of your trailer. This ultimately puts stress on your tow vehicle, which impacts steering and braking ability, and this can cause the towing instability that leads to crashes. Additionally, try to keep the weight distribution even on both sides of the trailer.

Tips for Driving with a Loaded Trailer

Keeping yourself and your cargo safe is about more than properly loading your trailer. You also have to be driving it in the safest and most effective way possible.

If you’re towing items, you should always be reducing your normal driving speed. You should never exceed 55 miles per hour. You should also leave extra distance and time between you and the other vehicles on the road. Try to leave 4-5 seconds between you and the vehicles in front of you to maximize safety.

Additionally, if you find your car swaying or whipping do not brake or speed up. Instead, take your foot off the gas pedal. Also, be sure to go slower when you go downhill and turn wider when faced with a corner.

Ready to Go?

Traveling with a trailer — especially holiday traveling — can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Now that you know how to properly load a trailer you can hit the road knowing you and your cargo are in good hands.

Are you in need of a trailer? Explore our extensive inventory of trailers or call a Pro-Line Trailers team member at (540) 334-4182 to find the best fit for you.

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