Making Trailer Sway Control & Prevention Easy
Have you have ever towed a box trailer or any trailer for that matter and experienced the delightful sensation of ‘Trailer Sway’?
First of all…. What is trailer sway??
Trailer sway is when the trailer begins to sway from side-to-side when towing it with your vehicle. Many factors can cause this un-delightful experience, these factors being wind, high speeds, to much load, incorrect weight dispurment, tyre pressures, tow ball or hitch loose, over correcting and poor trailer design.
Touching on a few of the most common factors that causes trailer sway:
- To much load or incorrect weight dispursment. Most trailers are not designed to have to much load/weight behind the rear of the axle, if a trailer has a significant weight behind the rear of the axle this will cause the trailer to tilt up leaving the weight on the towing vehicles tongue very light. If the towing vehicles tongue weight is less than 10% of the total weight of the trailer, this will naturally allow the trailer to start swaying.
- Tow ball or hitch loose. Always check that your tow ball on the towing vehicles tongue is tight and not loose, this can cause the trailer to have excessive movement when being towed or it could also cause the tow ball to loosen all the way and come off. This also has the same effect with the hitch on the trailer. Always check the tow ball and trailer hitch bolts.
- Wind. Many people don’t realise that on a windy day this can play havoc with anyone towing a trailer. Wind tends to get underneath the trailer and pushes it from side to side. On high windy days be sure to slow down to a speed that allows you to have more control of your trailer than the wind.
How to eliminate trailer sway from happening to you…
A few hints & tips on what & what not to do to get your trailer back under control:
- When driving always drive at a pace that is 1. within the speed limit 2. comfortable for the driver towing 3. is not to fast to cause the trailer to sway.
- Do not over correct your steering wheel. If you feel your trailer starting to sway, the first reaction is to grab the steering wheel and correct the direction that the trailer is swinging to. This is not the ideal way to gain trailer sway control, by over correcting the steering wheel you may cause the trailer to sway to the other side and in some instances cause the trailer to jack knife and cause an accident.
- SLOW DOWN is the safest and best was to get your trailer under control. Decrease the speed you are travelling at in order to gain control of the trailer you are towing.
Tow Safe & Have Fun