Road Service and Towing Boats: Tips For Safe Towage

tow accident

This is not where you want to end up on your way down to the lake this summer. Are you curious if your road service coverage also covers situations like this. It is very important when you have something as valuable as a boat attached to your car that your insurance is comprehensive and that your provider can cover possible road service emergency scenarios like this image depicts.

The US Coast Guard has a comprehensive article on towing boats. Below are a few points to consider. Be sure to read the entire article to ensure that you and your boat make it down to the lake safely.

  • The tow ball and coupler are the same size and bolts with washers are tightly secured. (The vibration of road travel can loosen them.)
  • The coupler is completely over the ball and the latching mechanism is locked.
  • The trailer is loaded evenly from front to rear as well as side to side.
  • The safety chains are attached crisscrossing under the coupler to the frame of the tow vehicle. If the ball were to break, the trailer would follow in a straight line and prevent the coupler from dragging on the road.
  • The lights on the trailer function properly.
  • Check the brakes. On a level parking area roll forward and apply the brakes several times at increasing speeds to determine a safe stopping distance.
  • The side view mirrors are large enough to provide an unobstructed rear view on both sides of the vehicle.
  • Check tires (including spare) and wheel bearings. Improper inflation may cause difficulty in steering. When trailer wheels are immersed in water (especially salt water), the bearings should be inspected and greased after each use.
  • Make certain water from rain or cleaning has been removed from the boat. Water weighs approximately eight pounds per gallon and can add weight that will shift with the movement of the trailer.
  • Allow more time to brake, accelerate, pass, and stop.
  • Remember the turning radius is also much greater. Curbs and roadside barriers must be given a wide berth when negotiating corners.
  • Prior to operating on the open road, practice turning, backing up, etc. on a level uncongested parking area
Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2007 at 5:05 am In Road Service  

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