Park and uncouple the trailer: Pay attention to these points

12. Juli 2021 um 16:02

Parking the trailerAfter your trailer ride, your trailer must be safely “stowed away” again. We have put together a few tips for you on parking, uncoupling and securing the trailer, which you should pay attention to when parking the trailer.

This is how you park your trailer

Reversing with a trailer can be a bit difficult at times. As always, it is easiest when you have someone to instruct you. And: practice makes perfect. Reversing works best when you know your team really well and can assess how the trailer will react to your steering movements.
Before parking, you should make sure that the space or gap where the trailer is to be parked is large enough and that there are no obstacles in the way. You should also have enough space in front of you for maneuvering. Clear possible obstacles – if  necessary – out of the way and look for landmarks in advance that you can have a good view of when reversing and help you to position the trailer.

If, for example, you have to hit a gap in a number of other trailers, it can be helpful if you are already trying to move the trailer as close as possible to the gap when you are driving forward so that you don’t have to go as far in reverse. In principle, think in advance what you can already consider when driving forwards in order to make it easier for you to drive backwards. Always avoid hectic steering movements. It is better to stop once too much than too little to make sure that everything fits and that you can get the trailer to stop exactly where you want it to be.

Safety first

When you have parked the trailer, you should first make sure that the trailer is secured and prevent it from rolling away as soon as you have released it from the towing vehicle. Use wheel chocks for this and be sure to tighten the trailer’s brake as a first step. Then dissolve the electronic connection between the trailer and the towing vehicle and clear the trailer’s power cable in the receptacle that is often provided for it. Then crank the trailer’s support wheel down and lift the trailer off the trailer hitch. Only as the last step do you loosen the breakaway cable. This is an important point in your hanging out routine and a final safeguard to prevent the trailer from rolling away. Only loosen the breakaway cable if you are sure that you have completed all the other steps beforehand and that the trailer is safe and secure and, above all, cannot roll away.

Attaching the trailer: The most important steps

2. Juni 2021 um 18:14

Attaching the trailerYou are about to start your first trip with the trailer, but you have not yet attached it yourself? We have a few tips for you and explain the most important steps for securely and easily attaching your trailer.

Driving to the trailer backwards

When approaching the trailer, you should focus on precision and take your time. First, pay attention to where your trailer is. For example, is there a enough space left and right and behind the trailer? Are there possible obstacles that you should not only have in the back of your head, but should also be cleared out of the way beforehand? It is of course easiest if you have a helper whom you can place beside the trailer and who will then instruct you. But even without a helper, you can attach the trailer by yourself with a little practice.

Make sure that you drive as straight as possible in front of the trailer and that your trailer hitch is positioned as centrally as possible towards the trailer. With a little practice, you can also identify landmarks on the trailer that will help you to center the towing vehicle backwards towards the trailer.

You should be careful not to drive too fast. Especially when you are alone, it is better to slowly make your way towards the trailer than to risk a dent in the back of your car. A mark on the ground may help you to better estimate the distance so that you don’t have to get out of the car to check the remaining distance to the trailer. A mirror that you mount on the trailer or a rear-view camera for your vehicle (if this is not part of the equipment already, the camera can also be retrofitted) will help you approach the trailer.

Attaching the trailer

The time has come, your towing vehicle is centered in front of the drawbar of the trailer. Now you slowly crank the support wheel down, making sure that you hit the trailer hitch on the towing vehicle as precisely as possible. On some trailers, cranking down is hindered by the trailer’s parking brake. You should only solve the parking brake once you have made sure that the trailer cannot roll forwards or backwards. It is best to use wheel chocks if you have to release the parking brake early.

If you have cranked the trailer down so far that it is in contact with the towbar, the trailer may jump onto the towbar by itself and lock into place. If this is not the case, you lift the lever on the ball coupling slightly and use it to open the trailer coupling so that you can place the trailer on the trailer coupling and attach it. When you let go of the lever, the ball hitch lock should automatically click into place. To be sure that the lock has worked, you can crank the support wheel up a little. If the trailer does not detach from the towbar, everything is locked correctly.

