Why Trailer Tongue is Key to Towing?

There are many things to pay attention to when towing a trailer. In addition to the experienced driver, the tractor and trailer can work normally, there are many details that need to be carefully checked. For example, the trailer tongue (also called trailer hitch) that connects the tractor and the trailer has an important role in the safe towing of the trailer. If the trailer tongue is not used correctly, it is very likely that you find you are in an out of control situation.

trailer tongue

How tongue Weight Affects Towing?

The tongue weight is the static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. Proper trailer tongue weight is important to safe towing. If you don’t have enough weight on the trailer tongue, the trailer may be prone to swaying from side to side, making it difficult to control. Conversely, if you have too much weight exerted on the hitch ball, the force could overload the rear tires of the tow trailer and push the rear end of the trailer around. This could also negatively affect handling – you might not be able to go around corners and curves properly, and your trailer may not stop quickly enough when you press the brake pedal.

heavy tongue weight

what is Proper tongue weight?

For traditional trailers with ball-mounted hitches, proper tongue weight is roughly 10 to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight.

For instance, if a 2,000-pound trailer is loaded with 1,000 pounds of cargo, the proper tongue weight of the loaded trailer should be between 300 and 450 pounds, which is 10-15 percent of the loaded 3,000 pound total. Besides, there is a professional trailer company which suggests that to get the proper trailer tongue weight, you should put about 60 percent of the load centered evenly over the front half of the trailer. For instance, if that 2,000-pound trailer is still carrying 1,000 pounds, roughly 600 pounds should be in the front half of the trailer.

Check and balance

It’s important to ensure your trailer is properly balanced, and can easily be verified by visiting a public scale and weighing your trailer and trailer a few times. In order to check your tongue weight, follow these steps:

Preparation: Load your trailer with cargo and then hook it to the tractor.

Step 1: Drive the tractor onto the scale platform, but the wheels of the trailer cannot be driven onto the scale platform. Write down the total weight.

Step 2: Disconnect the trailer, only drive the tractor to the scale platform, and write down the weight of the tractor.

Step 3: Subtract the weight of the tractor from the total weight to get the weight of the trailer tongue.

If the result of that calculation is within the proper tongue weight range for your loaded trailer, congratulations – you’re properly balanced. If not, don’t fret. If your tongue weight is too low, move the load forward a bit. If you need to reduce tongue weight, move the weight further back on the trailer. Once you have your proper balance, ensure the load is also evenly distributed on the left and right sides of the trailer, and secure it to prevent it from sliding while in motion.

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