Towing your minitruck is a necessity that comes with the territory. Whether you have to take it from shop to shop, or haul your show truck states away for a show.
Either way, you have to be prepared and have the know how that comes with properly tying down, loading, and towing. We got with some seasoned vets of towing minitrucks to shows nationwide to help put together some tips that will help you safely arrive at your destination.
One of the worst things to do is load your truck up backwards on the trailer (especially if there's a motor in it!) You don't want your trailer to be "back heavy" as this will cause a world of hurt when going down the road. Here's an example of just how bad it can get, so don't let this happen to you.
The first thing you'll need is a tow vehicle that can handle the load that you're towing. Consult the owner's manual to determine the tow limits of your particular vehicle.
The second part of the equation is a trailer that can also handle the weight you'll be towing. Trailers come in all shapes and sizes (as well as price ranges), so you'll have to shop around, but the important thing to remember is that your trailer is equipped to handle the weight of the vehicle being towed. A trailer can safely tow it's GTWR (gross trailer weight rating) minus the trailer weight. For example if the GTWR is 7,000 pounds and the trailer weighs 2,500 pounds, you can safely tow a vehicle up to 4,500 pounds. But don't forget to take into account any extra cargo (tools, winch, etc.).
The proper tie-downs not only will make your life easier, but they will ultimately ensure your truck's safety. Don't cheap out and use motorcycle straps, make sure to buy the hefty straps that are properly load rated to tie down vehicles.
When it comes to towing, you can never have too much safety. It's best to use weight distribution systems and sway controls like an equalizer hitch to help distribute the weight evenly and reduce dangerous swaying. Also, trailer brakes are a must when towing heavy loads such as custom vehicles.
Let's Walk Through The ProperWay To Strap Down Your Truck
1.) Loading a truck is at least a two man process. Always have a guide to help you line up the ramps and load the truck centered.
2.) When strapping the rear of the truck it's best to "X" cross the straps around the rearend.
3.) It's also best to "X" cross the front straps to the frame wholes provided or a reliable crossmember or mounting points.
4.) When towing a bagged or body-dropped truck, we've found it's best to lay the truck out with a long, flat woodblock under both framerails. This will keep the truck from bouncing up and down or leaking down and possibly crushing body panels. After laying the truck down out on the blocks make sure to retighten and check all the straps.
5.) And there you have it; all strapped in and ready to hit the open the road, headed to a show near you!
Once you hit the road, if you find yourself in an uneasy situation, or your trailer begins to sway, follow these guidelines to help maintain control over your vehicle.
* Gradually reduce speed
* Steady the steering wheel-sudden turns can cause more sway
* Apply only the trailer brakes to help reduce trailer sway
* Do not slam on the brakes-jackknifing could occur
* Do not attempt to steer out of a sway situation
* Do not increase speed-trailer sway increases in faster speeds
* Do not tow a trailer that continues to sway
* Try reloading the trailer or perhaps adding a sway control or a weight distribution system