No matter what you're hauling — safety is paramount. Whether you've been using your gooseneck hitch for years and consider yourself a pro or you recently had the unit installed, a quick update on safe hauling practices is always warranted. Here are some refresher tips you should keep in mind before you head back out on the road.
Rely on Professional Installation
Always leave your installation needs to a professional. Installing a gooseneck hitch may not be rocket science, but it's a detailed process. For example, if the brake, turn signals, and taillights are not properly wired, drivers behind your trailer won't be able to tell when you're turning or braking. When other drivers don't know what you're doing, everyone's safety is at risk. Professional installers understand what it takes to install the hitch correctly and to keep you safe.
Plan Travel Times Wisely
Take the time to plan your travel when towing with a hitch. A load that is sized to accommodate the size of the trailer and the towing capacity of your vehicle can withstand any type of traffic. However, there are certain parts of the day when hauling a load is easier. Try to avoid highly congested roads. Frequent, especially sudden, stops, are often more of a challenge when you're hauling a heavy load. Plan your routes so that you can avoid much of the stop and go traffic and reach your destination faster.
Inspect the Connection Regularly
Regular inspections of your hitch connection is a vital part of safety. Before you start any trip, look over the connection to ensure it's not loose. Additionally, if you're gooseneck style trailer has electric brakes, you want to ensure they are calibrated. If you're traveling through town, you may only need to perform this inspection once. But if you're planning a road trip and will be gone for several days, you should inspect your connection each time you get ready to drive the vehicle.
Try to leave early so that you give yourself plenty of time. You do not want to drive fast when you are hauling a load behind you. First, the extra weight from the load will make it harder to stop your vehicle. If you're traveling too fast, you may not be able to stop the truck fast enough. Second, even if the load is connected to the hitch securely, the increased speed could cause your trailer to sway. The swaying motion will make controlling the trailer harder and also increases the safety concern.
Safety is essential, so don't overlook it. Take your vehicle to a professional for a secure gooseneck hitch installation, and always play it smart.