Towing In Ice–Slow Down & Don’t Counter Steer While Sliding

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Take precautions as the weather gets more hazardous.

Take precautions as the weather gets more hazardous.

The weather is turning colder. We are getting freezing rain at night and foggy mornings. At Trailer Boss we tend to hear about more accidents after the weather turns cold and the roads become more unpredictable.

Remarkably, most of our customers do very well. Many of you tow all type of trailers—utility trailers, dump trailers, cargo trailers– for hundreds of miles without any accidents.

Still an accident can occur. If you have to pull a cargo trailer in Portland, Oregon or a utility trailer in Spokane and the road gets icy or snowy the first thing to do is drive slowly.

Also, try to make sure to keep an extra cushion between you and other drivers.  This will give you time to react if something goes wrong.

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

  • Use snow tires
  • Slow down
  • Always brake and accelerate in a straight line.

When you turn the steering wheel on dry pavement, a properly functioning vehicle will respond almost immediately. If 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.

For Trailers in Rochester  call (360) 923-2135.

For Trailers in Olympia call (360) 273-7892.

For Trailers in Seattle call (425) 903-4985.

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