Trailer Checks before each journey
The trailer operator or the driver of the towing vehicle, if different, has the responsibility for the safe operation of the trailer and needs to carry out the following checks:
- If the trailer is laden is the load correctly distributed i.e. Not too much or too little nose weight?
- Is the load within the trailer's official payload? - i.e. Not overloaded.
- Is the actual gross weight being towed within the towing vehicle manufacturer's recommended maximum towing limit (whether braked or unbraked.)?
- Is the load correctly secured?
- Are all the lights undamaged and working correctly?
- Are the 7 core cable and plug undamaged?
- Is the correct number plate fitted? (both registration number and style)
- Is the breakaway cable or secondary coupling undamaged and correctly connected, to a suitable point on the tow bar or towing vehicle?
- Are the tyre pressures correct and all tyres free from cuts, bulges and with adequate tread, (including the spare)? Tyres must have a continuous tread depth of at least 1.60 mm on cars, light vans and trailers, across the centre three-quarters of the width and all around the circumference. (1mm for other vehicles)
- Are you satisfied that the wheel nuts/bolts are tightened to the correct torque?
- If required are the mudguards in satisfactory condition and secure?
- Is the trailer correctly coupled to the towball or pin?
- Is the coupling height correct? I.e. Not excessively nose down or nose up.
Follow the golden rules of towing:
- Make sure the trailer is level when coupled to the towing vehicle
- Make sure the nose weight is within the 'S' value of either the towbar or the trailer coupling. (Whichever is the lightest.)
- Make sure the tyre pressures are correct.
- Are the jockey wheel and any corner steadies or prop stands fully wound up and secure?
NB. Check the correct operation of damper and brakes as soon as possible after commencement of journey.
NTTA Trailer Safety Checks Apps
National Trailer & Towing Association Trailer Safety Checks is an App based solution to help drivers complete daily trailer inspections. It guides the user through each item to check and allows photographs and notes to be recorded against each item. For novices the App also has links to guides for each area to check.