In this edition of safe towing tips, we ask the important question: do you know your weight?
Most of the time, it is rude to ask someone about their weight but when it comes to towbars it can be life-saving.
As your trusted towbar installer, our team at Canberra Towbar Fitters have some tips on keeping your family safe, by making sure you know your towing weight.
Do you know your weight?
A recent incident in NSW (read article here) has highlighted the immediate dangers about not knowing the load ratings of what you are towing or should be towing. In this case, there are charges pending against the driver of an overweight caravan where there has been the death of two passengers in the vehicle.
So this is no joking matter. We see many customers that do not have a clue about what they should be checking or even how to check vehicle weights.
Ball Load and Ball Rating
While many of our customers know about how much their vehicle can tow and how heavy their trailer, camper trailer or caravan is, most customers could not tell you the ball load of their tow rig.
What is ball load I hear you say? This is the amount of weight being transferred straight down on to your towbar when you attach your trailer, camper trailer or caravan. Towbars and vehicles have two ratings: how much they can pull and how much you can put straight down on your towbar/towball, which is the ball rating.
A standard towbar may only have a 70kg ball rating. So, think of when your dad stands on the towbar and jumps up and down to see how strong it is, ask yourself does he weigh more then 70kg? Or think of when you put a bike rack on the towbar and the weight straight down that is being transferred to the towbar, add on 4 bikes and then the leverage out from the car. Now add to that, the travel of the vehicle suspension and the force up against the force down….well need I say more you can see where problems start.
So what is the big deal?? Too much ball load can result in your towbar tongue bending, your towbar breaking; it can lower the rear of the vehicle and raise the front giving you light steering, uneven tyre wear, reduced braking and steering ability and ultimately result in an accident putting you, your family and other road users at risk. It will end up costing you a lot of money. So it is a big deal!
Weigh Safe Products
There are a number of solutions to these problems. You can tow your vehicle to a specialist station for weighing or you can do it yourself accurately and safely.
There are specialist weigh stations in most States and Territories that will weigh your tow rig for you but that means driving there and if you are already over weight, we already know what that can mean.
There are a range of do-it-yourself towball scales that are adequate alternatives and you can carry one with you, so when you do load up the draw bar of your tow rig you can reweigh it.
A new product we have recently seen is the Weigh Safe Product Line which is a range of quality towbar tongues and even a towball itself, with a built-in scale. We think they are a great idea for being able to quickly and easily work out your ball load, making sure everything is within the limits of your vehicle and your towbar. For a few dollars, this is a safe and simple way to have peace of mind, protecting you and your family as well as your investment.
Safe Towing Tips: Do you know your weight?
To find more information about the Weigh Safe products click here.
If you have topics you would like us to cover in our blog just let us know and we will do our best to incorporate your suggestions.
At Canberra Towbar Fitters, we do more than just towbars, we can help you with anything you need to get out on the road, doing what you love.
Whether it’s a towbar, trailer, bike rack, roof racks, a roof pod box or even brake controllers, we can provide expert advice and installation.
We’ve been servicing all of Canberra for over 25 years and offer a free mobile service for select services, so we can come to you at home, work, or anywhere else you park your car.
Using quality products from trusted brands with impressive warranties including Hayman Reese, Trailboss, Cosmopolitian Towbars and TAG, you know you’re in safe hands with Canberra Towbar Fitters.