Trailer Towing

Before Towing a trailer

  • Drivers must understand the basic information to safely tow a trailer behind a University vehicle.
  • Drivers are encouraged to practice towing in a safe location prior to their trips.

Pre-Trip Checklist for Towing Trailers

  • Verify that the trailer hitch and ball on the tow vehicle is the proper class and size for the trailer being towed.
  • Check tires for proper tire pressure on the trailer and tow vehicle.
  • Make sure all lights are working properly.
  • Make sure the safety chains are in place and secured. The chains should be crossed below the trailer tongue.
  • Be sure the trailer jack is raised and locked in place.
  • Check and adjust all mirrors before driving.
  • Check to make sure the trailer’s brakes are operational, if so equipped. Check and adjust brakes while at a low speed to be sure they will stop the vehicle and trailer comfortably.

Towing Operation

  • 12-passenger vans will not be used to tow a trailer.
  • Travel at a reduced speed and maintain a safe following distance.
  • Comply with posted speed limits, but do not exceed 55 miles per hour.

Maintenance and Annual State Safety Inspections

  • Trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more are required to have brakes and are required to be inspected annually; however, any trailer under 3,000 pounds that is equipped with brakes is also required to be inspected.
  • Responsible individuals that have trailers in their control are responsible for ensuring that proper maintenance and state inspections are performed.