Make trailering experiences safer, faster and more enjoyable by simply keeping a laminated list of the following tips in your tow vehicle:
1. Attach safety straps: Although sometimes overlooked, they will hopefully keep your boat from bouncing off the trailer should you hit a bump on the highway.
2. Fasten safety chains to the tow vehicle: Safety chains are there for an obvious reason. Inspect them every so often for rust and wear, and replace if necessary.
3. Secure cooler lids, tackle boxes and lifejackets: Think about it-how many of these items have you seen on the roadside?
4. Check tire pressure (including spare): It's easy to forget, but important to do before a long trip.
5. Maintain bearing grease level: Be careful not to overpack the bearing grease or you could blow a seal.
6. Inspect and test trailer lights.
7. Install a winch safety strap and chain: This could save your boat from sliding off the trailer.
8. Be sure that lug nuts on both the boat trailer and tow vehicle are tight. Avoid overtightening by using a torque wrench.
9. Remove rods from holders: Reduce the risk of theft during roadside stops, and breakage due to low-hanging tree limbs.
10. Check and lock the hitch coupling: Make sure the hitch is secure and won't open accidentally.
11. Insert or remove wheel chocks: These can prevent your entire rig from sliding into the water.
- Paul Maxwell