Legal Driving Tips For Trailer Users

9 February 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Trailers are extremely useful for transporting goods on the long Australian roads that link each state together. However, trailer users must ensure that they are meeting all of the trailer regulations. To do so, you should make sure you have considered several factors covered by the law.

Tow Bar Requirements

A tow bar is needed for all trailers that are to be taken onto the road and anything that you might have jerry rigged at home which is not a proper tow bar can land you in trouble with the authorities. That said, not all tow bars are the same, so you will need to research which type is suitable for your trailer fitting. All tow bars in Australia are identified by a class name and a hitch class. This covers the maximum load that they are able to haul. A standard class two is suitable for most general-use trailers with loads that run from 1,250 to 1,600 kilos. Larger trailers may require a higher class of tow bar. Remember that your tow bar should have a compliance plate which shows its class and that this must be installed onto the rear chassis.

Safety Chain Considerations

Regulations throughout Australian states specify the use of safety chains. These are needed just about any time you are towing on the public road. A safety chain must be connected to the tow bar's framework. If you only hook it up to the tow ball, then you may fall foul of the regulations because the safety chain can slip off from this point.

Electrical Connections

Any road going trailer is legally required to be fitted with working lights and indicators. Trailer lighting must be fitted in all cases and wired up so that it is working properly - even in broad daylight. Seven-pin small round connectors are used to make the electrical connection to the towing vehicle in most cases, but seven-and-a-half flat pin connectors can also be used. Adapters are widely sold for both of these connection types so a lack of compatibility is not considered to be an excuse for non-functioning trailer lights.

Extension Mirrors

Being able to see clearly around you is a requirement for all drivers on the road. If your car's side mirrors cannot provide a clear view to the rear because of your trailer being in the way, then it is a legal necessity to do something about the problem. In most cases, this issue can be overcome by purchasing a set of extension mirrors. Once fitted, they will allow you to see vehicles coming up from behind and help you to avoid 'blind spots'.