Effective Flatbed (Lowbed) Trailer towing

June 23, 2014

Flatbed trailers specially designed to haul bulky and heavy commercial loads such as large pipes, lumber and machinery.  But as we all know some of the loads, like vehicles, can roll freely, so the proper security of the same should be arranged.  

 

We would like to share with you some tips on effective flatbed trailer towing and a list of reliable accessories to consider before you make the terrible mistake of improperly towing a flatbed trailer.

 

One of the types of the flatbed trailer is a lowbed trailer (or low boy trailer).  It is trailer that sits very close to the ground. Low boys typically haul large tractors and heavy equipment to and from construction sites and strip mines.

The first main rule is that you have to fasten the load securely before hitting the open road. If you don't, you'll end up losing your load.­

 

Tie-down accessories

Below we specify some of the most popular tie-down accessories:

 

  • Nylon strap - Reinforced nylon straps used to tie-down loads. Straps come in varying width and length options

  • Basket strap - Web-like nylon strap that fits over wheels and can be hooked and attached to trailer eyelets

  • V-Straps - Nylon straps with steel hooks at each end used to latch onto parts underneath the a vehicle's undercarriage

  • Ratchet - Steel ratcheting mechanism used with nylon straps to fasten and tighten the load

 

If nylon isn't available, you can use chains if you'd like. The same accessories listed above are also available in chain form.

 

Flatbed Trailer loading procedure

Now that you have the proper equipment, let's go through the proper procedure of loading that car (vehicle) on the trailer.

 

  1. Position the car evenly on the trailer and over the axel.

  2. Pull the car as far forward as you can without touching the trailer's front.

  3. Set the parking brake and put the car in gear if it has standard transmission.

  4. Place a chock block in front of and behind at least one wheel, although the more the better.

  5. If you have basket straps, use those first. Place one over each tire (if you have only one, use it on the front). You'll want the ratchet in front of the front tires and behind the rear tires.

  6. Once you've secured the tires, move underneath the vehicle. It's best to use a V-strap on the front and rear. If your car has tow hooks, use those. Most cars have tow hooks or tie­-down eyelets somewhere near the bumpers. Whatever you do, don't hook V-straps to any suspension parts.

  7. Run the straps in opposite directions so that you can pull the car each way. Finally, ratchet everything down and check your light, hitch and safety chains.

  8. Now, you're ready to go. 

 

Driving of a heavy load, like a car, on a flatbed trailer should be very careful. Driving should be at a reasonable speed and without quick maneuvers. Plenty time and room to press on brake should be given and driving should be smooth through curves and turns. If needed better to use more time for driving the trip rather than risk the safety here.  

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