7 Must Do Pre-Tow Checklist
When towing it is extremely important to make sure that your vehicle and trailer are in good working order before you head out on the open road! The safety of you and everyone else on the road depends on your truck performing the way that it should!
Steps 1&6 – Before you start your truck…
Start by looking underneath the truck for leaks. Then your going to open the hood and check the oil level. This is important to do before starting the truck! Once you have checked the oil level, THEN go start the truck and let it idle.
(Once you have completed the full truck pre-trip check you will turn off the engine and let it set for 1 minute before checking the oil level again. This is step 6.)
Step 2 – While under the hood check the rest of your fluids
Next your going to check the rest of the fluids: trans, brake, power steering, washer, etc. and check tire pressures.
Steps 3&4 – Tire pressure and visual check
If you do not have a TPMS system you will need to manually check your tire pressures… But even if you do have a TPMS system you should still do a visual tire inspection for many reasons. Your visual inspection should include:
Looking for any bulging spots, this will indicate tire failure and is extremely dangerous.
Checking for tread depth, and wear pattern. Know what your tread pattern should look like so you are able to tell the difference in tread patterns. This will allow you to know what your tires are doing. Possible tread patterns to watch for include:
- Wear on the outsides of your tread means you are under-inflated.
- Wear on the center of your tread means you are over-inflated.
- Feathering on the means you have an alignment issue.
- More wear on the inside or outside alone means you have a suspension problem or are overloaded.
Step 5 – Check ALL your lights
Next is your lights. You definitely do not want to be pulled over while towing for a light out. The DMV/ state troopers have almost zero tolerance for lights out. Maker sure to check the trailer lights as well! Yes, every single light on whatever you are towing is expected to be in working order! If you find none of your lights to be working, there are multiple tools to check to see if the light problem is caused by either your trucks wiring or your trailers wiring.
Step 6 – Re-check Oil
Now you are going to turn off the engine and let it set for 1 minute before checking the oil level again. Don’t forget that your oil pressure changes when your vehicle comes to running temp so checking your oil again is important! Don’t forget to re-check!
Step 7 – Confirm your route
As always!! Do NOT forget to choose the correct route. A lot of roads in the city have truck restrictions, low bridges, tunnels and sharp curves that make towing certain vehicles along these routes impossible. Make sure you know the length of your entire rig including the trailer. Know the weight, and know the height. Safety is a must!
Pick you route wisely.
Is there anything on your pre-trip check list for when your towing that we have missed?? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Safe towing! We are onto the next adventure!