According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 20,000 people require medical attention every year as a result of crashes involving trailers towed by passenger vehicles. These recreational outings don’t need to go sideways — nor does whatever you may be towing. Here’s a safety checklist to ensure you are towing the right way.
(BPT) - The onset of warmer weather means taking to the outdoors, be it boating, camping or simply tackling big jobs in the backyard. The result is a heavy increase in traffic on the roads — and often tagging along with the extra vehicles are the trailers, boats and campers that can put motorists at risk.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20,000 people require medical attention every year as a result of crashes involving trailers towed by passenger vehicles.
These recreational outings don’t need to go sideways — nor does whatever you may be towing. Here’s a safety checklist to ensure you are towing the right way:
Get hitched: A starting point to towing is knowing the pulling capacity of your vehicle, as too much weight can cause a load of problems, no matter how much power your engine has.
When it comes to connecting a trailer to the towing vehicle, a critical component, of course, is the coupler — the part of the hitch system that is attached to the trailer. The coupler needs to be secured, tight and locked.
On the towing vehicle, avoid using a ball mount and hitch that is rusted, cracked, corroded or poorly designed — anything that can compromise its integrity. A safe answer is applying a new hitch, like the Ultra-Tow Complete Tow Kit, which is a durable and easy solution to pull whatever you’re towing.
Bottom line: Always reference the “coupling to tow vehicle” section of your vehicle manual to make sure it is done right.
Feel the (tire) pressure: An often forgotten element on the trailer towing checklist is making sure the trailer’s tire pressure is at the right level. In addition, inspect tires for wear or trauma — and be sure to have a spare.
Be a chain agent: Once you place and pop in the coupler over the ball mount, the next step is applying the safety chains, which need to be rigged to the tow vehicle. Avoid the common mistake of rigging the safety chains to the hitch or ball mount itself. Safety chains are federal law and will keep the trailer from drifting in the event the trailer coupling separates from the ball mount.
Light it up: No matter what you’re driving, communicating with other vehicles is paramount to safety — and that means having properly working brake, tail and turn signal lights. Before departing, sync up the trailer lights with the tow vehicle and test it out so that other motorists will know your actions.
Locked down and loaded: Once everything is hitched, it’s time to load up the cargo. It’s best to be balanced with weight distribution, but put heavier cargo in the front of the trailer. And of course, do not overload.
This pre-departure checklist is only a start. Once on the road, remember the basic safe driving practices when towing a trailer: Drive at moderate speeds, avoid sudden stops, don’t use cruise control and allow more distance for stopping.
No matter how much of a rush you are in to hit the road this summer, don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to towing safely.
(BPT) - Selling a car for cash should be simple, safe and able to navigate without roadblocks; however, there is no shortage of sneaky techniques that are employed to scam car sellers. Through hiding supplementary fees in the fine print, car buying businesses can leave car sellers spending anywhere from $10 to $300 in unexpected fees - a disappointing loss in an anticipated profit. With the numerous car buying companies competing for business in a niche industry, it is difficult for a car seller to discern which company is the correct choice; however, there are many things that a seller can be aware of to ensure that they are making the best decision.
Fortunately for car sellers, the costliest hidden fee when selling a vehicle is also the easiest to avoid. While it is no longer common for car buying companies to expect a seller to facilitate towing arrangements, it does occur. Towing can add up to $100 or more in additional deductions depending on where the buying company is located. Additionally, many buying companies cannot accommodate vehicles outside of cars, SUVs, vans and trucks.
Many scrap and junk car buyers require a seller to empty a car's gas tank before they will send a towing service for collection, and if a seller fails to do so, it can result in a charge upwards of $50. A $50 deduction can make a significant dent in your overall profit, and draining a gas tank can be timely and incredibly dangerous if a seller does not have previous experience or has not been given proper direction.
Car buying companies take into account the condition of a car's interior when generating a buying price for a seller, but do not typically communicate that the state of the interior, down to cleanliness, could have an effect on the final offer to a seller. While a seller should ideally take care of a car's exterior and interior on a routine basis, they should also be aware of hidden deductions that could arise from a lack in communication from a buyer.
While many car buying companies claim to manage paperwork for a car seller, it is not unlikely for a small "document transfer" fee to be removed from a seller's original offer upon transaction for the car. Before accepting a quote from a car buyer, a seller must guarantee that they will do the heavy lifting regarding paperwork and ensure that no additional fees will be taken out of the original quote. Additionally, car buying companies have been known to buy cars without a title present, and while this is convenient for the seller, it can also lead to reputation management problems farther down the road.
Protecting yourself as a car seller
While selling a vehicle for cash can result in a headache, it doesn't have to be a painful experience with the right information and research. If you are a car seller looking for a car buying company that is fast, easy and transparent, CashForCars.com exceeds all demands. CashForCars.com is a car acquisition division of Copart, Inc., a publicly traded and reputable company with a dependable local footprint. CashForCars.com purchases vehicles directly from the public, offering free towing, clean paperwork transfer and exemplary customer service with no hidden fees, hidden charges on towing, or out-of-pocket expenses. The CashForCars.com team answers the calls of vehicle sellers looking to sell their cars, truck, SUVs, boats or RVs, and guides them through the quick and painless process while diligently working to guarantee that an honest reputation is preserved as the main priority.
The CashForCars.com business model is built around saving customers the hassle of selling a car in a traditional way, and has over 160 locations across the U.S. to ensure that a driver will be able to pick up your vehicle in as little as 24 hours - sometimes the same day! Backed by over 30 years in the car buying business, CashForCars.com diligently works to stay up-to-date on vehicle pricing by incorporating market trends, damage levels and comparable model prices to ensure that each customer is presented with the best available offer.
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