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Sometimes companies like ours can oversimplify the fact that receiving towing lessons is the single most important thing trailer owners can do to ensure road safety. Moreover, while driver training is important, choosing the right tow vehicle is equally important. A mismatch between tow vehicle and caravan could very easily lead to a serious accident involving your own vehicle and others. The Telegraph highlighted this very topic in an article published in early May.

Author Graham Windram recounted his own harrowing experience travelling down a 1-in-4 hill, towing his trailer tent, only to discover his brakes had failed. Fortunately, everyone involved escaped unscathed thanks to the roadway levelling out at just the right time. However, it could have been worse.

Windram went on to recount how he had to come to the realisation that the incident was entirely due to poor decision-making on his part. In the end, the car and trailer were terribly mismatched. He was driving a compact car with a standard braking system; the trailer had no braking system of its own. The combination of the two vehicles was a recipe for disaster. Windram admits he should have done a better job matching his tow vehicle and trailer.

He recommends matching tow vehicle and trailer by weight. In other words, the trailer and all of its contents should not exceed 85% of the unladen weight of the tow vehicle. The weights of both can be checked either by looking at the specification data published in the owner’s manuals or plates found secured to various places on the vehicles. If you ever have any questions, you can always contact manufacturers directly.

In reality, even the smallest of cars can tow very heavy objects with the right gear ratios. However, towing is not really the issue. What gets people in trouble are braking and cornering. When a tow vehicle and trailer are mismatched, braking and towing can be rather dangerous.

Towing Lessons Are Important

The HGV Training Centre knows how important it is to make sure your tow vehicle and trailer are correctly matched. A proper pairing is necessary to maintain maximum safety on the roads. We also recommend that all trailer owners take towing lessons prior to the start of each travel season – even if your tow vehicle/trailer package does not require a special licence.

Annual towing lessons help to sharpen your skills and refresh your memory. Moreover, the fact that these are very affordable really means there is no good reason not to take lessons. The HGV Training Centre makes it easy by providing training at more than 45 facilities around the UK.

If you do need a special licence for your tow vehicle/trailer combo, we can prepare you to take your test. We will instruct you in how to perform a proper vehicle safety check, how to brake and corner, how to manoeuvre your trailer in tight spaces, and how to identify and avoid potential hazards. Give us a call for more information.


  1. The Telegraph – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/road-safety/10817351/What-makes-a-good-tow-car.html


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