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Trailer Weight Distribution 101

Trailer Weight Distribution 101

Effective Trailer Weight Distribution Management

Proper trailer weight distribution while towing a trailer is critical to ensure an efficient and safe trip. Maintaining balance, control of the trailer, and stability are linked to sound weight distribution.

Weight Distribution 101

Control: Proper trailer weight distribution ensures stability, and that your trailer stays under control during the tow. Improper weight distribution can cause your trailer to sway while being towed, which can damage the trailer, your vehicle, and your cargo as well as lead to hazardous driving conditions for you and those around you on the road.

Maintaining Weight Limits: Knowing how to configure your trailer weight distribution will prevent you from overloading your trailer. An overloaded trailer is a braking hazard, it can cause suspension issues and excessive wear on your tires.

Better Towing Efficiency: Distributing your cargo weight improves fuel efficiency, provides a smoother ride, and less wear on your towing vehicle.

Balancing Your Load Basic

Secure Your Load: Making sure that your cargo is secured will prevent it from shifting during your tow. If your load shifts while pulling the trailer, it can cause your trailer to sway and can damage your cargo. Of course, Trailer Wheel & Frame has all types of straps and chains and binders to secure your cargo for a safe haul.

Tongue Weight: Tongue Weight (TW) is the downward force the trailer and cargo places on the trailer hitch. Too much weight makes it difficult to steer, too little will cause the trailer to sway. The optimal TW should be 10-15% of the total weight of the trailer.

How to Recognize Poor Weight Distribution

Poorly distributed weight of your trailer’s cargo can be very dangerous. Here are signs that signify your trailer’s cargo weight is poorly distributed.

Difficulty Steering and Handling: If you notice that your tow vehicle brakes differently or the steering is different, this could be a sign that your cargo’s weight is poorly distributed.

Excessive Tire Wear: Uneven tire wear can be an indication of uneven trailer weight distribution. Uneven tire wear can lead to a blowout, creating a very dangerous situation.

Excessive Strain on Tow Vehicle: If you notice that your tow vehicle is under an abnormal amount of strain, it could be a result of too much weight in your trailer. The most common sign of strain is difficulty accelerating.

Loading Techniques to Achieve the Optimal Weight Distribution

Balance Your Load: By placing heavier items just in front of the trailer axle provides adequate tongue weight. Placing lighter items around the heavier items can help even out the weight distribution.

Create a Low Center of Gravity: Keep heavy items as low to the floor of the trailer as possible. This will provide better cargo stability.

Secure Your Cargo: Using ratchet straps and anchor chains to secure your cargo will help prevent your load from shifting while in transit.

Weight Distribution Trailer Hitches: Trailer Weight distribution hitches distribute tongue weight using spring bars across the vehicle axle. These hitches assist in reducing sway and will stabilize your cargo.

Inspect Your Load: During your tow, take the time to inspect your cargo to ensure that it has not shifted and that none of the strapping has loosened.

Routine Trailer Maintenance: Regularly scheduled trailer maintenance will ensure that all your trailer components are in proper working order.

Keep It Safe with This Simple Trailer Weight Distribution Checklist

It is better to err on the side of caution than regret. Taking a few extra minutes to load your trailer correctly, rechecking your fasteners before/during your tow, and keeping your trailer properly maintained will go a long way in keeping you, your trailer, and other drivers safe.



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