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What Happens If You Tow Something Too Heavy?

There are a number of reasons why people choose to tow things behind their vehicles, whether they’re going on a caravan holiday or they’re moving house and have hired a trailer to transport their belongings. While anyone with a driving licence can do it, this process should always be taken very seriously.

Those who have more experience with towing will be aware of how important it is to stay within the towing capacity of the vehicle, but those who are just starting out might not know they even need to pay attention to this. So, read on to learn more about the dangers of towing something too heavy for your vehicle’s tow capacity.

What is a Vehicle's Towing Capacity?

Towing capacity refers to the maximum weight a vehicle is capable of safely towing without putting anyone in danger. This figure changes depending on how the vehicle is configured, how much weight it is already carrying and how you control and distribute the load you need to tow. Unfortunately, people continue to test the limits of their vehicle’s towing capacity, which can have severe repercussions.

What are the repercussions of exceeding the Towing Capacity?

If you tow something too heavy, you place added strain on the engine, chassis, transmission and brakes of the vehicle. As a result, your vehicle will have a harder time coming to a stop and, because of this excessive weight, as well as higher temperatures and increased friction, the gearbox will also suffer from accelerated wear and tear. By compromising the vehicle’s stability and control in this way, you’re putting yourself and other road users/pedestrians in danger.

3 Dangers of Exceeding your Vehicle's Towing Capacity

1. Increased Stopping Distance

No matter how much additional weight you’re towing, it’s important to increase the stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. You must also pay extra attention to the road and drive slowly so you have enough time to react to any hazards.

If you exceed the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle, it will take you even longer to stop when braking and the stopping distance will be harder to gauge.

2. Reduced Control

Attaching something too heavy for your vehicle’s towing capacity makes it less stable, affecting your control of the vehicle.

3. Increased Fuel Consumption

Remember that towing something with your car always uses more fuel, so exceeding the maximum capacity will only increase this further.

We’re pleased to say that here at Outback Vehicle Recovery, we’ve been hauling heavy machinery, containers and vehicles for clients for more than 35 years. We provide a selection of transportation services, including weekly trips from Darwin to Port Augusta, South Australia.

So, if you live in Alice Springs or the Northern Territory and have a trailer or car that you believe is too heavy to tow using your own vehicle, don’t hesitate to call our expert and friendly team at Outback Vehicle Recovery today.