Loading a trailer: A guide

By Tiana Bradshaw | Published on February 17, 2023 | 3 min read

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There are 7 points you need to know when loading a trailer. Loading a trailer can seem fairly simple until the legal aspects come in. You need to know your trailer’s weight limit, weight distribution, nose load, axles, and more.

Let’s do this in a 7-step process to make it simpler:

1. A Flat Surface

Make sure your trailer is parked on a flat surface, and apply the handbrake, so it does not shift when the loading begins.

2. Chok the Wheels

Another step in stabilising your trailer is to chok the wheels – this simply stops your trailer from rolling and moving if the brakes were to fail when you are loading the trailer.

3. Make Sure the Weight is Distributed Correctly

When talking trailer weight there is a simple rule which can help you: 60/40.

60% of your trailer’s weight should be at the front and 40% at the back. You should always ensure you do not exceed the maximum vertical load of your vehicle towbar, or the maximum vertical capacity of the trailer coupling. The lowest rating is what your combinate will be limited to. This information can be found on the towbar plate and the trailer serial plate. There are devices available that can help with measuring your nose load.

4. Heavy Items First

As with most loading – place your heavy items in/on the trailer first – and although it can be seen as common-sense, place in the central point (but considering point 3 above) of the trailer to stop the weight from being uneven.

5. Ratchet Straps

After completing all the above, be sure to secure your load with ratchet straps or something similar like chain or rope – this is an essential step that takes time so don’t rush!

6. Place Lightweight Cargo on Top

Once your heavy cargo has been loaded onto the trailer, you can place your lighter items around it. You could also cover the trailer load with tarpaulin or net to ensure it is safe and won’t be subject to rain damage.

7. Hitch Your Trailer & Test the Lights

The final step is to hitch your trailer up to your car and you are done!

Also Check Your Nose Weight

What is nose weight? This is the static vertical force the trailer coupling exerts on the vehicle towball. Proper nose weight is highly important for your safety.

Have more questions or need to discuss your trailer requirements? Talk to our team of experts today!

Click here for more information and legal direction from the government.

Our team of experts are on hand to advise whenever you need us. Just contact or give us a call on 01206 589550.