Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Summertime towing: Check your trailer first

Media Release 5 December 2013

Summertime towing: Check your trailer first

Whether you’re towing a boat to the slip for a day’s fishing, or taking advantage of longer days to take loads of rubbish to the tip, trailers get more use in summer than any other part of the year.

“No matter how skilled you are, your towing (not to mention the fine art of reversing) will only ever be as good as the condition of your trailer,” MTA Communications Manager Hamish Stuart says.

During wet, cold winter months or periods of less-frequent usage, trailers can suffer mechanical deterioration, which may go unnoticed: common problem areas include wheel bearings, lights, rust and tyres. Also, warrants of fitness (WoF) and registrations may lapse – as with other road vehicles, trailers need to be certified to be on the road.

“Between a quick mechanical check, ensuring you haven’t overloaded the trailer, and being confident in your ability to control the unaccustomed weight and driving dynamics, drivers can easily avoid most causes of trailer failure,” Stuart says.

According to the latest-available crash statistics (Ministry of Transport: 2005 to 2011), 8.4 injury-causing crashes per year are caused by drivers with trailers that are either overloaded or incompatible – with three people killed. Driver inexperience caused an average 2.7 injury-causing crashes, while failure with couplings and chains caused 1.3 crashes.

“These are just the crashes people were injured or killed in – it doesn’t take into account the unreported incidents, which damaged vehicles or property. Sadly, this is almost always avoidable. A quick check – of yourself, your trailer and your load – can save a whole lot of hassle, and in the worst cases, injury or death. Make it a summer to remember, for the right reasons,” Stuart says.

Check before you load up:

• Your trailer must be roadworthy – it requires a current WoF and registration.

• Police and transport officials regard trailer tyres in the same way as those on cars – so check your tread depth, and make sure they are in matched pairs on each axle.

• A trailer must have a secure, locking coupling and a safety chain – make sure the shackle pin is as large a size that will fit your chain and towbar.

• It must also have working lights and reflectors. There are a few different rules for this, depending on factors like the width of your trailer – check NZ Transport Agency’s (NZTA) website for more details, or ask when you go in for your next WoF.

• There are two towball/coupling sizes: 17/8” and 50mm. Make sure your car’s towball and the trailer’s coupling match – especially if you are using someone else’s trailer.

• Make sure your load is secure – use ropes, tie-downs, a tarpaulin or a cargo net, if you’re moving loose material.

• If the total towed weight is more than 2,000kg, the trailer must have brakes. Irrespective of load, your vehicle and trailer must be able to stop in 7 metres from 30kph. If it can’t, you must fit brakes to the trailer. Even unloaded, trailers take more time and effort to stop – take this into account.

• Refer to your vehicle’s manual and check the maximum trailer weight it can tow (both unbraked and braked). Failure to comply with manufacturer recommendations could affect your vehicle warranty – and will affect your safety.

• Try to centre your load over the trailer axle – not too far forward or back. Unbalanced loads are harder to control. Never put heavier loads to the rear of the trailer. Always make sure there is downward force at the point of connection to your vehicle.

• Give yourself more room. Remember that you’ll be pulling out wider at corners and when negotiating obstacles – give yourself enough room.

• Backing a trailer is a skill that needs to be practised – it’s all about small and deliberate movements – a decent pull on the steering wheel will result in a significant shift in direction of your trailer. Smooth and gradual is the key in most cases.

• Towing a trailer will require extra power – bear this in mind when approaching hills or steep driveways. You can also expect to use more fuel.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news