Security check: Is everything correct?

With the locking of the ball coupling on the trailer coupling, you have already passed the first security check. Then you attach the breakaway cable and plug in the plug for the power connection between the towing vehicle and the trailer. Now all you have to do is check the support wheel and, if necessary, bring it into its parking position, release the trailer’s brake, remove any wedges and you can drive out of the trailer’s parking space. Also, briefly make sure that all lamps and indicators on the trailer are working correctly. Then you are ready for your journey.

You can read about how to correctly secure your load when driving a trailer in our blog post.

Safety first: the brakes on the trailer

29. April 2021 um 16:38

Brakes for the trailerBefore every trip with the trailer, you will certainly check your lighting equipment and the locking of the trailer on the towbar, but the wheels and brakes should also be checked regularly. Your trailer will have its own brakes itself if it weighs more than 750 kg. It is set that trailers can only be pulled without brakes up to a maximum permissible total weight of 750 kg. Why is this important? Because, above all, with increasing weight, the braking distance of your combination changes and the trailer infects the vehicle from behind when braking. It practically pushes the towing vehicle when braking, so that the vehicle’s brakes have to be more efficient. At the same time, there is an increased risk of pulling out of the trailer with heavy trailers without their own brake.

The overrun brake

So if your trailer is heavier than 750 kg, a so-called overrun brake is required. This prevents the vehicle from being pushed by the trailer during braking and follows a simple mechanical principle. The overrun brake works like this: When the vehicle brakes, the trailer runs on the vehicle or the trailer coupling. A lever is thrown by the forces that are generated, which in turn releases the trailer’s brakes. The more your car brakes as a towing vehicle, the more the trailer is braked by the overrun brake and the load is distributed over both brakes.

Emergency braking with the breakaway rope

If the trailer should come loose from the ball bar, the overrun brake will of course no longer work. In that case, the breakaway cable is your protection for braking the trailer. You have to attach the breakaway cable to a part of the car that is permanently installed with the vehicle; our MVG trailer hitches have a special eyelet on the cross member to which you can attach the breakaway cable. Otherwise you should use a special holder. When the trailer detaches from the towing vehicle, the pull on the breakaway cable initiates emergency braking and the trailer comes to a standstill. So you should always pay attention to the correct use of the breakaway rope, as it is very important in an emergency.

 

When is a warning sign necessary during your drive with a trailer?

10. Februar 2021 um 15:44

 Warning signs for driving with a trailerIf you load your trailer, you may have to attach a warning sign to the trailer, of course this must be done before the journey. But in which cases is a sign required and what should it look like?

Red flag as a warning sign in the event of a towering load

The maximum length for your team is specified in the road traffic regulations and must not exceed 20.75 meters. At the same time, the width and height are also defined and important values ​​that you should consider when driving. With the exception of agricultural and forestry vehicles, normal vehicles and their cargo must not be wider than 2.5 meters and not higher than 4 meters. The load must not protrude to the front, this is only allowed for vehicles that are higher than 2.5 meters. But even then, the load may only protrude forward by half a meter.

If you are transporting cargo that protrudes to the rear, an overhang of 1.5 meters is still permitted. However, loads that protrude more than 1 meter beyond the reflector must be labeled. For this you need a red flag. This must be 30×30 cm. A red, cylindrical body with a diameter of 35 cm is also permitted. You have to attach both below a height of 1.5 meters so that it is visible to the following drivers in traffic.

Warning signs for trailers and rear bike carriers

If your trailer is too long, red and white warning signs are required. When you buy a new trailer, these are in most cases pre-assembled. Otherwise you can reorder them online.

