Trailer Hitching Tips

Most people learn to drive vehicles through driver education courses but most of us learn to drive trailers via experience. There seems to be alot at stake when pulling a trailer, considering the possible dangers and the cargo. Hitching a trailer is no exception.

Hitching seems to be an easy job, but it may actually look easier than it really is. This is especially so if a new trailer driver does not have someone able to assist them by giving directions during backing. However, hitching can become easy with practice.

One way to eliminate a problem in backing is to attach an aiming strip. Many newbies and experienced drivers have trouble aiming their vehicle correctly to align with the trailer. A way to do this is to use visible tape on the truck bed, tailgate, or back window of the pulling vehicle, just above the truck hitch. Then, place another piece of tape on the trailer right above the coupler so the driver can see it. Then, it is simple to back and align the truck with the trailer hitch.

Bumper hitches can be dangerous. So, drivers should always use a frame-mounted hitch which is attached to the vehicle frame. The ratings of the trailer hitches should always be checked. This is both for the trailer ball and the trailer. Also, the trailer ball should be the right size for the attaching hitch. Trailers are often peculiar, so if borrowing a trailer, check the ball size with the owner, and ask how to exactly hook everything up.

The safety chains underneath the hitch should form an “X.” In this fashion, the chains can support the trailer nose should it disconnect from the tow vehicle. Finally, the electrical plug should be attached and working. This can be verified by checking turn signals, lights, and brakes before each and every trip.