With warm weather here, there are more and more people outside enjoying the fresh air, the scenery and having fun. Hauling your ATV safely is a consideration that many, if not all ATV owners think about when deciding to load up and go. Here are some safe towing tips for your safety and others around you.
- Weight Distribution:
Weight distribution is key anytime you want to tow any trailer, there are 2 things you should consider. First, the weight should be symmetrically distributed form left to right when looking at it from behind. Each trailer wheel should have the same amount of weight on it, this will help the tires wear evenly. It is essential to keep your tires in good condition, always check the pressure levels and the tread before a trip. You will need to ensure that they are the proper size, the load capacity you will need, and that they spare is checked for air pressure. The majority of the weight should be centered on the front axle, this will place about 10-20% of the weight on the hitch. Keeping the weight farther forward will reduce the instability of the towing vehicle, such as fishtailing.
- 2. Drive Your ATV Up:
Once you have the trailer hooked up to the tow vehicle, and the chains are in an X formation, you are ready to load. Switch your ATV to four-wheel drive and gently drive your ATV onto the trailer. If you are loading more than one, you should maneuver each one so they balance over the axles, this is important for load distribution, as too much weight in the front or back can affect the trailer’s driveability.
- 3. Securing Your ATV:
Once you start and complete the loading process for your ATV, it is best to hitch your trailer to the tow vehicle before you load the ATV’s. Once you have it on the trailer, the ATV should be secured using winch straps hooked properly to the trailer. The ATV(s) need to be firmly strapped to the trailer. Park the ATV on the trailer with it in park, never neutral, and strap it securely at four points so the suspension compresses and the straps are taught. Use adjustable ratchet straps with a 2,000 lb capacity connected to the ATV’s frame, you can test this by shaking the ATV after tightening, if it feels like the trailer moves when you shake the ATV, then you are properly secured.
- 4. Hit the Road:
Now, it is time to hit the road!! Just remember that brakes on a trailer work differently, you will need to allow plenty of following distance. This allows you time to stop if the car in front comes to a sudden stop, since your center of gravity is now much farther behind you. Overall, though, just take your time and you will get your ATV to all the best riding spots you can think of.
The most important steps are in the preparation for driving with a trailer, so make sure to take care and attention with your trailer before you get on the road. If you have any other questions, concerns, or you need some parts, call us at National Trailer Parts Warehouse.