Tire supplier Kenda’s North American distribution arm, Kenda Americana Tire and Wheel (Kenda ATW), is returning as an “ally” in supporting National Trailer Safety Week.
From June 6-12, the week highlighted by the National Assocation of Trailer Manufactures (NATM) focuses on ensured safety as a top priority for trailer manufacturers, distributors, retailers and owners.
Kenda ATW stated it will share advice and spread awareness to help improve driving experiences on U.S. roads. In support of American drivers, the supplier is imploring governors in multiple areas to issue a proclamation recognizing towing safety importance.
“No matter how safely a trailer is built, it can still be used in incredibly unsafe ways, especially since many people new to using a trailer never receive even basic training of proper use,” Kenda ATW Marketing Manager Kim Besst said. “In an effort to make the roads safer for everyone, we are dedicated to creating messaging that both educates and informs the public on how tires play an important part in trailer performance.”
The supplier noted understanding trailer tire dynamics through aspects such as load capacity, air pressure and proper maintenance matter “immensely” to performance and safety.
Kenda ATW provided expert tips to ensure RVs and trailers are road-ready:
Inspect before a trip with the pre-departure safety checklist
- Check and correct tire pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer, including the spare tire.
- Make sure wheel lug nuts/bolts on the tow vehicle are tightened to the correct torque.
- Check that all items are securely fastened on and in the trailer.
- Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals and hazard lights are working.
Maintain tires after use
- Visually inspect tires after use. Look for signs of irregularities, cracking or stress. This can mean outlived tire life meaning it is time for replacement.
- Store trailers properly. For example, if it sits in the hot sun, that could cause sun damage which could make tires crack. Storing a trailer in the shade or covering the tires will help combat environmental damage to tires.
Know the tires’ load capacity
- Make sure trailer tires meet or exceed load capacity. Check owner’s manuals or placards for maximum limits.
- Load the trailer properly. A tail-heavy trailer could cause instability. At least 60% of the load should be toward the front.
Know the proper stopping distance
- On trailer models with brakes installed, the combination will require a greater stopping distance with a trailer in tow than the tow vehicle requires while operating by itself.
- Even smaller trailers that do not require brakes will require longer stopping distances for the combination than the tow vehicle requires while operating by itself. Even with adequate trailer brakes, if applicable, the tow vehicle will still have a greater stopping distance with a trailer attached.
- It takes experience for drivers to become comfortable with the difference between the way their vehicle handles by itself, versus the way the vehicle handles while towing a trailer loaded with cargo.
- For following distances, a general rule of thumb is at least a 325-foot gap (about 5 seconds) between a vehicle and the vehicle or obstacle in front of you. Prolonged use of brakes can cause overheating and loss of brake effectiveness. Giving ample space to respond should help prevent frequent and/or hard braking.
Respond to sway the right way
- Gas off, brake off, steer straight and wait.
- Do not attempt to control sway by turning the steering wheel as it will only make the issue worse. If there is a brake controller, gently apply only the trailer brakes.
“As warm weather brings more trailers out, following these tips are as essential for drivers as always maintaining focus while operating a motor vehicle to eliminate distractions,” Kenda ATW stated. “By taking the right measures, you can reduce any problems that could arise on the road.”