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Trailer Loading tips

Improper loading can cause your trailer to sway and sudden loss of control. You must:

  • make certain the weight of the load plus the trailer weight does not exceed the trailer's capacity or GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).

  • load heavier items in front of the wheels (you want approximately 55 to 60% of your load in front of the center point of your axles). 

  • load evenly side to side.

  • SECURE the load to your trailer.

Before towing --

  • Wheel lug nuts are properly tightened

  • Tires are inflated to pressure indicated on the tire.

  • Tongue jack (if so equipped) is properly retracted

  • Load is within the trailer capacity and distributed properly to maintain proper tongue weight.

  • Drive vehicle/equipment/ATV/UTV/etc. onto the trailer slowly

  • High speed loading can result in over shooting the front of the trailer and can result in injury or death

  • Wet conditions may produce slick floor surface.

  • Always use caution while loading on a wet floor surface.

  • All pins and latches are secure and fastened.

  • Load is secured to the trailer in front, middle and rear.




  • The coupler hitch and trailer ball are the same size

  • the coupler is properly attached

  • ​SAFETY CHAINS are criss-crossed under the tongue of the trailer and properly attached to the towing vehicle​

  • Trailer brakes (if so equipped) are properly adjusted and the break away devices are attached to the towing vehicle.


Don't forget that you are required to comply with local and state requirements regarding brakes, licensing and any additional equipment that may be necessary to tow your trailer.

  • contact your state motor vehicle department for more information.

Trailer care --  for your bumper pull trailer or gooseneck trailer

  • Whether your trailer floor is treated or not, it is good to let your trailer age for 3 to 6 months after purchase then start adding a UV and rain protectant to the floor to protect it and help your trailer floor last longer. Each year after that, add more protectant to your trailer floor to extend the life of your trailer floor. If you have a exotic trailer, stock trailer, or a horse trailer, please don't forget to wash out the urine and excrement on a regular basis. Leaving those in your trailer will cause the acidic components in it to rust and eventually rot out the side walls, floor and frame in your trailer.

  • Trailer bearings need to be CHECKED once every 1 to 3 years depending on how much you're using your trailer. Come see JM Trailers for your trailer bearing needs.

    • JM Trailers can check your trailer bearings for you. 

    • JM will inspect them for wear and tear, then re-pack your trailer bearings with a high temperature grease.

    • JM also puts new grease seals on your trailer.

  • Trailer Jacks tend to take abuse. JM recommends that you add some grease or lubricant to your trailer jack on a regular basis (once a year or so). You may loan it out to a buddy and they will get lazy and/or forget to raise the foot up high enough to clear obstacles and bend the jack. JM Trailers can attempt to fix your existing jack or replace your trailer jack to get your trailer road-worthy again.

  • Trailer hitches need to be checked to make sure you're hooking up the correct hitch to the correct SIZE ball on your vehicle. Mismatching these two can lead to the trailer popping off of your trailer ball and coming loose from your vehicle.

    • I've also seen vehicles with minor to extreme damage to the rear doors or tailgate from forgetting to properly latch their trailer hitch before loading. Please make sure to latch your trailer hitch correctly and place ALL locking pins into your trailer hitch to keep it locked to the ball.​

      • Even the most knowledgeable make mistakes every now and then. When I was younger, I was with a gentleman from a trailer manufacturer who once that forgot to properly hook up and lock his gooseneck style trailer. We left the trailer manufacturing plant and drove several miles down the road. As he was loading his tractor, the trailer lurched up and forward. I hollered loudly for him to stop. I then proceeded to pull the truck up several feet to clear the trailer hitch. It was kissing his glass and roof on his pickup (left a little scratch on both).

    • It is best to hook up your trailer's safety chains ALWAYS. This helps with catching your trailer should it come loose from your ball. JM fully RECOMMENDS criss crossing your safety chains, this helps with cradling your trailer hitch should it come loose (and it is federal law.)

      • Talked to a doctor once. He had his gooseneck style trailer pass him at a red light because of no safety chains. Luckily for him, no one was hit or hurt by the trailer. He told me he would never go without safety chains again.

  • On steel utility trailers, cargo trailers, stock trailers, exotic trailers and horse trailers we highly recommend putting a coat of wax on your trailer, to help minimize the wear on your trailer's paint job.

  • Another way to protect your aluminum skinned trailer or steel trailer's paint and tires from the damaging rays of the sun is to cover it with a JM Carport or place it inside your barn/carport. Your roof will keep those nasty UV rays off of your new JM trailer. ​

  • Trailer tires are destroyed by the UV rays of the sun and any foreign bodies/acids in the ground/grass. Protecting your trailer tires is important too. If in a ground/grass/gravel application you may consider parking your trailer tires on a treated 2x to keep it up off of the ground (don't forget to chock your trailer tires too). I've also seen several that put tire covers on their trailer tires to protect from the sun. Always chock your trailer tires in unlevel situations.

  • As always, JM Trailers can take care of your trailer for you, if so needed. Be it greasing, welding, or other general maintenance your trailer may need. Come see JM Trailers for your trailer repair and maintenance needs.

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