Trailer Loading Tips for ATVs and UTVs
It seems like a simple enough task to load your ATV or UTV trailer, but improper loading can be disastrous. Before taking off on your next adventure, make sure your trailer is ready by following these simple tips.
Always Inspect Your Trailer
Before actually loading your ATV trailer, take a few minutes to inspect it and make sure it’s ready to hit the road. Start by walking around your trailer and ensuring that your tires are all properly inflated and in good condition. The last thing you want is to be hauling your equipment down the road and experience a complete tire failure.
If your trailer has brakes installed, make sure they are operating properly, not frozen, and have plenty of brake pad. Be sure to also check your bearings for signs of grease leakage.
Then check your welded joint to be sure there aren’t any cracks or problems that would weaken the bond. Be sure to also check your leaf springs, if they are installed, to ensure they aren’t rusted or cracked. Finally, check the coupler to ensure it engages properly and isn’t rusted or frozen.
Make Sure It’s Level
Not having your trailer properly leveled on to your vehicle can damage your trailer, your tow vehicle, and risk our load moving unintentionally. While some people think they can tell whether the trailer is level just by how it looks, this can be deceiving.
The best way to measure its level is using a tape measure and then measuring both the front and back of the load deck. They should be the same distance from the ground when you’re done.
Once you have it level, adjust the draw bar to match it and then drop the coupler on the hitch. It’s not complicated, but can cause so much headache if you skip this step.
Check Your Connections
After you’re connected the coupler to your hitch, finish connect the trailer. Start by attaching the safety chains in an X pattern under the hitch. It’s important not to connect the chains in a straight line to prevent binding while making a turn.
Once the chains are in place, connect the wiring harness. It’s always a good idea to double-check your brake lights and turn signals to ensure the connection was inverted on some connectors. You don’t want to be making a left turn and everyone around you thinks you're trying to merge to the right.
Load and Balance
Now you’re ready to load your trailer with your ATV or UTV. Be sure to put it in four-wheel drive, then gently drive it up the ramp. Balance your load’s weight over your trailer’s axles to prevent too much stress on the tongue and hitch.
If you’re loading more than one four wheeler, load one and gently maneuver it to allow for room for the second. With multiple vehicles loaded, you want to both balance the load front to back and side to side. If either of these are uneven, you can affect how the trailer handles, making it difficult to maintain your lane.
Once your UTV trailer is loaded, you want to secure the load to prevent movement or shifting during transit. Consider using ratcheting cargo straps to tighten down the load to the trailer deck.
Ensure You Have The Right Trailer
If you haven’t bought your trailer, be sure to consider your options to ensure you get the right rig. Start by considering whether you want an open or enclosed trailer. If you want to use your trailer to haul gear with your vehicles, or you want to store your vehicles on the trailer, consider a covered option.
Next, consider whether you need a single axle or a double axle. Furthermore, think about whether you will need brakes on your rig. Also consider how you’ll secure the cargo straps, whether by mounted D-rings or a rail tie-down system.
Get help finding the right trailer options for your ATV or UTV. Talk with the experts at USA Trailer to ensure you have the right trailer for your next adventure.