For your first racing event, you will probably utilize a small open trailer to tow your racing lawnmower. As you begin to race more often and travel longer distances to lawnmower races, you may want to choose a larger, fully enclosed trailer. A fully enclosed trailer will permit you to safely take all the equipment and tools you will need to service your mower. Here are a few tips for making your trip a safe and pleasant one.
The most important consideration is the towing capacity of the vehicle you will use to tow your mower. Most models display this information inside the doorframe of the vehicle or on the tag under the hood. Of course, you can also find it in your user’s manual. Thinking of a new vehicle? If you are sure to include a tow package, your life will be much easier. The tow package option often includes a transmission cooler, heavy-duty brakes, and even a bigger engine.
Check the GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, so you don’t create hazardous conditions by overburdening your enclosed trailer. The GVWR is total acceptable trailer weight for everything added together, with your equipment, tools, the trailer itself, and the lawn mower.
If you go over the rated capacity of the tow vehicle, you may create unsafe driving conditions. The manufacturer limits the capacity to prevent you from causing premature wear or even damaging the engine or transmission.
Also, confirm the actual load rating of your ball hitch with the manufacturer. Various ball and bolt diameters can haul between 2,000 and 12,000 pounds. The rating of your ball hitch should match the fully loaded ability of your trailer.
You might need some help when you are backing up for the first time to hitch up to your trailer for the lawnmower races. Specifically, you will need someone to guide you as you align the ball with the trailer. After that is done, put your vehicle in park, set the emergency brake, let down the trailer tongue, and secure the ball in place. Attach the safety chains and make sure they will not drag on the street.
Make sure you connect your trailer brakes, as many states now require them. Attach the breakaway emergency brake activation cable to a secure spot on the structure of the tow vehicle. Attach the lights and check both the running lights and the brake lights.
Be sure to use a minimum of four ratchet tie downs to secure your racing lawnmower to the trailer when you load it. Make an X pattern with each pair of tie downs, one in the rear and one in the back. As you drive away, take a moment to check the brakes before you get up to full speed.
With all your safety measures and checks, you are ready to get rolling down the road. Keep a good distance between you and the cars on the highway. With the added weight of the trailer, the lawn mower, and the necessities for the lawnmower races, your stopping distance will be much greater. Try not to go over the speed limit or make fast lane changes, the trailer might sway and become unstable.
Backing up is possibly the most daunting aspect of towing a trailer for the first time. This will be even more intimidating if you arrive at the lawnmower races at night. A suggestion for the first-timer is to put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. All you have to do is move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to move.