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How to Reduce the Risk of Trailer Sway

trailer swayIf you've pulled a trailer behind your vehicle more than once you've likely encountered trailer sway. If you’re not careful the sway can be extremely dangerous. So the team here at Majestic Trailer & Hitch has put together a set of tips to keep you safe while pulling your trailer.

What Typically Causes Trailer Sway?

Below are the most common causes of trailer sway:

Balance Issues – When loading your trailer you should be sure to not load too much weight on one side of the trailer. Unbalanced trailers will be more prone to swing once a sway begins. In addition, you also want to balance weight towards the front and rear of the trailer. Experts typically suggest placing at least 12-15% of the trailer’s weight towards the front of the trailer to ensure the rear wheels of your tow vehicle have adequate traction.
Winds/Drafts – One of the most common reasons for trailer sway is wind or drafts. Be cognizant when you are passing large trucks or descending hills to ensure you minimize the effects of wind or drafts.

How to Avoid Trailer Sway

The primary way to avoid trailer sway is to attempt to prevent it from happening in the first place. To do this, it's best to avoid driving during windy weather and always be aware of your surroundings, especially when it relates to large trucks that may approach you from the rear and create drafts, which could cause your trailer to sway.

Are There Products to Reduce Trailer Sway?

There are specific trailer hitch designs that are built to help reduce sway thanks to improved weight distribution and friction control. In addition, brake control systems can be installed on a tow vehicle which allow the trailer brakes to be engaged when the driver applies the tow vehicle’s brakes. In addition, drivers have the option of manually using the trailer brakes without activating the tow vehicle's brakes.

How to Stop Trailer Sway?

If you notice your trailer beginning to sway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) suggests first activating the manual trailer brakes without applying the brakes to the towing vehicle. In addition, lift your foot from the accelerator, but avoid putting your foot on the brake pedal unless you’re worried about hitting something in your path.

It's critical to always stay alert when pulling a trailer. You may think that driving a trailer is easy, or you may have been doing so for decades, but it only takes one instance to create a situation that could have disastrous consequences for you and others on the road.

Interested in Learning More About Preventing Trailer Sway?

At Majestic Trailer & Hitch, we’ll be more than happy to help you learn the steps to take to reduce trailer sway as well as the steps that will be necessary should you encounter it while you’re pulling a trailer. We can suggest trailer hitches as well as trailers that will be less prone to swaying, but the reality is that any trailer can experience sway, so it’s up to you to become educated on how to protect yourself when you’re out on the open road. Feel free to reach out to our team any time if you’re looking for advice on how best to avoid trailer sway. We can be reached by phone at 800-691-9914 or through our online contact form.

 

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