Towing a trailer can be dangerous business, especially if things aren’t hooked up properly. Before you set off on your journey, you need to carry out adequate checks to make sure things aren’t going to start coming undone. Then, when you’re driving, you need to be aware of the extra space that you’re not usually lugging around. If you’ve never hooked a trailer up to a vehicle before, you should stick around. Below, we will guide you through everything you need to do to safely tow a tractor-trailer.
Before you start hooking your trailer up, you need to walk around and check that everything looks in working order. If you only check one thing, make sure it’s the parking brake. The last thing you want is the trailer running away during the coupling process and injuring yourself. Next, you should ensure that everything is tightened – including the wheel nuts. For the next part, simply line up the fifth wheel with the kingpin – you will know when the two have connected.
During the coupling process, the trailer could run away if you’re not careful. In some circumstances, accidents can lead to loss of life. Unfortunately, these mishaps happen because drivers fail to follow simple instructions. However, your employer will have a duty of care to prevent injuries and ensure everyone has the correct training. If you injure yourself during this process, get yourself a Tractor trailer accident lawyer straight away – your employer may be at fault.
Now, you need to safely stop your vehicle and connect all of the electrical connections and airlines, ensuring that the pins are locked in place. You need to lock the electronic brake system and secure the locking arm firmly. Also, you need to hook up the rest of the cables, which should be color-coded. Once you’re sure everything is hooked up, you need to commence the tug test. This involves pulling away twice to see if there are any issues. If you drive away with faults in the connection, you are liable to face penalties, which could result in you losing your license.
Once you get to the other end of your haul, you need to uncouple your tractor-trailer. You need to do this on the stable ground that will carry the load of your trailer. The process involves lowering the trailer legs, reapplying the parking brake, uncoupling the electrical connectors and electronic braking system, removing the clips, and slowly pulling away from the trailer. You must apply the braking system, otherwise, your load could cause injury to someone else, making you fully liable.
Working with big machinery means taking extra safety precautions. To avoid injuring yourself and other people, follow the rules you were taught during training and ask for help if you’re unsure. In the event of injuring yourself or someone else, make sure you get a quality injury lawyer who will examine the incident and advise you on your best course of action.