Tow trucks are often associated with car accidents or breakdowns. But if you have the right kind of vehicle, it's possible for you to do your own towing for an entirely different reason. Maybe you want to get your new boat down to the marina or you want to hook up a trailer and take the family camping. Either way, you will learn rather quickly that driving with something in tow can be quite different than what you are used to. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep you and whatever you are towing safe and sound.
Learn to Brake Sooner
Probably the most important concept to learn for safety reasons is the fact that towing something behind you while driving will greatly increase your total mass and momentum. This means the brakes will have to work harder to get you to slow down. Practice hauling your trailer or other tow around on residential streets or other non-crowded areas so you can get this down. When in doubt, it's better to reach too early for the brake pedal and slow down than it is to hit it too late and watch your momentum carry you dangerously close to the vehicle ahead of you.
Keep It Wide
After the brakes, the next most common problem first-time towers often say they weren't prepared for is learning how to navigate turns and sharp bends. If you take a turn at the same angle you normally would without your tow, you're going to be in trouble. In general, you want to make turns at a wider angle so that the trailer goes where you want it too. This is again something that takes practice so it might be a good idea to practice turning on your own street.
Back It Up
Finally, reversing your vehicle with a trailer attached can be awkward. Perhaps the best idea is to just be careful to not put yourself into a position where you need to back up. One tip is to put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and move it in the direction that you want the trailer to go. Just be sure not to go too far to the left or right, always working to keep it moving back in a straight line.
Towing isn't for everyone. If you are going to try towing a trailer, boat or other large item, practice braking, turning and backing up before hitting the highway. Worst case scenario, there's no shame in calling a professional tow truck service like Car And Truck Services Inc.