If you regularly pull a boat, camper, livestock or something similar, then you can probably skip this video on how to properly load a trailer you’re attaching to your vehicle.
For the rest of us, though, the information could turn out to be lifesaving.
It comes to us courtesy of U-Haul, a company founded in 1945 by Sam Shoen and his wife, Mary, after they were unable to find a trailer to rent for their interstate move.
The demonstration uses a treadmill and a model mustang pulling a trailer with a movable axle and weights, and aims to help renters understand why weight placement is so important. The key is to maintain the correct ratio of tongue weight to gross trailer weight – and doing it wrong can have dangerous (or even deadly) consequences.
U-Haul recommends that 60% of the weight be loaded in the front of the trailer, ahead of the axle. If you put any of the weight back further you run the risk of fishtailing with what amounts to a pendulum swinging behind you.
Too much tongue weight will cause the rear end to be lower than the front end, which can result in traction issues, so make sure to take gross weight as well as proportion into account.