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Loads & distribution

Loads & Distribution

When driving with a trailer, obtaining the correct weight distribution is critical to a safe journey. At best, improper loading will result in a bumpy and somewhat uncomfortable journey, as well as some serious wear and tear on trailer parts.

The worst-case scenario however is much more worrisome as incorrect weight distribution can cause you to have a serious accident because of jack knifing or flipping the trailer.

There are several key factors to bear in mind to obtain and maintain correct load distribution:

Loading - Wherever possible loads should be distributed evenly in the trailer and in such a way as to keep the nose weight within the recommended limits (this can be found on the axle of the trailer). If the loads you carry do not permit this and are uneven, then load in such a way as to ensure that no individual axles or wheels are overloaded.

There mustn’t be any projections in the load that could cause harm to other road users. The load must  also be securely tied down and sufficiently restrained with ratchet straps.

Inertia - An important concept to bear in mind when towing a loaded trailer is the physical force of inertia. Inertia is defined as ‘a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

’This essentially means that objects in motion tend to stay in the same motion and that objects that are still tend to stay still.

Therefore, if you make a sudden stop or sharp turn during driving the towed trailer and contained goods will want to continue in the same forward motion, causing imbalance and potentially subsequently loss and damage.

It’s important to be aware of the big difference towing a load can make while handling a vehicle, especially when turning or braking. Unsecure loads can move around and cause imbalance while taking corners and can shoot forward whilst braking sharply or heavily.

Light items can be lifted out of the trailer by the slipstream if they’re not secured properly. The best way to secure all items in a load is by using a trailer cover. If this is not possible then ensure everything is suitably secured with ropes and ties