The Trailer Handbook
added this book review because how hard it is to find a good trailer
book. It's important to have the facts on trailers even if you grew up
towing. I think I own all the trailer books written the last two
decades, which isn't very many. These books won't make any NY Best
Sellers list, so you may not hear about them. This book "The Trailer
Handbook" written by Clint Lancaster & Richard Klein, is different as
the authors don't own a trailer factory or dealership. They both work
with and for the NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufactures)
which is the publisher.
Not a long read,
just 124 pages. But trailers can get technical, so the specs and
glossary are worth $19.95 price tag. NATM is especially concerned with
trailer safety, which is why the book was written.
Selecting a Proper Tow Vehicle/Trailer Combination; Starts with
towing dynamics, categories for truck and trailer types and ends with
buying a trailer.
Understanding Hitches, Brakes and Accessories Necessary for Towing;
Starts with hitches and receiver hitches, covers ball sizes and
couplers. A section on Weight Distributing Hitches which is an important
towing factor that is lacking in the horse industry. More on brakes,
brake controllers and mirrors.
Proper Loading of Your Trailer; Loading cargo including horses,
is about weight placement and how it effects trailer movement.
Using Your Trailer; This chapter covers hooking up properly,
which is the #1 problem for trailers coming unhooked on the road. Then
on road advice for handling problems.
Frame, Undercarriage and Wheels; This chapter can be helpful in
ordering a trailer and knowing what to know to double check your dealers
advice. I like to order a size larger axles than what is common. Which
is a common problem I see with trailer problems years down the road.
Aluminum wheels need re-tightened more often than you'd think. Some
trailer frames are like your "body-on-frame truck, some are more similar
to your car's unibody construction. Brakes, suspension and tire wear are
often neglected on horse trailers, but are very important.
Body Components and Wheels; All about couplers, jacks and safety
chains including weight ratings for the safety chains. Do you know what
your jacks weight rating is? Finishing with facts about fenders, gates
Electrical System; A constant problem with trailers is wiring.
How do you access trailer wiring? What markers and reflective tape are
you required to have on your trailer? What you need to know about
trailer cord connections and your 12 volt breakaway safety system.
Caring for your Trailer; A good chapter for knowing what is the
service interval for packing your axle bearings, checking the breakaway
safety system, testing your brake voltage and magnet wear and more.
General Maintenance Practices; What maintenance you can do
yourself and how to do it. Is you trailer axles aligned to tow straight?
Brake shoes wear gauge and general trailer troubleshooting.
driver behavior, instructions, warnings, resources and glossary.
I consider it the
best non-bias trailer book you can buy today.
Books can be ordered
by calling NATM ph. 785-272-4433