Cars & Vehicles Auto Racing

How to Hook Up a Truck Trailer

    • 1). Check the size of the ball and coupler on the trailer and truck. Confirm that the sizes match. Add lubricant to the ball. Fill the reservoir of the hitch coupler's hydraulic brake unit, if any, with brake fluid.

    • 2). Position the vehicle. Move the tongue of the trailer upwards so that it is above the truck's tow ball. Ask a helper to stand facing the back of the tow vehicle, next to the trailer tongue. Move the truck backwards until the ball is exactly below the coupler on the trailer tongue. Ask your helper to assist in positioning the truck.

    • 3). Hook up the trailer. Open the latch on the trailer hitch. Use the trailer jack to move the trailer down onto the ball of the tow vehicle. Keeping the latch open, continue lowering the trailer until the ball fits into the ball coupler -- the jack leg should be clear of the ground. Raise the jack completely. Close the coupler latch and lock it in place.

    • 4). Connect safety chains. Cross the safety chains under the trailer tongue and connect them to the chassis of the truck. Keep the chains slack enough to prevent too much tightening at sharp turns but tight enough to prevent them from dragging on the pavement.

    • 5). Check electrical functions. Connect the plug on the trailer wire to the truck and switch it on to check that the lights and turn signals are functioning correctly.

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