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Arwald Tankers And Trailers Are SABS Approved And All Trailer Are NATIS Registered. Arwald Tankers And Trailers Is Also A Certified Level 4 BEE Contributor.

Towing Tips

Winter Towing Guide

South Africa doesn't see Winter as badly as some other countries do, but the occasional frosty night is still something to be wary about. One wrong move on the road and an accident could happen. Add a trailer to the icy surfaces and the risk becomes a lot higher! So no matter what kind of trailer you have, you'll always want to be safe and sound on the road and that means, looking after your trailer properly! Especially during winter!


Storing Your Trailer

So you recently got a new custom-built trailer from Arwald Tanker Trailer and you want to know how to look after your new found friend during the colder, wetter, winter months. If you plan on storing the trailer for a long period of time, while exposed to the elements then you're going to have to take some precautions and be prepared.

  • Remove the emergency breakaway battery and store inside (trailer or your home will do), out of the weather. Aim to charge the battery at least every 90 days.
  • Jack up the trailer and place jack stands under the trailer frame so that the weight is no longer on the tires this will prevent the tires becoming mis-shapen. Have a read through the trailer manufacturer’s guidelines on lifting and supporting the unit. Never jack up or place jack stands on the axle tube as this can cause damage.
  • ​Lubricate moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension especially if these are going to be exposed to the elements, this will prevent them from freezing or sticking.

Some other useful tips to consider when storing your trailer are:

  • Look up – Parking a trailer under a tree might seem like a good idea, but have all the leaves fallen from the tree yet? Some trees also release sticky sap on to anything placed under them. Birds also like to use trees to perch and/or roost in and are not fussy where they do their business, potentially ruining the finish of your sparkily new trailer and creating additional cleaning.
  • Look down – Is the ground where you have decided to park the trailer soft grass, gravel, paving slabs, hard core or asphalt? Consider the hardness of the surface you are going to site the trailer on, especially if there is a chance that the trailer may be required during the winter months as tow vehicles and soft wet ground tend not to mix well. This is more of an issue with the bigger trailers that are harder to manhandle or trailers that have items stored in them.
  • Security – If stored at home, you will be able to keep an eye on the trailer at most times and this will act as a strong deterrent to any would be thieves that may decide to target the trailer. As will placing obstacles in the way of the trailer, be it a parked vehicle or gateway if stored in a rear garden.

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Towing Your Trailer

Towing a trailer is a whole new type of driving. You no longer and to just think about yourself and other, now you have to think about yourself, the other drivers and your trailer! Be sure to check all routes you plan to take for any restrictions on bridges and tunnels (Depending on your trailer size).

  • Driving Gear - Usually, when buying a trailer, you'll have a manufacturers guide along with it! This has all the recommended instructions for looking after your trailer, from maintenance to driving tips. Check this for the recommended driving gear for towing.
  • Speed - Always drive at moderate speeds. This will place less strain on the vehicle towing the trailer. Trailer sway is more likely to happen at higher speeds, increasing the chance of an accident.
  • Sudden Starts/Stops - Avoid sudden starts and stops as this can cause the trailer to skid, slide  or even jackknife.
  • Slow Down - Slow down over bumpy roads and surfaces as your trailer won't have as good suspension as the tow car. 
  • Downshift - Downshift to assist with braking when your travelling downhill and to add power for climbing hills.
  • Trailer Brake - If you have an electric trailer brake controller and the trailer is swaying excessively, apply the trailer brake by hand. Do not apply the tow vehicle brakes as this is likely to increase the sway and potentially causes jackknifing 

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Caring For Your Trailer

As with everything, your trailer should be check regularly for faults, damage and any general wear and tear. This could be done everyday or once every few weeks! Just be sure to keep on top of this and your trailer will always be in great condition. 

  • Check the electrics - Prior to storing the trailer be sure to check all plugs and wiring for and wear and tear or general damage. If no damage is found the electrical connections can be cleaned and wiped with some penetrating oil (WD40 etc). This should prevent any future corrosions leading to electrical issues.
  • Brakes - When putting the trailer in storage, if your trailer is braked, be sure to remove the handbrake, this will prevent your brakes sticking and should be 'chocked' (any bits of wood etc. behind the wheels) if it's stored on its wheels.
  • Hose Down - Usually if you have used your trailer once the roads start to become icy and colder, you'll have run into a gritted road. This will mean your trailer is likely to be coated in salt, this is corrosive and should be washed off before storing your trailer. Pay attention to the underside of the trailer, it might be out of sight bu the salt from the roads will build up there more than anywhere. 
  • Urine - If you transport livestock in your trailer (Horseboxes etc) then a good idea is to put baking soda on the floor under the mats, this helps break down urine.
  • Wasps - Keep all windows and vents closed during summer month especially as wasps tend to build nests within open trailers. Be sure to check all holes and rails where a nest could be built and spray often

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