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Custom Concession Trailers: Gross Weight

By: admin admin | July 5, 2012 | Comments Off on Custom Concession Trailers: Gross Weight

Imagine driving through the local city streets, your new custom concession trailer peeking into the rearview mirror, when all of a sudden it begins to sway dangerously from side to side. Panic rises in your stomach as you realize you are slowly losing control of your trailer. This terrifying situation could have been avoided by becoming aware of one simple number: your trailer’s gross weight (GTW). Learning your trailer’s gross weight is a critical calculation to ensure the safety of your concession trailer. Incorrect GTW can mean incorrect trailer tongue weight, and two situations can occur. Either the concession trailer can experience a condition known as trailer sway, meaning the tongue weight is too light and the trailer can begin to shift side to side uncontrollably or if the tongue weight is too heavy the towing vehicle can become difficult to steer. Because of these risks to your trailer it is important to know your correct GTW and tongue weight prior to towing.  While finding the GTW may seem intimidating at first it is very possible to calculate your concession trailer’s weight with one quick trip.

What is the Gross Weight of a Trailer?

A vehicle’s gross weight is quite simply the weight of the entire vehicle, including passengers, contents and all fluids. This means understanding the original weight of the vehicle, knowing an approximate weight of both those riding in the vehicle and the items being transported, and also taking into account fluids such as gas and oil that the vehicle contains. When working with a custom concession trailer, the rules are the same; the gross weight will be the weight of the trailer and all the meat, veggies and accoutrements inside it. This is known as the GTW which refers more specifically to your trailer instead of your towing vehicle.

Measuring Gross Weight

Learning to find your custom trailer’s gross weight can be a quick process. If you do not know your trailer’s gross weight then a trip to the local public scales can be very beneficial as understanding this number can be helpful in both current and future travels. Public scales are located in many communities and can make finding your GTW much simpler without a high cost. Facilities such as these can often be located by using either an internet search engine or by dusting off and flipping through a local phone book. These scales will be able to give an accurate reading of your fully-loaded custom concession trailer’s gross weight.

In order to use these scales the concession trailer will need to be disconnected from the towing vehicle and the vehicle should be pulled forward and not be in contact with the scale. This allows the scale to read only the weight of the trailer without interference from the towing vehicle. However, you will want to make sure that the entire trailer is on the scale. If a wheel or the tongue is touching the ground instead of the scale then the reading will not be accurate and the resulting calculations made with the gross weight will be incorrect.

Factors to Consider

When calculating your GTW, there are many factors to consider such as the amount of fuel stored in the custom trailer and the weight that can be added to the trailer without endangering both the trailer and towing vehicles. Knowing a correct GTW can save you from hassle and repairs in the future, so being aware of the correct number of pounds you are towing is one of the most important parts of transporting your custom concession trailer. If you are unsure or have questions about your GTW it is important to contact a professional. Custom Trailers USA has experts that can help you find the answer to any GTW problem. With seventeen years in the business we know how to keep your custom concession trailer safe through even the most stressful towing experiences.

The Next Step

Once the GTW is correctly determined it can lead you toward the calculating of other critical numbers, one of which is the custom trailer’s tongue weight. The GTW is important in finding your trailer’s tongue weight because this is how you will determine an acceptable tongue weight and avoid trailer sway or difficulty steering. The generally accepted tongue weight is nine to eleven percent of the GTW. This calculation can give you a very exact number to shoot for when trying to balance the concession trailer with the towing vehicle. If your trailer weighs one thousand pounds, for example, the acceptable range of tongue weight is anywhere from ninety to one hundred and fifty pounds. Knowing the safest tongue weights will allow you to adjust the weight stored in your car and trailer to keep the custom concession trailer protected.

Being aware of your GTW is only the first step in owning and towing your custom concession trailer. It is just one of the basics you will need to learn before ever hitching your trailer to your towing vehicle and heading down the road. While learning these basics may seem frustrating at times, it is important to remember that knowing your trailer will allow it to serve you well. From learning the pre-towing calculations all the way to the smells wafting from your concession trailer, Custom Trailers USA can help as you learn the responsibilities ahead.

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