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Transporting Equipment with Trailers Part 1: setting up for the trip

Transporting Equipment with Trailers Part 1: setting up for the trip

Transporting rowing equipment by trailer is a great solution to getting your rowers to distant regattas and training camps. On the other hand, driving trailers with loads that are wide or long (e.g. rowing shells) can be  dangerous if not done right. Protect your drivers and your equipment by reading ad learning from our 3 part blog post series on transporting rowing equipment with trailers.

PART 1 – setting up for the trip.

rowing shell transportLoad lifting (don’t hurt yourself, use a jack!) – to hitch your trailer up to your vehicle (and other such exercises) you’ll need to lift a heavy load. While some people have the strength to do this on their own, doing so can cause serious injuries to their back and legs. For all lifting exercises while hitching up your trailer if you are alone you may need a jack which is a type of pump action lever designed to raise heavy objects.

Lighting and attachment safety – when your trailer is loaded and attached onto your towing vehicle, you’ll need to hook up its lighting and latches. Trailers have brake lights and indicators just like cars which read directly from your vehicle once attached to the tailgate.

Using a system which, when the electrics are dis is dislodged from your vehicle, will automatically apply the brakes on the trailer. Make sure your trailer has these safety features enabled and check they are working.

You also have safety options available for when electricity is lost to your trailer or for if your trailer breaks away from your vehicle. These fail safe systems include using breakaway cables or applying your trailer’s brakes automatically. A breakaway cable is a coiled spring that keeps your trailer attached to your vehicle. An automatic brake system on the other hand is where your trailer brakes are applied if disconnected from electricity. Find out more about these systems at a local mechanic to see what will best suit you as they could save your equipment and your life.

Driving the right vehicle for your load – towing ratios are known to be roughly 1 tonne of towing weight per 800kg worth of car weight. However this ratio varies between different vehicles. Make sure to check your local regulations for the maximum load bearing weight for your vehicle. Some vehicles come with manuals to describe their capabilities and can guide you through the setup process, but it is always safest to check with others in case regulations have been updated.

rowing shell trailerUsing the right trailer for your load (e.g. wide and long objects) – different countries have different rules about transportation of certain objects on trailers and vehicles. Long objects such as rowing shells are normally required to have a coloured flag tied on the back end for following motorists to easily identify how long the load is.  There are also rules as to how far a load can extend beyond the back and sides of the vehicle.

Our next blog post in this series will discuss how you can balance your towing load for maximum safety. Depending on your balance, your car can be difficult to brake with or could scrape the ground from either end. So this is an important one!

Part 2 | Part 3

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