Kenda Americana Tire and Wheel—Kenda’s distribution arm serving the North American towable trailer, utility, RV, marine and agricultural industries—has returned as an ally supporting the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers fourth annual National Trailer Safety Week June 6-12. The company emphasizes its commitment to ensuring safety is a top priority not only for trailer manufacturers, distributors and retailers, but also drivers.
Kenda Americana Tire & Wheel is utilizing its expertise to share advice and spread awareness to help improve the driving experience on the nation’s roadways. In support of drivers across the U.S., the company is imploring governors across the country to issue a proclamation to recognize the importance and increase public awareness of TSW. These proclamations further extend the visibility of the NATM mission and TSW.
“No matter how safely a trailer is built, it can still be used in incredibly unsafe ways, especially since many people new to using a trailer never receive even basic training of proper use,” said Kim Besst, marketing manager at Kenda Americana Tire and Wheel. “In an effort to make the roads safer for everyone, we are dedicated to creating messaging that both educates and informs the public on how tires play an important part in trailer performance.”
Safe trailering practices save lives, and with millions of trailers—used by businesses, local governments, and individuals—traversing the nation’s roadways every day, it is crucial to ensure that trailers are being towed safely for the sake of everyone on the roads, Kenda notes.
Whether towing a boat to the lake, taking an RV to the campgrounds, or heading to the garden center to load mulch onto a trailer, most people on the roadways simply don’t realize how important understanding their trailer tire dynamics and the impact of their tires on trailer performance truly is. Things like load capacity, air pressure and proper tire maintenance matter immensely to both performance and safety.
To help get everyone ready for this season, below are some tips from the experts at Kenda Americana Tire and Wheel to ensure those RVs and trailers are ready for the road.
5 Driving Tips for Towing Safety
Inspect before you go with the pre-departure safety checklist.
- Check and correct tire pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer, including the spare tire.
- Make sure wheel lug nuts/bolts on the tow vehicle are tightened to the correct torque.
- Check that all items are securely fastened on and in the trailer.
- Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights are working.
Maintain your tires after use.
- Visually inspect your tires after use. Look for signs of irregularities, cracking or stress. This can mean you’ve outlived the life of your tires and it’s time to replace them.
- Store your trailer properly, for example, if it sits in the hot sun, that could cause sun damage which could make your tires crack. Storing your trailer in the shade or covering the tires will help combat environmental damage to your tires.
Know the load capacity of your tires.
- Make sure the tires on your trailer meet or exceed load capacity. Check owner’s manuals or placards for maximum limits.
- Load your trailer properly - weight distribution matters, a tail-heavy trailer could cause instability. At least 60% of your load should be toward the front.
Know the proper stopping distance.
- On trailer models with brakes installed, the combination will require a greater stopping distance with a trailer in tow than the tow vehicle requires while operating by itself.
- Even smaller trailers that do not require brakes will require longer stopping distances for the combination than the tow vehicle requires while operating by itself. Even with adequate trailer brakes, if applicable, the tow vehicle will still have a greater stopping distance with a trailer attached.
- It takes experience for drivers to become comfortable with the difference between the way their vehicle handles by itself, versus the way the vehicle handles while towing a trailer loaded with cargo.
- For following distances, a general rule of thumb is at least a 325-foot gap (about 5 seconds) between your vehicle and the vehicle or obstacle in front of you. Prolonged use of brakes can cause overheating and loss of brake effectiveness. Giving yourself ample space to respond should help prevent frequent and/or hard braking.
Respond to sway the right way.
- Gas off, brake off, steer straight and wait.
- DO NOT attempt to control sway by turning the steering wheel as it will only make the issue worse. If you have a brake controller, gently apply only the trailer brakes.
As warm weather brings more trailers out, following these tips are as essential for drivers as always maintaining focus while operating a motor vehicle to eliminate distractions. By taking the right measures, you can reduce any problems that could arise on the road.