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Driving Experience

Fortunately, it rarely happens that you hang a trailer on your car or your SUV and there is no expert at hand. That's nice, because there are some things to keep in mind. Anyway, renting a car is usually easier.

First there are the weights. A glance at the data of the towing vehicle cannot do any harm. It is absolutely clear that the permissible towing capacity has not to be exceeded, if possible not even achieved. But how does one experience the trailer load? Clear again, the load is added to the dead weight of the trailer. It is very important to calculate its size in advance.

The support load is often forgotten. No, the maximum permissible load is not meant here. This is often stated or in any case in the approval and could in special cases even be controlled with a personal scale. But would you have known that there is a permissible minimum support load? This is a catastrophe for driving behaviour if the load on the trailer is too far back and the rear of the vehicle is too light. even lifted by the trailer. It is best to keep at least 25 kg. Are you aware of the special importance of tyres on a trailer? They often carry much more than those of the towing vehicle. There may be a 'C' in their designation, a symbol for extra load. Without their attention such a trailer does not come under any circumstances by the general inspection. The tyre pressures can also be up to almost three times the pressure you are used to on your car. Smart, to check this again after reading the rating plate.

You will probably not be transporting refrigerated goods directly, but it makes sense to check whether any flaps, doors and the support wheel are locked so that they do not interfere with the journey. Some trailers have a load area that can be tilted or lowered, which is also best not left unattended and does not cause any surprises. Which brings us almost to the load that does all sorts of things during the journey not only with heavy braking.

No, we've got plenty of cargo stuff to do here already. We leave animals out of it. Once again we have to expressly warn against putting people on any kind of trailer. even if you drive slowly and have them in view constantly. But would you have known that even for lashing vehicles as cargo, a so-called 'maximum permitted' load is allowed?

Get used to the trailer first. The more load on the hook, the less you will recognize the driving characteristics of your car. If you have made the choice in accordance with all the regulations between one and two axes on the hanger, select the latter. A passenger car combination cannot be compared to a truck. Without a rear traffic, a test brake application is also recommended.

Resetting can be problematic, even impossible with very old, braked trailers without additional measures. Of course, you have the function of the lighting system and the correct setting of the mirrors. These are also very helpful to remind you that your trailer may be wider than the towing vehicle. Never drive a trailer for the first time in case of danger of black ice. Practice only on road surfaces with good grip.

There are countries where trailers are allowed higher speeds than in Germany. Approach slowly to those and pay even more attention to possible crosswinds. Trailers with bodywork, even if only a tarpaulin, are particularly susceptible here.

It is not without reason that permissible trailer loads are sometimes made dependent on the gradients to be mastered. Particularly when starting up, they provide a challenge for a heavy pair of car and trailer. It is the clutch for manual and dual-clutch transmissions and the converter for automatic transmissions that quickly exceed their permissible temperature. The former often still gives not even a warning. And if it is noticed by a special smell, it is often already too late and an expensive repair is unavoidable. Avoid with all possible allowed tricks to start up in the middle of a big gradient.

And when you uncouple the trailer, check again the support load it is subjected to, not that the drawbar is hitting you, as well as the effect of the handbrake. Always place something in front of the wheels, even on a slight gradient. Oh yes, and don't forget the cable connection and the breakaway rope before you start, just as little as with the recouple. And remember to light the trailer parked outside overnight.

English subtitles possible . . .

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