Pre-Travel Towbar Checks
Before you hitch up your cycle carrier, trailer, or caravan, it’s good practice to do a few checks to make sure everything is legal and safe.
First check the tow bar is secure. Ideally you need to check that all bolts and fixing are still secure and still tightened to the correct torque. Check there is no wear or movement in the neck or tow bar assembly.
If you have a detachable neck tow bar, check that the neck housing is clean, make sure the mechanism locks securely into place and there is no excessive movement when locked into the recess.
Depending on the type of hitch you are using you will need to make sure the tow ball is appropriatly prepaired.
For cycle carriers your tow ball needs to be clean and free from any oil or grease.
If your using a trailer, then depending on the hitch, you may need a small amount of grease. (Check with your trailer manufacturer.)
IMPORTANT: If you are going to be using an ALKO (or equivelent) hitch, then you MUST make sure there is no grease, paint or polish on the tow ball. (The tow ball should be clean of any coating.) Failure to do this can cause damage to the hitch pads. (Consult your caravan manufacturer’s reccomendations.)
If your trailer or caravan has a break away cable then check it’s mechanism is working correctly and that it won’t get trapped while towing. Make sure the breakaway cable is attached to the designated loop on the towbar, and not simply looped over the tow bar neck. (Which is not a correct way to attach a breakaway cable.)
Towing Electrics Checks
Before moving anywhere you need to check that all the towing electrics are safe and working as they should.
Make sure that all lighting functions are working on your cycle carrier, trailer, caravan.
If your trailer or caravan has electronic stability control then make sure power is being received and the ESC unit is activating.
Check there are no warning lights showing on your vehicle’s dashboard. (Faulty tow bar wiring can interfer with safety features on the vehicle, do not use the vehicle if there are dash faults!)
Keep safe and keep towing.