This Safe Work Practice (SWP) will provide YG employees with a set of guidelines or “Do’s and Don’ts” that have been developed to mitigate hazards associated with this work task, as identified through your workplace hazard identification process. All YG employees performing this work task are required to be trained, knowledgeable and competent.
Towing is very different from everyday driving – it requires additional driving skills and safety precautions. As a driver, you have a responsibility to other road users when towing a trailer or other vehicle.
Ensure that the tow vehicle, trailer and its load meet all legal and safety requirements set forth in the Motor Vehicles Act 1978. All trailers should be inspected by a qualified mechanic on a pre-determined schedule to ensure roadworthiness.
a) Perform a trailer safety check prior to use.
- Inspect the frame and suspension for damage and wear.
- Ensure the tires are properly inflated and free of damage.
- Inspect all light, safety chain and break connections for compatibility between trailer and vehicle.
- Perform a function check of all lights and brakes if equipped.
- Check that all connections are secure between the vehicle and trailer and lock pins in place.
- Ensure that ball hitch is the exact size to match the trailer hitch.
b) Make sure the trailer load is balanced side to side and front to back.
c) Ensure that loads are secured to the trailer so that they do not move independently of the trailer, when rocked back and forth by hand
d) Use three points of contact when climbing on and off trailers.
e) Ensure that boat motors are secured for travel and do not contact the ground while underway
f) Properly attach safety chains in a crisscross or basket configuration prior to departure (see picture bellow)
g) Pause after 10-20 km of towing to check all hitch connections, load tie downs and adjustments, and again each 100-200 km.
h) Reduce speeds while towing.
i) Allow additional distance for following and stopping to account for additional load on vehicle’s controls.
j) Make use of tow/haul function on vehicle and or use lower gears when descending a grade.
k) Perform a walk around of the trailer prior to backing up a trailer.
l) If possible, have a spotter positioned to the rear of the vehicle and trailer to assist in backing up.
m) Make use of turnouts, when required, to let other traffic pass safely.
a) Do not become complacent about towing on the highway.
b) Do not exceed weight limit of the trailer or tow vehicle (GVWR).
c) Do not decide to tow without necessary safety gear, even for short distances.
d) Do not let safety devices drag on the ground while underway.
e) Do not become distracted while securing or unhooking trailer from tow vehicle.
f) Do not climb on unsecured cargo while tying them down.
g) Do not tow trailers that are damaged.