All trailers are designed and built to a maximum gross load. In simple terms this means the trailer cannot carry any more weight than it was designed for. Many people incorrectly determine or underestimate the maximum gross load. To determine this gross load all factors must be added together;
- The boat weight (stated in the boat pamphlet). Be careful to note whether it includes motor and fuel or is it a dry weight figure;
- Accessories fitted to the boat. eg. anchor, chain, safety equipment etc. The weight of these items may be minimal but if your trailer is already approaching the maximum gross weight…these items will make a difference.
- Don’t forget to include the tare weight of the trailer itself.
Add all these items together and you will have your estimated gross load then compare this to what is stamped on the compliance plate of the trailer. If you only drive your rig short distances and your estimated weight is near or below maximum gross weight specified, your trailer will satisfy your needs. However if you intend to travel long distances, whether it be in one trip or several frequent trips, a larger safety margin is required. Generally on Ionger trips more weight is carried whether it be additional safety equipment or personal items. Trailers at or exceeding the maximum gross weight, travelling long distances will fail at some stage. Usually the bearing will fail first, this deterioration will then cause other failures within the hub and axle. Note: Be aware of the brake requirements associated with the gross weight of your rig.
- Under 750kgs gross weight – no brakes required;
- 750kgs to 2000kgs gross weight – brakes required on one axle only, actuated by an override brake coupling;
- Over 2000kgs gross weight – brakes on all axles, and actuated by some means from driving position in the tow vehicle.
If the above requirements are not met initially it is a costly exercise to correct later.