Tow Safely in Cartersville, Georgia

Towing in Cartersville, drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. This is not the case. If you're going to do any towing, you should be aware of safety issues, Georgia towing laws and the potential liability.

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. Manufacturers calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own. Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would most likely be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds (4,600kg). But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound (2700 kg) trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in GA. Auto owners need to keep in mind that towing weights include the weight of the passengers and the cargo inside the towing vehicle. So if your tow rating is 8,000 pounds (3,200 kg), and you're carrying 600 pounds (320 kg) of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 7,400 pounds (2,880 kg).

Drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around GA, you become liable in event of an accident.

This may seem a bit complicated, but with a little self educating you can tow safely and with confidence.  Local Cartersville laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some Georgia jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well, others require trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local  laws regarding trailer brakes, class of hitches, and weight & length restrictions.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date, and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer. Let's tow safely, Georgia drivers also need the proper tires on the towing vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition with adequate tread, and they need to have the proper load rating to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained Best Auto Repair Experience tire professionals can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Cartersville.


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