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Why Tongue Weight is Key to Safe Towing

Posted at Mon, Oct 10, 2016 11:45 AM

Why Tongue Weight is Key to Safe Towing

Without proper tongue weight, you could find yourself in a wobbly, out-of-control vehicle somewhat like driving on egg-shaped tires.

Proper tongue weight will ensure you have a safe trailer-towing experience and a dangerous one. The tongue weight is that static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. It’s important to have the right amount of tongue weight - too little and the trailer could sway from side to side; too much weight and the force could overload the rear tires of the tow vehicle and push the rear end of the vehicle out of control. Tongue weight also affects how safely you can go around corners and curves as well as how quickly you can brake.

Proper tongue weight is about 10 to 15% of the total loaded trailer weight. For example, if you’re hauling a 2,000-pound trailer loaded with 1,000 pounds of cargo (total weight = 3,000), the proper tongue weight of the loaded trailer should be between 300 and 450 pounds or 10-15% of the total of the two - or 3,000 pounds.

It’s also important to consider the design of the hitch and placement of the load. If you have a Sierra 1500 #Sierra1500 pickup truck model and are towing trailers with tongue weights over 700-800 pounds, you need to make sure to have a weight-distributing hitch rather than a weight-carrying hitch.

The load must be properly placed to ensure safe towing, which means 60% of the load should be centered evenly over the front half of the trailer. For example, if the 2,000 pound trailer is carrying 1,000, about 600 pounds should be in the front half of the trailer.

You can check that your trailer is properly balanced by visiting a public scale and weighing your vehicle and trailer a few times.

And of course, the team at Tim’s Truck Capital and Auto Sales is happy to advise you on how to have a safe trailing experience. Family-owned since 1983, Tim’s Truck Capital and Auto Sales has built a reputation of customer-service excellence. We want to make sure you have a safe towing experience. Visit our website at




Tim’s Truck Capital

904 Suncook Valley Hwy

Epsom, NH 03234

Phone: 888.659.1537


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