Towing a Trailer in Winter? Trailer Boss Gives Advice.

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At Trailer Boss we see more accidents after the weather turns cold and the roads get slick.

Amazingly, most of our customers do very well, towing trailers for thousands of miles with no accidents. Other drivers have problems.

If you have to pull a cargo trailer in Vancouver, BC or a dump trailer in Spokane and the road gets icy or snowy the first thing to do is SLOW DOWN. It can get really exciting if you suddenly realize that your utility trailer is trying to pass you on the left.

Often the guy in front of you is the problem. If they slide or stop erratically, you can be put in a dangerous situation.  Be sure to keep an extra cushion between you and the guy in front.

If you have to drive in winter conditions there are a few suggestions you need to remember

  • Make sure the vehicle is in good working order
  • Use snow tires
  • Slow down
  • Always brake and accelerate in a straight line.

When you turn the steering wheel on dry pavement, a correctly functioning vehicle will respond almost immediately. If, however, you make the same steering move at the same speed on an icy surface, the vehicle’s reaction time can be considerably slower because the tires are not gripping as efficiently. Because of this driving on slippery road surfaces requires you to act earlier and slower as well as smoother than you would on a dry road.

If you have a trailer that goes into a jackknife, you might instinctively counter steer. This is wrong. Counter steering will fold the towing vehicle-trailer combination even further.

The correct response is to accelerate to get the trailer back in line and then brake to regain control.

When steering around a corner during icy conditions you should “box off” or “V-ing off” the corners.

This means that you should brake in a straight line before entering the corner. Then you steer while the trailer is responding, then accelerate out of the corner in a straight line.

Come in to our Olympia, Rochester or Marysville locations. Click here for directions.

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