towing in a hire vehicle
Vista Hire is different from other car rental companies because our vehicles are permitted to tow. In this article we discuss how towing a trailer impacts the way you drive.
Our 4WDs have been used to tow a range of items - from rally cars, to mobile accommodation vans, band equipment, boats, horse floats, a flight simulator, and even the Billabong Bikini Truck. If you've got a photo to share of our vehicle towing a load, please share it with us - like some of our other clients have below:
To hire a tow vehicle, request a quote or call us on 1300 993 767
Towing a Trailer
Is towing a trailer as simple as it seems? In many cases the answer is yes, but there are a few things to be aware of once you start to tow more than your standard empty 6x4 box trailer.
If you’re new to towing and planning on towing something more complex than a standard box trailer you should consider seeking advice or training from professionals. If you’ve ever watched a road train hook up a 3rd or 4th trailer you will see a challenge met with skill and patience. More than likely the driver received training on how to perform such a difficult manoeuvre. And they will have had plenty of practice, which is the most important thing to do if you are new to towing – practice.
So let’s get started…
Before hooking up the trailer,
1) Check there is a little grease on the tow ball
2) Check you have the safety chain connected
3) Make sure the lights are working.
Check Weight Distribution
Once you’re sure your vehicle has the towing capacity, it’s important to look at how the weight is distributed in your vehicle and trailer. This will have a significant bearing upon the overall handling and safety of your towing platform.
If the load in the trailer is out of balance, or if you are driving too fast, the trailer can start to swing dangerously. If this occurs, stop immediately and rebalance your load and ensure you drive at a safe speed. You also need to be aware that your brakes may not seem as effective and acceleration will be slower.
How a Trailer Affects Your Driving
When travelling forwards you must remember that the trailer may affect the way you travel in your lane, particularly if it is wider than your vehicle. Another thing to be mindful of is when changing lanes you certainly have additional length to consider.
Turning corners requires more thought too - ever watch a semi trailer turn a sharp corner? The wheels of the trailer do not track immediately behind the tow vehicle, rather they will tend to cut the corner so the tow vehicle needs to travel a wider arc in order not to hit the kerb with the trailer.
Reversing with a Trailer
Reversing is a matter of practice. Find a large open space such as a carpark or other area without traffic and start slowly. Try reversing the trailer straight making sure to use small gentle steering movements. Then try reversing the trailer into a car space. Do this slowly as faster travel will give you less time for correction and may lead to jackknifing the trailer and doing some damage. To start the reverse of the trailer you will need to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. For example if you want to reverse the trailer to the driver’s side of the vehicle, you would start the trailer turning to that side by moving your left hand down on the steering wheel.
Hire a Tow Vehicle
If you plan to hire a 4WD vehicle from Vista Hire to tow a load, we will be happy to help you connect your trailer and give you advice on the changes in handling you can expect from the vehicle.
Toyota Landcruiser for hire from Vista Hire - pictured here towing an industrial caravan
Need to hire a tow vehicle? Call us on 1300 993 767