Trailer owners should be aware of terms and equipment associated with their towing vehicle and trailer.
Checking of these components must be accomplished without causing damage to any of the components or systems.
- Safe condition of towing vehicle is determined
- Security of trailer load is ensured
- Verify towing vehicle accessories and modifications (including towbar) are correct for the trailer being towed and they are secure.
- Determine that both the towing vehicle and the trailer are in a safe condition.
Tow Vehicle Inspection
Vehicles must be registered and in a roadworthy condition to operate on Australian roads. Drivers must hold a current and valid Driver’s Licence.
Vehicle owners/operators are responsible for the day-to-day running condition of the vehicle; a licensed mechanic or auto electrician should conduct repairs as required.
Before connecting a trailer to a towing vehicle, ensure that the vehicle is ready for towing by checking:
- Adjustable suspension (if fitted) – typically air type; inflated to required pressures before connecting the trailer
- Electrical connector – matches the trailer; check operation and condition
- Electronic brake controller – suitable for type of trailer and application
- Engine – fuel, oil and liquid levels are all sufficient; hoses secure and in good condition; fan belt(s) tight and in good condition; air filter clean and clear of any obstructions
- Internal load – allow for the Tow Ball Mass of the trailer
- Lights – check operation of all vehicle lights
- Rear vision mirrors – attach mirror extensions if trailer is wider than towing vehicle; check they are secure and will not vibrate or shift when travelling at speed; correctly adjusted to minimize blind spots
- Tow ball / Coupling system – secure; no excessive wear; clean (no or very light grease); matches the trailer
- Tow ball mount – secure and correctly fastened; correct type for the towbar
- Towbar – secure (all bolts are still in place); no damage or corrosion/rust; correct for the vehicle; correct capacity for the trailer being towed
- Towing capacity – the trailer Aggregate Trailer Mass and Tow Ball Mass do not exceed that stated by the towing vehicle or towbar manufacturer
- Tyres and wheels – correct inflation pressure for the load; sufficient tread depth; good condition; wheel nuts are tight, valve caps secure
Trailers must be registered and in a roadworthy condition to operate on Australian roads.
Towing vehicle drivers are responsible for any trailer they attach to their towing vehicle including the day-to-day running condition. A licensed mechanic, auto electrician (12 volt) electrician (240 volt) or gasfitter should conduct repairs as required.
Before connecting a trailer to a towing vehicle, ensure that the trailer is ready for towing by checking:
- Accessories – jerry cans secure; storage boxes locked and secure
- Awning – locked in position, and secure
- Battery(s) – is fully charged, no corrosion, terminals tight
- Breakaway Brake System – operational and holds trailer, battery charge sufficient
- Brake lockout device – disengaged; check for damage and operation
- Coupling body – secure; matches the towing vehicle; no excessive wear; clean (no excessive grease); correct operation; no damage
- Drawbar and Trailer Body – no cracks or bends; no structural rust; good condition
- External Doors – are operational, lockable and sealing if applicable
- Electrical connector – serviceable; not damaged; matches towing vehicle; split in centre of individual pins are uniform and free from corrosion
- Gas – cylinders secure, gas turned off
- Jockey wheel – good condition, smooth operation, lightly lubricated
- Internal doors and cupboards – close and lock correctly, hinges secure
- Lights – no damage; no corrosion; secure
- Load – secure inside and out; within trailer’s capacity; covered (if exposed) to prevent loss
- Oven & Stove – All elements working, auto light working, knobs and accessories fitted.
- Park Brake – operation (DO NOT RELEASE); locking mechanism; cable tension and condition
- Plumbing – all plumbing is secure and hoses fit.
- Refrigerator – operational on all modes, door seals and locks
- Safety chains – structural integrity; sufficient length
- Shackles – correct size; preferably rated
- Slide out extensions movement – check for operation, and lubrication (if applicable)
- Stabiliser jacks – good condition; firmly stowed; extra feet removed
- Spare tyre – inflated, in good condition and secure
- Suspension – correct tightness; good lubrication; no structural rust; no damage or cracks; no cracked rubbers; no leaks
- Tyres and wheels – correct inflation pressure for the load; sufficient tread depth; good condition; wheel nuts are tight
- TV – operational, secure and packed away
- Vents – in position, locked and closed
- Water pump – operational
- Windows – are able to be closed and locked
- Wheel bearings – right tightness; good lubrication; free-running
- Wheel brake – mechanical cable; electrical connections; no leaks; not binding
If the trailer has not been used for some time spend more time checking thoroughly through the list above.
As trailers come in many shapes and types the above list is only a guide, your trailer may have specific attachments or accessories that require attention.