Grandville Trailer Blog

LEAF SPRING vs. TORSION AXLE

“What’s the difference between a leaf spring and torsion axle?”

This is a very common question that our customers have when purchasing a trailer. Leaf spring vs. torsion axle; which one is better? We’d like to take a moment to educate YOU, the buyer on each of the two suspension types.  Consider it a quick crash course in trailer suspension.  We want to save you from getting ‘wrapped around the axle’,  and give you the confidence to make the right decision when buying a trailer.

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Leaf Spring vs. Torsion

Leaf Spring Axle

Leaf Spring Axles are the most commonly used suspension systems in the trailer industry and come standard on almost every type of trailer. They are made up of a series of curved stacked springs (leaves) that are attached under or over the trailer’s axle.  This is commonly called over-slung or under-slung.

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Over-slung

Under-slung

Under-slung

Leaf Spring Pro’s: 

  • Even weight distribution due to the built-in weight equalizer
  • Even tire wear for multi axle trailers
  • More affordable (up front)
  • Durable
  • Cheap and easy to repair

Leaf Spring Con’s: 

  • Repairs are needed more frequently
  • Bouncy ride on uneven or rough roads
  • Metal on metal design typically leads to faster wear

TORSION AXLE:

The stiff competitor of the Leaf Spring Axle, is known as the Torsion Axle. Torsion axles mount directly to the trailer’s frame and are made up of thick rubber cords concealed inside the axle’s tubing.  These cords are created to resist torsion and create suspension. Trailers don’t generally come stock with the torsion axle, but it is an available upgrade in many models.

Torsion Axle Pro’s:

  • Dependable
  • Quiet/Smoother ride
  • No metal on metal contact
  • Offers trailer rigidity as axle is bolted to the trailer
  • Increases handling control in crosswinds/rough roads
  • Maintenance free (except wheel bearing lubrication)

Torsion Axle Con’s

  • Not repairable
  • Costs more to replace
  • Severely bent axle can damage trailer frame
  • No impact distribution (ie: hitting a curb) full impact on one wheel or set of wheels
  • Rubber cords become stiffer in colder weather

Not everyone agrees on which axle type is better and it really depends on your preferences. Where you live, how often you use your trailer and what you’re carrying will play a big role in deciding which axle is right for you. If you have any more questions, please give us a call at 616-538-2290 or stop by. Also, keep in mind that we do have a full service garage and we are happy to assist you with any upgrades or maintenance that you need!

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The Small Utility Trailer That Everyone Wants

A Top Selling Small Utility Trailer in Michigan

“We are getting a new arrival here today. It’s new and cutting edge. It’s smart, strong and stylish. And it’s about time someone came up with this. It’s the FlOE Cargo Max utility trailer.” 

↑↑ This was written in 2014. Now we’re pleased share that this trailer was everything we hoped for and more! Customers are always pleased with the versatility and durability of this small utility trailer. Here’s a few reasons why they have become so popular.

A Little Aluminum

In the trailer world, when we hear “aluminum” our attention is grabbed. It’s no secret that we love aluminum trailers. So that’s why we are such big fans of Aluma and Neo. Aluminum is a perfect base material for any trailer because it is both lightweight and strong. Being rust free and extremely resistant to climate changes, it’s the best material for outdoor equipment in the Midwest. So when we first heard of this FLOE trailer and all it’s aluminum-ness, of course we wanted to know more.Floe CargoMax small utility trailer with a polymer bed

A Little Polymer

One of the things that makes this trailer stand out; its not JUST aluminum. This small utility trailer has a rugged polymer bed. The UV-resistant material is ideal because it does not rust, rot, or dent. Nor will it ever need a paint job. And have you seen it? It looks awesome! small utility trailer that can support a lot of weight

Unbeatable Design

But seriously, the bed. The engineers of this trailer obviously knew what they were doing. You’ll notice in the picture below that the 8-foot frame is grooved to help hold down your belongings. And here is something extra cool: there are collapsing tie-downs that connect to the aluminum frame! Is anyone else asking “why didn’t I think of that?”  Also, this small utility trailer is also built with a full rubber torsion independent suspension. It is really made to be easily pulled behind any vehicle and by (almost) anyone. specs

This Small Utility Trailer Has Remarkable Strength

Between the lightweight aluminum and polymer bed, the smallest model weighs in at a modest 290lbs. But don’t let that fool you. This trailer is a David with the strength of a Goliath. It has the ability of carrying 1800lbs- that’s over 6 times it’s weight! It will have no problem hauling your ATV’s, snowmobiles, or hunting equipment (and hopefully trophies too!)

