All About Towing Capacity

On occasion, you may find yourself needing to tow a car or trailer. If your only vehicle is a car, it’s possible, but you’ll need to be careful and check a number of factors before you hitch up and drive off. If you own a truck, you’re probably good to go–but you should still take a bit of time to do some research to be sure your vehicle is capable of properly and safely hauling your cargo.

Dangers of Not Checking a Tow Truck’s Ratings

One thing you need to make sure of is that your vehicle can safely tow your other vehicle or trailer. You’ll need to factor in the weight the item to be hauled, plus any heavy cargo that you might be carrying.

If the vehicle you’re considering to use cannot handle your load’s weight, this could cause your vehicle to blow a tire or have brake issues. Both of these incidents can damage to your car.

Make Sure the Tongue is Taken Into Account

The tongue, or the towing vehicle’s trailer hitch, needs to be in perfect condition. Verifying that the tongue weight is about 10 percent of the entire tow truck’s weight is important for two reasons, which are:

  • A tongue that is heavy protects your haul from swaying too much as your vehicle transports the haul.
  • A tongue that is heavy but still light enough–what some tow truck experts call the 10 percent mark–helps ensure that the towing vehicle’s steering operates at optimal capacity.

Ensure That Any Cargo is Properly Distributed

Your vehicle’s towing abilities can be affected by the weight of your haul’s load. Keep this in mind if you have heavy objects in the vehicle or trailer you’re hauling. It’s also very important that you move some of these items around to evenly balance the weight if need-be. You may even need to move some of the items into the vehicle you’re using to haul the cargo. If you’re hauling a car, leaving heavy items at the very back of it may put your car’s muffler in danger because the load may cause your car to drag too low.

It is also imperative that the items are secured wherever they are placed, as you will likely need to turn or switch lanes from time to time. The swaying of your haul may cause the items to move while in transit, which could cause damage to some of your car’s compartments or other items that may be inside. Heavy items could also throw your towing vehicle out of balance, which could make it difficult to control the haul.

These are just a few of the key issues that you should consider when it comes to towing capacity. What you have to remember is that asking these questions or verifying that everything is correct are steps to ensure you and your haul make it safely to your destination.

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