Such warning signs are also compulsory in some countries when using the rear bicycle rack. In Spain and Italy for example, you have to mount a warning sign on the rear bike rack. This is also red and white, square and usually made of aluminum. If you do not mount the warning sign and are checked at a traffic control, you will be charged a penalty. Since the regulations for these warning signs are not uniformly regulated across the EU, you should definitely inform yourself before going on holiday abroad in order to avoid these sometimes sensitive penalties.

The requirements for your trailer driving license

24. November 2020 um 14:19

 Trailer driving licenseSome time ago we reported on the various driver’s licenses for driving a trailer. In addition to the old class 3 driver’s license, there is also the class B driver’s license, which replaced the class 3 license and with which driving a trailer is possible. In addition to B, you can also pull larger trailers with a class B96 and BE driving license. What requirements do you have to meet for the respective trailer driving license?

In order to get a class B driving license, you can register at the driving school six months before you turn 17 – provided you choose to be accompanied by a driver. In addition to theoretical training in the form of lessons and a completed written exam, practical driving lessons and a final exam in practical form are required. For the test you must be at least 18 years of age (17 years for accompanied driving) and present an eye test and a first aid certificate.

The trailer driving license: what types are there?

Normally, the trailer driver’s license is only obtained afterwards, it is often helpful to have a little driving experience. No further theoretical test is then required for the class BE driving license, but at least five hours of practical training are required. These would have to take 45 minutes and each include a motorway trip, a night trip and three cross-country trips. The subsequent driving test takes 45 minutes. A class B driver’s license is compulsory in order to obtain the trailer driver’s license.

If the class B and BE driving license are taken together, the usual theoretical and practical driving lessons are first completed. In addition, 12 hours of practice with the trailer must then be proven, including three night drives, four motorway drives and five cross-country journeys.

For a class B96 driving license, the minimum age is also 17 or 18 years. An examination does not have to be theoretical or practical, as the learning driver only has to prove the required, specified number of training hours. This includes at least 150 minutes in theory, 210 minutes in practice and 60 minutes in driving experience.

Schedule of penalties | Load securing for the journey with the trailer

27. August 2020 um 9:35

 Load securing for the journey with the trailer

When driving with the trailer, for example when moving or driving away the green waste, it is important to properly secure the load. This is not only necessary because it prevents the load from moving and thus influences the trailer’s travel negatively and starts the trailer to roll, for example. To avoid unnecessary noise, cargo must be secured. Load securing is also specified by the authorities in the catalog of fines. Which violations are relevant for your trip with the trailer?

Load securing violations

If your cargo protrudes beyond the trailer, for example, a fine is due. This is staggered depending on how far the load protrudes and where. If it protrudes three meters to the rear, you have to expect a fine of 20 €. If it protrudes only one meter, but without being marked by a lamp, € 25 is due. It is in any case important that you always clearly mark the protruding loads for other road users. To do this, you have to attach a red flag or a red cloth of a specified size and in a maximum height of 1.50 meters to your load in order to warn other road users.

The height of the load is also relevant. So your vehicle with a load may not be higher than 4.20 meters, otherwise you will have to pay a penalty of € 60. In addition, you will even get a point in Flensburg, Germany. If your load is not secured against falling, the fine is € 35. If the lack of security could even result in a hazard or damage to property, you can expect a penalty of up to € 75 and a point.

When driving, always make sure to stow the load safely and load the trailer well thought out. A non-slippery floor can be helpful, heavy loads should also be stored as deep as possible. Cushion sharp edges and corners, avoid gaps in your cargo and at best fix the cargo in place. For some loads, such as green waste, it makes sense to use a net that prevents the load from flying away. Below you can find the staggering for load securing:

  • Avoidable noise from charging not prevented: € 10 
  • Cargo protrudes backwards min. 3 meters beyond the vehicle: € 20
  • Cargo protrudes backwards min. 1.5 meters above the vehicle at min. 100 km / h: € 20
  • Load protrudes to the rear by one meter without being identified by the light: € 25
  • Load protrudes forward beyond motor vehicle: € 20
  • Cargo not adequately secured against falling: € 35
  • Cargo not adequately secured against falling with danger: 60 €, 1 point
  • Cargo not adequately secured against falling with property damage: € 75, 1 point
  • Cargo not adequately secured against falling with danger: 60 €, 1 point
  • Vehicle with a load higher than 4.20 meters: 60 €, 1 point

 

You can find more information on the website of the German schedule of penalties.

