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An improperly secured trailer load is both illegal and unsafe and could result in potentially serious and damaging consequences. However, there are a few basic checks that can be carried out to ensure that using a trailer to carry a load is both legally compliant and safe.

  • An improperly secured load is illegal and unsafe.
  • Safety is the key consideration when loading a trailer.
  • There are potentially serious consequences for not fulfilling the requirements.

In the worst-case scenario, an improperly loaded and secure trailer could result in the load coming lose, falling off, and causing a serious accident. Obviously, the most important consideration when loading a trailer is safety.

Regardless of trailer or load, being found using a vehicle in a dangerous condition can incur penalties of a ban, a fine, or penalty points on a driving licence so fulfilling the requirement to maintain the vehicle in a fit and serviceable condition is the first step to safe loading.

Beyond that basic requirement however, a few simple trailer-specific checks can be carried out to make sure that a trailer has been loaded properly and it is being towed safely and legally.

Firstly, it’s important to know the nose weight limit or maximum vertical load of the towing vehicle to avoid exceeding the limit.

The nose weight limit (found in the owner’s handbook) refers to the maximum vertical pressure that can be put on the towbar. Remaining within the limit helps to maintain driving stability for both vehicle and trailer and reduces the risk of potentially dangerous trailer sway.

Although a load should be distributed evenly across the trailer, on occasion, loads can be unavoidably uneven in which case it is important to ensure that individual wheels or axles are not overloaded.

It should go without saying that loads are adequately restrained and do not stick out from the trailer in any way that may cause a danger to other road users.

The four fundamental checks for loading a trailer are: nose weight, weight distribution, balance, and securely restrained loads.

At Cheshire Trailers we provide 30-point services and inspections carried out by fully trained NTTA mechanics in a purpose-built workshop. We service and repair any make or model of trailer and our trailer experts are on hand to offer advice and support.