WATCH: Don't tow like this man over the holidays

Screen grab of car towing half a van.
Screen grab of car towing half a van.

If you’re planning to haul a heavy load behind your car over the Easter holidays take heed‚ don’t end up on the skids like this motorist.

Arrive Alive has posted a video of a driver‚ with registration plates indicating the car is registered near Cape Town‚ towing what appears to be half a red bakkie.

And the reason why it is smoking is that the wheels were replaced by two wooden pole “skis” enabling it to be dragged along erratically‚ posting a serious risk to everybody on the road.

“Welcome to South Africa‚” says a man who recorded the video from the passenger seat of a car behind the “bakkie”. “Towing a car on wood where it catches alight‚” he says in Afrikaans and bursts out laughing at the scene before him in disbelief.

“Drive next to him‚ I want to capture this‚” he says. As they overtake‚ the man towing the contraption flashes a smile.

Arrive Alive said crash reports indicated that many drivers did not know what the safest method was to tow cargo. “The first question before loading and connecting the trailer should be ‘Is it legal?’.

“The obligation is on the driver to ensure that the trailer is towed in a manner that does not breach road traffic legislation and which makes both the vehicle and the trailer roadworthy.”

Offering advice to holidaymakers‚ Arrive Alive urged motorists to “pay attention to the vehicle manufacturer's guidelines on weight limitations and other requirements when towing a trailer”.

Safety checks before hitting the road with a trailer should include:

• Checking tyres by looking for cracks or bulges on the sidewalls‚ check tread depth‚ flat spots‚ uneven wear‚ and objects caught in the tread.

• Checking trailer brake and light connections‚ ensuring the lights work. Check the tow coupling and brake mechanisms are well-lubricated.

• Jacking up the trailer‚ spinning the wheels and listening for rumbling noises which indicate worn wheel bearings.

• Ensuring tyres are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended level‚ that there are reflectors and the number plate is visible.

• Ensuring the tow coupling socket and ball are matching sizes and that safety chains are properly connected with attachments capable of withstanding the specified breaking load of each chain.

• Ensuring the load is properly secured and balanced inside the trailer.


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