Towing a trailer on Australian roads isn't as simple as hooking it onto the back of your car. Firstly, you'll need to have a capable vehicle that's rated for towing. You'll also need a safe and legal trailer, and knowledge of the towing regulations in your state.

These are all factors that can vary, but they're easy to find out.

Why do you need a specific vehicle to tow a trailer?

Even if you're only planning on towing a tiny trailer, such as the small cage trailer from Kennards Hire, you still need a car that's legally rated to tow.

Your vehicle may not be powerful enough to handle pulling more added weight than it is rated for, and it might not be capable of stopping in a safe distance. As a general rule, vehicles with a towbar can tow a small trailer, but anything more than that, and you should check in the owner's manual for the maximum towing weight.

Making sure your vehicle is rated for towing is the first step in legally attaching a trailer.Making sure your vehicle is rated for towing is the first step to legally attaching a trailer.

If you're planning on towing a lot of equipment or supplies, then you might think that adding another trailer to the mix is going to be fine. Well, that would be illegal. You can only tow one trailer at a time, and if you need more space, there's likely a bigger trailer. Take the large enclosed trailer, for example. It's completely closed up, so your gear won't get wet on road trips or sitting by the water.

It should go without saying, but the maximum speed you can travel when towing is the sign-posted limit. However, that is only up to 100 kph. Any speed over that is not legal, so even if a sign says 110 kph, you are not allowed to travel that quickly with a trailer.

Advice for towing - how can you do it safely?

The following tips will make your trailer travels a lot easier:

  • Reverse slowly! Smaller trailers are generally unresponsive at low speed, and then turn wildly. Have someone outside signalling you about what's going on when you can't see it;
  • Get the right trailer. Never settle for something because it's just going to have to do, make sure it'll work for what you're towing;
  • Increase your following distance. Even the best drivers will realise that so much added weight on the rear of a vehicle will make braking quickly a lot harder, so don't risk it. 

Driving with a trailer safely and legally is easily achieved, it just takes a little care and patience. If you need to get towing today, get in touch with Kennards Hire to discuss what your best option is.