Trailer Safety Checklist
The following items should be checked on the trailer and tow vehicle
every time you tow a trailer even for short trips.
(You may want to copy this list and keep it in the tow vehicle.)
On the tow vehicle, check:
- Fluid levels: oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and radiator. Check engine belts and hoses. Fill up fuel.
- Tire pressure: examine for cracks, bulges or signs of excessive wear. (For trucks with dual tires: strike the inside tire with a hammer. If the air pressure is okay, the hammer will bounce back.)
- Hitch and receiver (no rust, loose bolts, or cracked welds; ball is correct size for trailer and is tight).
- Electrical connectors and wiring on both vehicles (no loose connector or broken wires).
- With the trailer hitched, test the brakes and trailer brake controller, and adjust trailer brakes for the load. Check running lights, turn indicators, and brake lights.
On the trailer, check:
- Hitch and coupling (be sure coupler fastens securely over ball).
- The battery cable of the trailer's breakaway system. Check safety chains, hooks, and points where they connect.
- Tire pressure and condition of all tires.
- Signal and brake lights, running lights, and emergency flashers
- Trailer floor for soundness (no signs of rot); mats in place.
- Interior for wasps or hornet nests. (These can appear in a day!)
Be sure you have:
- Spare tires and tire-changing equipment for tow vehicle and trailer.
- Registration for both tow vehicle and trailer, with current inspection stamp; insurance card.
- Maps, directions, phone numbers if needed.
- Coggins tests, health papers, and any transport papers required for horses.
- Tool kit and first aid kits (horse and human).
- Auto club membership, towing insurance, or other arrangements for emergency road service that covers trailer and tow vehicle. A credit card may be necessary for major repairs on the road. A cellular phone or CB radio is helpful in case of emergency.
Trailer Equipment List
The following items should always be carried in the trailer:
- Spare Tire and jack for trailer and tow vehicle.
- Jumper cables and tow chain.
- Road flares or warning signal in case of breakdown.
- Blocks (two) to put behind front and back tires when parked (the type of block that can serve as a ramp for changing a tire is especially useful).
- Longe line, extra lead rope and halter, sheet or blanket, extra cotton and leg wraps, pins, masking tape.
- Large container of water (can be used for drinking water, first aid, or some vehicle problems).
- Small pail with sponge or cloth.
- Water and feed buckets, hay net (fastened so it wonÕt swing or drop too low), with fresh hay for every trip.
- Broom, shovel, rake, fork, muck basket, manure disposal bags. (Leave parking areas clean!)
- First aid kits (horse and human).
- Tool kit containing:
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, wrenches, and so on.
- Extra bulbs for trailer lights and extra 20-amp fuses.
- Electrical tape.
- Extra quart of oil for tow vehicle.
- Crowbar (essential in case you need to remove center divider quickly).
- Sturdy knife (to cut tie ropes in and emergency).
- WD-40, grease, or lubricating oil.
- Can of bee/wasp/hornet stun spray.
- Work gloves and waterless hand cleaner.
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