A trailer is an important work tool for many. From hauling cars to moving cargo or the transportation of animals, trailers play a big part on getting this kind of work done more efficiently, but to get it right there is a another vital element needed: a driver that can handle the road.
A good driver that works with trailers knows that there can be problems that can cause them to lose control momentarily. Bad weather, sudden traffic events or even mechanical issues are only a few examples. An experienced driver not only knows about these issues but also is capable of preventing and handling problems like these.
It isn’t that hard to prevent accidents caused by swaying trailers, you just need to follow the next tips.
Trailer sway: main causes and how to prevent them
Heavy crosswind weather
Sometimes the best thing that can be done to avoid sway is to stay put. When the weather is known to be insecure for drivers the main recommendation to prevent any accidents is to wait for better conditions before going out on the road.
Now you might ask, what if bad weather catches me in the middle of the road? In this case, if you find yourself in a situation of trailer sway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends trying to regain control by activating the manual brake control by hand, and avoid using the tow vehicle’s brakes, since this would most probably make the sway much worse.
A bad distribution of weight in the trailer
Balance is key to avoid swaying, and even more to stop it from getting worse. That’s why one of the main things to ensure before hitting the road is to have a correct weight distribution, regardless of the load that is carried. There are some products that make this task more easy to do right, such as hitch designs that help reduce sway through friction control or weight distribution.
Other thing to take in account when handling trailers is the experience of the driver, and the practice that it has with different kind of loads, vehicles, etc. We know that experience is gained by practicing, but in circumstances that are particularly dangerous or if you do not feel comfortable driving in a certain situation, it’s best to let someone more experienced handle it