A lot of diesel truck owners come to RevMax Performance Torque Converters for help boosting their truck’s towing performance. While our performance diesel transmissions and torque converters can definitely add to your towing package, it won’t matter unless you know how to properly tow.
Towing requires common sense and a little bit of skill, and no matter how long you have been doing it, mistakes can still be made. Below, we share five mistakes that all towers commonly make. Addressing these mistakes is the best way to ensure your truck and your trailer make a safe trip.
Not Knowing Your Temperatures
We’ve all seen the guy on the side of the road with his hood up and a large trailer or camper in tow. Chances are, this guy was not paying attention to his truck’s temperatures and pressures. Don’t be that guy!
Every heavy-duty tow rig should have an accurate coolant temperature, exhaust gas temperature and transmission temperature gauge. Even if you aren’t doing heaving towing, you should still pay close attention to your oil pressure, oil temperatures and RPM ranges. Running at high temperatures or in high RPM ranges can overheat your truck and cause you to blow a head gasket.
Paying Attention to Your Trailer Brakes
Considering their job and importance, trailer brakes are often overlooked and neglected. It is important that you take the time to check your trailer brakes and replace your brake shoes often.
When checking or servicing your trailer brakes, be sure to check for wear. Since they do not self-adjust like your truck’s brakes, you will need to adjust them yourself. When you are adjusting your brakes, be sure to reserve enough braking power incase you have to make sudden stops.
Using the Wrong Size Ball
It may sound like common sense to use the right size ball, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who try to slide by with the wrong size.
The three standard size balls for bumper towing include: 1 7/8 inch, 2 inch and 2 5/16 inch. All three sizes come with different weight ratings. Check the tongue or coupling on every trailer you tow. It should have the required ball size on it. As a rule of thumb, resist the urge to turn the tuning up when towing, your truck will thank you.
Not Keeping Up With Maintenance
Just like your truck, the trailers you are towing require routine maintenance. Don’t forget to grease the axles, bearings, tongue jack, landing jack and all pivot points where steel meets steel. If you have ever had a jack freeze up, you know it isn’t fun, and it always seems to happen at the worst time. Performing this type of maintenance will also increase the life of your trailer.
Overcompensating Weight Distribution
Weight-distrubuting bars with chains come in different strengths for different tongue weights and are very turnable. When shopping for a set of bars, many think, “the bigger, the better.” This isn’t necessarily always true. Be sure to check your tongue weight, and select your set of bars accordingly.
The goal is to have the load bars parallel to the frame of the trailer. If you overcompensate weight distribution, it will create excessive bouncing between the trailer and the truck, which can cause loss of steering control and damage to the hitch and frame.
Wether you are towing for work or recreation, avoiding these common mistakes could save you and your truck. By knowing how to properly tow, you can sit back and let your RevMax performance diesel transmission do all the work.
To learn more about RevMax transmissions, please visit the RevMax Performance Torque Converter online store. We carry everything you need to turn your truck into a grade-A towing machine!
Frank Kuperman, Vice President of Engineering, Revmax