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    How to Hitch and Unhitch a Trailer

    Published on 22 January 2020, Wednesday, 10:45 AM

    Trailers are ideal for transporting all sorts of things, from furniture to garden waste. 

    Knowing how to hitch and unhitch a trailer with confidence can give you greater peace of mind as well as ensuring your trailer is safely and securely connected.

    Knowing the trailer parts

    The main parts of a trailer that are involved in hitching and unhitching are:

    • The Coupler: The coupler is usually a ball type, and it attaches to the ball on the vehicle for a more secure connection.
    • The Handle: This locks the tow ball and releases it.
    • The Safety Latch: The safety latch keeps the coupler from jumping off during transport. Always make sure you have the safety latch in place before driving off.
    • The Safety Chain: This is added protection in case the coupling fails. The chain has a D shackle that connects straight to your vehicle. Some trailers only have one chain but larger trailers may have two. If you have two chains always remember they have to be crossed before you set off.
    • The Light Lead Connector: This connects the lights of your vehicle to the trailer. Light lead connectors come in a range of different types to suit different vehicles.

    Before you get started, be aware that you can’t just connect any trailer to any vehicle; you need to have the right vehicle for your job. This means it needs to have the right sized tow ball and the appropriate towing capacity.

    If you are in Australia, the tow ball needs to be 50mm. If you’re in New Zealand it’s 50mm or 1 7/8 for all our trailers. You’ll also need to ensure that your vehicle has a suitable towing capacity for your application. You can find the towing capacity information on your vehicle’s tow hitch or by checking your vehicle’s user manual.

    Once you are sure you have the right tow ball and your vehicle’s towing capacity is up to the job, you’re ready to hitch the trailer to your vehicle. Follow the steps below to learn how to hitch and unhitch your trailer.

    Remember: It’s an offence to have any items in your trailer that are not secured tightly. Make sure you have everything tied down and any loose items are covered before you set off.

    Always be aware when you’re hitching or unhitching a trailer. Notice if something looks out of place, double check to make sure it’s hitched properly and discuss any concerns with your travel buddy or a Kennards Hire team member.

    If you have any questions about our equipment or need advice on the best equipment to use, the team at your local Kennards Hire branch should be able to help you.

    For more information get in touch with your local branch today.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.