Knowing Your Limits With Trailer Hitches

When you need to haul a lot of supplies or pull another vehicle for repairs or a trip, a trailer hitch is almost always required to get the job done efficiently. Depending on your vehicle, you'll need to know how to do more than attach a trailer to finish your work and travel smoothly. Consider a few trailer precautions and techniques that can make your next haul a big success.

Careful Planning For Turning Points

Next to losing the trailer on the road, one of the biggest dangers when hauling with a vehicle is driving safely. The extra burden on your vehicle can cause you to drive erratically or even damage your engine if you don't prepare properly.

If you're carrying a large trailer or a wide load, you'll want to make sure that the load doesn't hit your vehicle when you turn. When going around corners or drastic curves, basic hitches with an unblocked swivel can swing and hit the back of your vehicle.

Receiver style hitches--also known as box or tube hitches--restrict the potential swing of an attached load. There may be some sway as you drive to allow for effective cornering, but the moment of a large load won't threaten to crush your vehicle's rear with every turn.

You Don't Need To Drill On Your Own

Many hitches need to be drilled and bolted directly to the vehicle--a task that can be difficult to master for many and may require drill bits that are expensive for a one-time job.

The reason for such complicated bolting is the force that could tear a trailer away from the vehicle. If you have a single, small hitch attached only at the rear of a vehicle, driving forward can cause the load to pull harder, eventually ripping away from the vehicle.

In order to bolt the hitch down, the holes need to be drilled from under the vehicle--although certain tow hitches have specific drilling and binding instructions. The bolting is done to spread out the burden of the load across the vehicle's frame so that it isn't one small, removable component being yanked upon when you drive.

It's easier to attach a bolted hitch to trucks, as the binding point is often under the truck bed. In a closed vehicle, you may have to remove the back seat or other components in order to secure the bolt. If you need help finding the right hitch for you vehicle and getting it installed properly, contact an automobile expert with experience in trailer hitches or a company like Burnsville Trailer Hitch.