How to Load a Trailer Safely
No matter your cargo, knowing how to load a trailer safely is absolutely essential. This crucial skill is key to protecting your safety, the safety of other drivers, and the condition of your equipment.
At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we’re your headquarters for a wide variety of open and enclosed trailers for sale. In addition to having a huge on-site inventory, we have decades of experience working with trailers and heavy equipment. We may recommend following all manufacturer recommendations as well as consulting in-person with our trailer professionals.
We put this blog together to provide you some initial information on safe, manufacturer-recommended practices and to start the conversation about safety. Read on for basic information on determining safe trailer weight and how to load a trailer.
What You Need to Know about Safe Trailer Loading
While there are numerous factors such as your cargo, tow vehicle, and trailer to keep in mind, these are some general safety guidelines for safe trailer loading.
- Make Sure Your Tow Vehicle Can Handle the Trailer — Before you use your trailer for anything, you need to ensure that your truck can handle the trailer weight you’re hauling. You can find this information in your vehicle owner’s manual or you should call your dealer to discover your towing capacity. Verifying this information with your salesman is also recommended. At TP Trailers, we carry a large inventory — so chances are good that you’ll be able to find an option to fit your needs.
- Maintain Safe Trailer Weight — One of the most important things you can do to safely load a trailer is to ensure that you NEVER exceed the vehicle or trailer capacity with your cargo. When determining if your tow vehicle can handle the weight, make sure to add the trailer and estimated cargo weights together. Simply put, you CAN’T just load up your trailer and hope for the best. As we often tell our customers, just because the cargo fits, doesn’t mean it should fit.
- Follow the 60 / 40 Rule — When learning how to load a trailer safely, both manufacturers and experts recommend loading 60% of the cargo towards the front of the axle(s) and load 40% behind the axle(s). Individual applications may vary.
- Center Extremely Heavy Objects over the Axle(s) — The 60/40 rule is appropriate for the majority of cargo. However, extremely heavy and dense cargo that can’t be spread across the trailer bed is recommended to be placed directly over the axle.
Still shopping? Read our trailer buying guide.
Problems with Unsafe Trailer Weight and Improper Loading
We can’t stress enough that a trailer is a serious piece of equipment and must be operated with the utmost regard for safety. If safe trailer weight isn’t maintained and your trailer is loaded improperly, it can cause a series of problems.
These are the most common issues that arise from improper trailer use:
- The trailer may sway as you drive
- You may have trouble braking when driving
- The trailer axles can bend from excessive weight
- You may experience difficulty climbing a hill
- If overloaded or improperly loaded, the trailer tongue can break
Trust TP Trailers for Your Next Trailer
Now that you know about safe trailer weight and how to load a trailer, here’s where you can buy one. TP Trailers is well-known throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York as the go-to place for trailers. We carry a wide variety of open and enclosed trailers from the biggest names in trailer manufacturing like Car Mate, Belmont, and more. In addition, we offer specialty trailers for a wide variety of uses such as car trailers, ATV trailers, landscaping trailers, and much more.
We recommend that you contact the experts at TP Trailers to find your next trailer. In addition, you can always stop by our fully-stocked lot to see our trailers in-person. Contact us for a free quote and for more information today!