Slippery road: Trailer driving in foliage and wet weather

29. Oktober 2020 um 8:09

 Slippery road: Trailer driving in foliage and wet weather

A slippery road surface often makes driving with a trailer difficult, with autumn there is now more moisture and leaves on the road surface, so it can quickly become slippery. It is not only important to let your trailer hitch “hibernate” accordingly in autumn, but also to prepare yourself for the trip with the trailer in foliage and cold weather. We have put together the most important points for such trips on slippery roads for you.

Appropriate coupling

Before each trip with the trailer, you should take a careful look. Is the trailer hitch correctly installed? Is the detachable ball rod correctly engaged and locked? Is the trailer also correctly positioned on the ball bar and also engaged? Has the tear rope been attached correctly? Once all these points have been worked through, you are at least a little bit closer to the trip with the trailer. In principle, the points mentioned should of course not only be checked when driving on slippery roads and in cold weather and leaves on the roads, but before each trip. Your safety and that of other road users is particularly important and can quickly be adversely affected by a detached trailer.

Check lighting – before driving

Before driving with the trailer, make sure that the lighting of the trailer and the electronics are checked. Do all turn signals work? Especially when driving in the dark, it is very important that you are seen and safely participate in road traffic.

Slippery road surface: the right tires are essential

Winter tires are mandatory for motor vehicles and enable safe driving in wet, frost and snow and also on a slipper road. For the trailer, you should also make sure that it is correctly and above all frosted. Otherwise, a slippery road quickly becomes an unwanted adventure. Depending on where your journey takes you or where you are traveling, snow chains are also a sensible investment for the trailer. Make absolutely sure that it is ensured as far as possible that the trailer and the towing vehicle cannot slip.

Pay attention to the speed on a slipper road

As with all trips with a trailer, you should always make sure that you keep to the permissible maximum speed. This is not only important to avoid possible fines, but also to ensure the safest possible ride in the rain and wet or frost.

Secure cargo

It is clear that the load must be secured against slipping on every trip in order to prevent the trailer from swaying as far as possible. Should you get stuck in the snow, for example, then you can use a sensibly planned and loaded load to your advantage and rearrange it so that you can easily free yourself from the situation. For everything, safety always comes first. For the transported goods as well as for the whole team!

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.

The breakaway cable in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland

17. September 2017 um 16:24

breakaway cableIt makes sure that even in the event of the trailer coming loose from the coupling towbar it will still decelerate. This is what we call the safety or breakaway cable. Anyone who drives a lot with a trailer is sure to be familiar with installing it – and probably also had many discussions about it. When travelling to our neighbouring countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland, if the breakaway cable is not correctly installed or you have no safety cable, this could lead to heavy fines. For this reason, we’ve put together the provisions given by the ADAC (German Automobile Association) regarding the correct installation and use of the cable.

Breakaway cable safety mechanisms when driving in Germany

In Germany trailers in the medium-weight class, i.e. with a permissible maximum weight of more than 750 kg and up to 3,500 kg, are generally equipped with inertia (overrun) brakes. This means that in the braking procedure the trailer overruns the towing vehicle and the resulting power is transmitted by lever transmission to the trailer brakes. In the event that the trailer becomes detached from the towbar, a safety cable should trigger the brakes and bring the trailer to a halt.

The use of a breakaway or safety cable is mandatory in Germany. Where exactly the cable should be installed is not specified. However, one thing is certain, the cable may not be looped over the towbar. As far as technically possible, the safety cable has to be fixed through an opening, drill hole or eyelet on the towbar, not on the ball head.

 

How to use a safety cable correctly in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands safety devices are foreseen for both braked and unbraked trailers. Trailers up to 1500 kg therefore require a safety feature and/or breakaway facility. With trailers without their own brakes a secondary coupling in the form of a cable or chain is compulsory. This also applies for unbraked trailers up to 750 kg. With larger trailers an ultimate (at break) braking provision must be in place, i.e. a steel cable between the vehicle and the braking system of the trailer. This is only available for vehicles (trailers) with brakes.

In any case, it is very important that in the Netherlands the specified safety cables must, in addition, be attached to the towbar for both unbraked and braked trailers.

This is done with special eyelets or clamps. Simply winding the cable round the knee-joint bar is not sufficient in the Netherlands.

 

How to use a safety cable correctly in Switzerland

In Switzerland with trailers up to a permissible total weight of 1,500 kg without a service brake system, an additional safety cable, e.g. a breakaway cable is required. The Federal Office for Roads has approved additional eyelets or special fixing holes on the towbar as suitable for mounting.

 

What requires special attention with a foreign/German trailer combination in the Netherlands and Switzerland?

In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the brake systems of trailers must be equipped in such a way that the trailer, even in the case of a break in the coupling device when in motion, can come to a halt. This does not apply for single-axle trailers or double-axle trailers with a wheelbase of less than one metre and the trailer does not exceed the permissible total weight of 1,500 kg. Unbraked trailers up to a permissible total weight of 1,500 kg must be connected and secured to the towing vehicle via a safety cable, i.e. a breakaway cable. General information: Since the minimum requirements specified by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic may not be exceeded, either in the Netherlands or in Switzerland, the national provisions shall in any case also apply for trailer combinations registered in Germany, insofar as these are active road users in the Netherlands or Switzerland.

 

Please note: Our towbars have either eyelets or a drill hole for fixing the breakaway cable. Read more about how to use the cable correctly in our report on this topic.