How to Tow The Line With Your Diesel
Springtime is the best time if you've got a diesel truck, trailer, boat and somewhere to go! Towing your boat seems like it should be pretty straightforward: hitch up the boat trailer and hit the road, right? Staying safe on the road requires a few extra steps, but we're here to help you get started and on the road to the water.
Boat Towing Basics
Before you start towing, you'll need to be sure your boat is securely seated on your trailer. A quick safety check will keep you from damaging either the boat, the trailer or yourself. Get started by:
- Getting the hitch and ball into alignment before slowly lowering the trailer hitch over the ball.
- Secure the latch, then slide the safety pin into its slot.
- Add safety chains in a crisscross style before securing them onto the truck.
- Attach safety lines from your trailer brakes to the main vehicle.
- Check lights to ensure they're correctly tied in with your tow vehicle.
Towing Terms and Stats
When you're getting started with boating, there is some new terminology and details that you'll need to keep in mind. Trucks and trailers need to be compatible for boat towing success on a variety of fronts. For example, hitches are separated by classes based on the weight of your boat and trailer. Keep these numbers in mind to get the right Class I, II, III, IV or Class V hitch for your particular setup. How much weight bears down on the tongue of the trailer is considered "tongue weight," and the maximum safe tongue weight is between ten and fifteen percent of the combined trailer and boat weight. Finally, the size of the hitch ball is important and needs to match the hitch ball size of the tow vehicle.
Safe Towing Tips
Once you have everything hooked up, safety checked and ready to hit the road, keep a few safety tips in mind:
- A pre-tow inspection will ensure that everything is accurately tied together.
- Your turning radius will be much wider when you're towing a boat, so plan accordingly.
- Adjust your side view mirrors, so you're able to see not only the tow vehicle but the trailer as well.
- Back your boat into the water before you attempt to take off the safety chain or winch strap.
Perhaps the most exciting part of your day will come when you attempt to back up your trailer and boat for the first time. Practice is the name of the game! Make tiny, continuous changes to your direction and always use your mirrors. It doesn't hurt to have a spotter the first few times you're trying to make a move. Want to learn more about how your diesel truck can be turned into a boat-towing beast? Visit us a Bodacious Diesel, your number one source for truck repairs, upgrades and more. Our friendly and reliable service technicians are available to help answer your questions at 303-808-1563.