Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Things You Need to Know About Weight Hitch Classes

Being able to tow a trailer is very handy from both a commercial perspective and in your day-to-day life. However hitching a trailer isn’t always as simple as it seems and there a number of factors that determine how you should go about it with respect to the equipment you have. A trailer hitch is the key component in allowing you to tow, and getting the right hitch according to the weight of your vehicle and the trailer itself is crucial to make for a smooth ride. However there are other pieces of equipment you will need to tow safely. Let’s take a look at the main considerations you need to take into account.

Gross combination weight rating

The manufacturer of the vehicle you are using to tow with will provide some safety information about towing in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. The GCWR will tell you how much weight the vehicle can safely tow, including its own weight and whatever you have in your trailer. It’s very important to avoid exceeding this as you can potentially put yourself and your equipment in danger.

Gross weight trailer

The gross trailer weight (GTW) considers you how much it weighs when fully loaded with cargo, fuel and all the safety equipment necessary to tow. You will need to calculate this before towing and often it will take a little guess work, that’s why we always recommend rounding up if you’re not sure. You’ll find your trailer weight (when empty obviously) in the trailer handbook and then it’s just about adding any cargo and other equipment.

Hitch class

Different towing hitches are classified into categories according to their maximum weight capacity, obviously ranging from low maximum weight to high. It also determines the receiver opening size; Class I and II hitches have a smaller opening size, which essentially ensures that users are not able to attached large trailers where it is not safe to do so. You’ll often find that cars and smaller vehicles have Class I/II hitches attached.

This equipment is manufactured in such a way that trailers only fit into hitches that can safely support them.

Hitch Adaptors

In contrary to what is mentioned above, hitch adaptors can be used to connect smaller hitches to larger trailers. It is crucial however that you consider the weight you are towing to ensure you don’t damage any of the equipment. Generally, the weight capacity will be reduced by some 50% as a result of this, however you should be somewhat experienced with hitches if you are going to use an adaptor.

Weight distribution hitch

There are special tow hitches that are designed to ensure a smoother ride by distributing the weight that is placed on the front axel of the hitch through the trailer and tow vehicle. This can actually have the effect of enabling your equipment to handle more weight than it otherwise would and decreases the wear and tear factor.

If you’re unsure about how to safely tow and the capability of your trailer and tow vehicle, it’s worth chatting to an expert and at the very least doing a little research. There are many factors that can determine how safe and stable your trailer is when towing on the roads. Speak to an expert at Advantec today for more information.

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