Whether you are getting rid of green waste after trimming hedges at home, moving furniture into your new place or picking up building supplies for a project, hiring a trailer is a great time-saving option to get your jobs done smarter.
There are many things to consider before picking up a trailer, so here is a round-up of everything you need to know:
The great thing about hiring a trailer is that there is no special license needed, however, there are restrictions on how much weight you can tow depending on the type of licence you have.
For holders of a learner or restricted licence, the combined weight must not exceed 4500kg.
If you have a full licence, the combined weight can be up to 6000kg.
It’s worth noting that when you hire a trailer from Hirepool, a full licence is required.
At Hirepool, we have a wide range of trailers available for hire to suit whatever job you are doing.
Picking the right trailer type and size goes a long way in minimising the number of trips to your location and ensuring that everything gets there in one piece.
Here are some of the types of trailers available:
Standard/low side trailers
Standard trailers are really affordable, and due to their low sides offer great visibility when driving. Low side trailers are perfect for carrying lengths of timer and other items that might extend past the end of a trailer, as they help keep the load level during transit.
Cage/high side trailers
Cage and high side trailers are perfect for any jobs where you require the ability to stack items high, such as the disposal of green waste or tree branches. Rather than doing multiple trips in a low side trailer, you can get the job done in one go.
A furniture trailer should be your first pick for keeping all your valuable house belongings safe from outside elements when moving from A to B. Being able to pack everything in nicely will go a long way in minimizing breakage.
Salvage and transport trailers
At Hirepool we also have Transport and salvage trailers that are perfect for when you need to move vehicles or large quantities of salvage material.
Hiring gear and equipment like diggers, portaloos of scissor lifts? You’ll want to hire a specialised equipment trailer to get these safely to and from site.
Great for keeping things cool, chiller trailers are a must for outdoor or offsite functions and events.
Check out the full range here:
Another important part of using a trailer is to be mindful of the weight of whatever you are towing.
You’ll want to consider:
What you are carrying
Things like household furniture can put you over your weight capacity very quickly. Writing a list of the items you are hoping to move, and making sure to spread out heavy items over different trips is a good idea.
Quantity of what you are carrying
Although things like green waste can be light, you should consider how heavy the load will be once the trailer is full.
Towing capacity of your vehicle
Towing loads that are heavier than the recommended towing capacity for your vehicle is dangerous and can cause considerable damage to your vehicle.
Different trailers and towing vehicles have different capacities, so make sure to check the ‘max load’ specifications on the Hirepool website and refer to your vehicle manual before you book.
Still unsure? Check out our comprehensive guide on calculating your towing capacity, and our top tips for hitching and unhitcing your trailer below.
Using a trailer comes with a few extra safety precautions which are there to keep you and other drivers safe on the road.
Things you should consider beforehand are:
When driving a trailer the speed limit on the open road is 90km/h. When you have a trailer attached to your vehicle your breaking time is affected due to the extra weight, so you should always drive a bit slower to allow for this. Smaller trailers with no suspension should not exceed a speed of 50km/h.
Be sure to check mirror visibility when your trailer is attached, as the extra length and possibly even the width may affect how well you can see.
If you are transporting longer items such as lengths of wood or other construction materials, you should make sure that is visible to other drivers following behind you. Securing a small but visible tie to the end of the length is one way of doing this. See our guide for detailed information on loading your trailer and overhang.
Route and destination
Taking your normal route may not be suitable when towing a trailer. You should always look at the safest route to get to your destination, avoiding steep inclines, winding, narrow or damaged roads. Be sure to check access at your destination as well, in case the driveway is steep or there isn’t a safe place to park.
Check your connections
Double-checking the connections and that your trailer is safely hitched before you drive is a good idea. Make sure any brake lights are working as well.
Check your tow ball
Identify what kind of coupling your vehicles tow bar needs. Typically there are two sizes of tow ball in New Zealand- the standard 1” 7/8ths ball, or 50 mm ball. Most Hirepool trailers have a multi-fit coupling, but its important to hitch your trailer using the correct one. This info can be found in your vehicle manual, on your tow bar or on the NZTA website.
As you do not have direct control of the tyres on a trailer, you should be very careful to break lightly so that the trailer doesn’t skid, especially on gravel or dirt roads.
When it comes to safety, there is a right way and a wrong way to load a trailer.
Some things to consider are:
Items moving en route and becoming a distraction
When driving with a trailer your focus should be on getting to the destination safely, so it’s essential that all loose items are contained. If you can hear items flying around in the trailer, it’s likely to become a distraction. Using ties to minimise movement can be helpful.
Heavy items should be spread evenly on the trailer to avoid an unbalanced load and the potential for tipping. NZTA have a great guide on spreading the weight of your trailer load.
Loose items such as hedge clippings, nails or stones can easily fall out of the trailer once you start moving. If loose items fall onto the road it can be a huge hazard for other drivers following behind, so ensure you use tarpaulins or other means of containment to avoid this happening.
Remember to think about how the items you are towing will be affected once you are moving. Items with flexibility such as plastic piping or sheets of plasterboard may bend and move during the drive.
Take care with breakable items
If you have anything that is likely to shatter, crack or split, be mindful of where you place it in the trailer. If heavy items are laid on top, this could cause breakage during the journey and loose debris could fall onto the road.
Here is a handy video on loading a trailer:
Towing a trailer is not as easy as it might seem, so it’s worth getting some advice before you start. Remember that a trailer is only attached to your vehicle, and you do not have complete control of how it will move when you are driving. Unexpected circumstances on the road can very quickly create a dangerous situation for yourself and other drivers, so you can never be too prepared.
Here are some things you can do:
There are great videos available to help give you a visual on the harder elements like reversing a trailer.
Read information from good sources
Have a look at information like NZTA safe towing practices
Have a practice before you head off
Practising on-site or at home to get a handle on manoeuvring will go a long way in helping you once you hit the road
Have someone help
Taking someone along for the drive as an extra set of eyes is always helpful. If you need to reverse into a spot it may be worth having someone guide you in safely. Another idea is to have someone you know that has towed a trailer before give you a quick demonstration.
There are a few things you can do when towing a trailer to ensure you are being respectful towards other drivers on the road.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Pull over if needed
As you are driving slower on the road when using a trailer, it is common practice to pull over when it’s safe, to let other drivers pass if you are holding up traffic.
Take care with overtaking
If it is necessary for you to overtake another vehicle, be sure you have enough time and room to safely turn back into the lane without needing to make any sharp manoeuvres.
Stop to make checks
Stopping to make sure your load is secure, particularly for loose items, means you can make any adjustments as needed before any problems occur. If you are dropping anything that could cause a tyre puncture or chip to another driver's windscreen, it’s respectful to stop and clean up the road when it’s safe to do so.
Hiring a standard trailer is as easy as heading to the Hirepool website, selecting the trailer you need and choosing the nearest branch to collect it from. Trailers are a popular hire item especially on the weekends so booking your trailer online ahead of time is recommended if you have a project planned. Specialist trailers may need to be moved to your location, so allow for plenty of time for this too.
You can also go straight into a branch and the team will be able to assist.
If you are a little unsure of what kind of trailer you need, the friendly Hirepool team are happy to give you some advice at a branch or on the phone 0800 15 15 15