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Safety points for loading cars on trailers

Buy a flatbed trailer to transport a car to race meets, classic car shows or to a garage for a repair work and you are faced with the problem of getting the car on and off the trailer. This requires a safety assessment, care and precision if you are going to load the vehicle safely without damaging the car or injuring yourself. Don’t worry though, this guide from Arwald should see you safely loaded and on your travels before you know it.

Points to consider

Before attempting to load the vehicle consider the weight of the load, how the load will be distributed on the trailer and how you are going to secure the car. If you are satisfied the trailer is safe to carry the load, your towing vehicle is properly hitched and can handle the task you are ready to start loading.

  1. Lower the ramp: Depending on the type of trailer you are using there could be fold down ramps, spring loaded ramps, mesh or removable ramps. Lower the ramps as per the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure they are secure and locked into place.
  2. Load the vehicle onto the ramp: If the car is in good mechanical condition, align the front wheels and the body of the car up with the ramp and gently move forward up the ramp and onto the trailer. It’s a good idea to get somebody to guide you onto the trailer from ground level, they can tell you if all the wheels are aligned and whether the vehicle is going onto the flatbed straight.
  3. Winch use: Some flatbed trailers are fitted with winches and they are useful for loading cars that have mechanical trouble. If your car doesn’t start and you have a winch fitted to the trailer, attach it to the front towing eye of the vehicle and gradually pull the vehicle onto the flatbed.
  4. Strap it down: Once the vehicle is on the back of the trailer apply the handbrake, shut the engine off and leave the car in gear. Take care getting out of the vehicle, ease your way out and take care not to tumble off the side of the trailer. Then you can strap the wheels down to the bed of the trailer using straps, just make sure it’s nice and secure.
  5. Close the ramps: Lift the ramps of the trailer back up and make sure they are locked into position before you attempt to drive the tow vehicle. Do a final check and you should be good to go with your cargo firmly fixed into place.
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