Holidays 2020: Vacations despite COVID-19

6. Juli 2020 um 9:33

Vacation 2020COVID-19 has put an end to many planned vacations this year. According to the latest decisions, some trips are now possible again within the EU. Holidays within Germany are thus comparatively inelaborate. This is exactly the right time to rethink the vacation and travel in 2020 and maybe make plans yourself. We have put together a few suggestions for you.

Vacation at home: Excursion by bike

If, despite the new regulations, you may not decide to travel or prefer to vacation at home due to time or financial reasons, a trip to the countryside by bike is just right for you. If you live in the countryside, then get on your bike and start cycling. Unfortunately, this is not possible for everyone, so the bikes have to be transported. In our assortment you will find a selection of different rear bike carriers. We offer products for the transport of 2 bicycles as well as for the transport of 3 bicycles. Even the transport of up to 4 bicycles is possible depending on the model.

Models, such as the Strada Vario 2, are foldable and can be stowed away in the trunk during the bike tour. Clearly, we naturally place great value on the products in our assortment and are eager to choose them aacording to their easy way of use. This makes a trip by bike a mini vacation!

Trend holidays 2020: Camping in Germany and neighboring countries

Traveling in your own car is definitely preferred in times of COVID-19. You are alone and can (almost) get from A to B without any hygiene regulations. Your vacation will be even more relaxed if you also have your “own four walls” with you. With a caravan you take your own little home with you and can explore the most beautiful corners of Germany – or the neighboring countries. How about the North Sea, for example? Or would you prefer hiking in Bavaria?

No matter how you choose, a trailer hitch is the first important step to relaxed travelling with the caravan. Take a look around the shop, you will surely find a suitable model for your vehicle. Fixed towbars are the right decision for you if you are more of a frequent traveler with a trailer even after your vacation. It becomes more comfortable with a practical detachable or a swiveling trailer hitch. Depending on the vehicle model, we offer you all three types of towbars, of course we also have the right electrical kit.

Safe loading for the drive with trailer

11. Oktober 2018 um 10:02

LoadingBefore driving with the trailer, it is important to also deal with the cargo. Finally, this can affect the driving behavior of the trailer. If you’ve gone through the checklist, you’ll also be dealing with the cargo and loading it within the trailer. Maybe you have already loaded the trailer, but maybe you also have to accommodate some parts. It is important to be clear about a few points. The center of gravity of the trailer is usually centered, slightly ahead of the axle. It is important when loading not only to know where the center of gravity is, but also to plan it when distributing the load. Above all, you should pay attention to distribute the load evenly at the center of gravity and around the center of gravity. Better you load the goods a little further forward than too far behind. If you overload the rear part, there will be a negative vertical load, which can cause the team to skid during the ride.

In addition, you should make sure that large, heavy cargo pieces are stored as far down the ground as possible. A lying cabinet is easier to transport than a standing, finally, this cabinet springs from movements and can move its own focus unintentionally, for example, when driving around a curve. On the other hand, if the cabinet is transported horizontally, the center of gravity of the cabinet is also significantly lower, significantly reducing the handling of the trailer and the entire yoke. It is also important that you always secure your cargo well. Lashing straps and nets are a good way to secure loads, and in the worst case, even the smallest of loads can become dangerous missiles. Even cartons with books in a move are heavy and can adversely affect the trailer, so you should load them in the trailer safely so that the range of motion is limited, in case of doubt, it is best to use safety straps.