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What to Know When Towing a Heavy Load

Heavy Load Rubber Stamp


If you’re towing a heavy load, you will have to set up your trailer with the utmost care. Manufacturers provide guidelines for you to follow but the onus is on you to understand the data and take the necessary safety precautions.

If you can’t figure out the difference between the GVM and the ATM, ask a professional to help you out. If you prefer setting up the trailer yourself, take a look our safety guidelines.

Speed Limits

If you’re towing heavy loads, you need to stick to your speed limits to prevent accidents. If the combined weight of the trailer and tow vehicle exceeds 4,500 kilos, you can’t travel at speeds higher than 100 km/h. This applies to drivers in both NSW and Western Australia. There is no set speed limit for towing vehicles in other states. Drivers must exercise caution and travel at speeds that suit the prevailing road conditions.

Centre of Gravity

You have to position the centre of gravity of the trailer so it’s dynamically stable on the road. Why is this important? If the trailer sways because of wind or bumps in the road, it will return to its original position behind the tow vehicle. Instead of increasing the tow ball mass to improve trailer stability, you could shift the centre of gravity ahead of the axles. If you shift the centre of gravity to the front of the trailer, you will exert downward pressure and cause braking efficiency to drop.

If there’s a high load on the rear of the tow vehicle, you won’t be able to steer the trailer around corners. This is why it’s important to shift the centre of gravity to the area just ahead of the axels.

Tow Ball Mass and Rear Axle

Every vehicle has certain front and rear axle load limits. If you exceed the load limit, you will render the tow vehicle unstable. The tow ball mass exerts pressure and increases the rear axle load. Vehicles with short overhang have less rear axle load. The rear overhang of the vehicle should not be more than 60 percent of the wheelbase. Bear this in mind when you’re towing heavy loads.

If the rear projection exceeds 1.2 meters, you will have to use a bright coloured warning flag.

Weight Distribution

Along with the total weight of the trailer, you’ll have to also focus on weight distribution. Make an effort to place the weight over the axles of the trailer so it’s easier to manoeuvre the vehicle. If the weight remains concentrated at the front and back end of the trailer, the trailer may sway. Uneven distribution of weight will reduce traction at the rear end of the car. It’s best to centralise the weight for a safe and easy tow.

Tow Hitch Installation in Melbourne

If you need help with towbar installations in Melbourne, get in touch with the team of experts at Advanced Towbars. We can help you install car towbars and accessories at affordable prices.

Our experienced towbar installers carry out the job with utmost care and precision. We stand by our premium products and high-quality services.

If you can’t find the right towbar assembly for your vehicle, we can customise orders for you! Since we work with a network of reliable towbar suppliers, we can offer you high-quality products at competitive rates.

Give us a call on 1300 238 869 if you want to install truck tow bars, nudge bars or any other accessories. We’ll help you choose the right product for your needs.

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