Trailer Safety

A trailer is basically an unpowered vehicle towed behind a powered vehicle in a transport situation. It is most commonly used for the transportation of materials and goods. Although there are several types of trailers, the most common type is the flatbed trailer. It is capable of holding various weights depending on its length, width and engine capacity. However, the weight should always be compatible with that of the vehicle carrying it.


The weight of the trailer should neither be more than the combined total vehicle weight or more than the maximum load limit specified for it by the manufacturer. If you exceed the weight, there are several possible accidents that can occur. A good trailer must have an in-built safety guard to avoid any accident that may cause the trailer to flip over.

A trailer that tows more than ten axles, must have sufficient rear support and the tandem axle system on the other axle in conjunction with the other one should also be strong enough to carry the trailer with the steering acting as brake. Otherwise, if there is no safety guard, the trailer could tip over backwards. A trailer must not exceed thirty-five feet in length and the length must be less than the GV of the vehicle carrying it. If the trailer exceeds this, it is advisable to get the service of a properly licensed automobile mechanic who is familiar with automobile engineering and trailer repair.

A single axle system is generally fitted to every trailer coach to enable the transporting of light loads such as blankets. For large loads, double axles are fitted. However, the height of the second axle must not be less than thirty-five feet. This could pose a safety risk since falling objects could hit the sides of the trailer causing injuries. Every trailer coach must be fitted with a warning device like a warning signboard to notify people of the maximum weight allowed and the location of the weight limit.

Diesel powered trailers are widely used by farmers and families for hauling heavy farm equipment, timber and household items. The diesel fuel burns at quite high temperatures and requires specially designed trailers with appropriate capacity and brake systems to manage the weight. This type of vehicle should have special brakes that can handle the extra weight. Diesel powered trailers are the best suited for carrying light goods. These trailers are widely used in Europe where most vehicles are fitted with air bags and anti-lock brakes to prevent damage due to sudden braking.

Travel trailers are mostly used to carry tourists. These trailers are generally smaller in size and are less expensive when compared to other types of trailers. They can be operated easily with a manual method or with a remote starter. They should be equipped with decent size tires for traveling on smooth surfaces like dirt roads. These trailers have to be driven slowly and with proper control to avoid accidents.