Need a bigger payload capacity? Check out our other three models able to carry up to 2,230lbs.
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If you’re looking for a small utility trailer that will last for years to come, take a minute to look over the details of this trailer and consider the different sizes. We think you’ll like it just as much as we do!

“Thanks to all of you for selling me the Cargo Max trailer. We live in Wisconsin. Older trailer had issues and we needed something to move 4-wheeler, ice house and family out to go ice fishing. New trailer works great. Light weight, tows great on the ice and off. Back in Wisconsin now and can’t wait to haul wood chips. Thanks again to Cargo Max and Grandville Trailer for great sales and service.” – Sandi


Thanks for reading!
-Ally Mollenkamp

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6 Reasons to Consider Aluma Trailers

Why Aluminum Trailers in Michigan are on the Rise

Here at Grandville Trailer, we have been selling Aluma Trailers faster than any others. They never sit on our lot for very long. We love how durable and dependable they are and so do our customers!  If you are unfamiliar with Aluma trailers, this post is for you. Here’s why you should consider an aluminum trailer in Michigan.

7814st-utility-trailerAluminum Trailers Don’t Rust

I’m going to  take a second to state the obvious here. Aluma trailers are made from aluminum and aluminum doesn’t rust. Boom. It’s really a pretty miraculous thing for all us Michiganders and mid-west people. The four seasons take a toll on our cars, boats, campers and toys. Having aluminum trailers in Michigan just makes sense.

LED Lights

A lot of trailer owners like to update their trailers by putting LED lights on them. Their energy efficiency and long life makes them very appealing. And because they are mercury free, they have a much smaller environmental impact than traditional light bulbs. LED lights come standard on all Aluma Trailers. We’re glad that Aluma puts such quality into their trailers.

Aluminum Trailers are Light Weight

The average aluminum trailer weighs 25% less than its steel-framed equivalent.  That frees up a considerable amount of your towing capacity so you can use your space on what you’d like. Not to mention that less weight means a higher MPG. If you’re going to buy a trailer, why not purchase one that will be easier on your wallet?

5 Year Warranty

Aluma trailers come with this 5 year warranty. This covers any defects in the material and workmanship of the unit. In those 5 years after purchase, if there is a problem, you can send your aluminum trailer directly to Aluma in Bancroft, Iowa. They will determine if the problem falls under the warranty, in which case, they will repair it free of charge.

Endless Models of Aluminum Trailers

Though their most popular is the open utility aluminum trailer, Aluma makes trailers for everyone. The options are extensive with motorcycle, car and snowmobile trailers, aluminum ATV trailers, car haulers, enclosed trailers and more. When it’s time for you to buy a new trailer, there is no doubt that Aluma can provide what you’re looking for.

Aluma is Widely Trusted and Well Respected

  1. NATM Certified- (National Association of Trailer Manufactures) All trailers are built under the NATM guidelines.
  2. NATDA Members- (North American Trailer Dealers Association) Here is more about them.

“Just got a 8112 utility trailer, it’s a great trailer. Easy to load and light. It pulls awesome. The tie downs are easy to get to, ramp goes down easy and doesn’t squeak at all. This is my 3 Aluma and will continue to to buy more. Thank you Aluma.” -Nate


Head on over to our Aluma page to see what aluminum trailers we have in stock and on order. Keep in mind that we are happy to order your specific model if we don’t have it on the lot!

Want to see another option for enclosed aluminum trailers in Michigan? You’ll love our selection from Neo!

Have a great day and call us with any questions!

Ally Mollenkamp unnamed

How do you Know You are Hauling at the right Tongue Height? Here’s the Steps to Make Sure that you Are

So last month on the Grandville Trailer blog we posted about the Weigh Safe Hitch that has tons of adjustable features, including, adjustable height. Now you may be asking yourself, ” How do I know the right tongue height for the trailer I am towing?” You may also be asking yourself, “What’s wrong with towing something with the trailer not level?” Well, I’m here to answer those questions for you.

Let’s start with learning what the right ball mount height is needed for the trailer you are towing. It’s no secret that both trailers and vehicles have different heights. The goal, when determining the height of the ball mount, is trying to keep the trailer as level as possible when driving down the road. First, you need to determine if you need our ball mount to have a rise or a drop. If the trailer coupler (the spot that rests on the ball mount), is taller than the receiving tube (the opening that the ball mount goes into on your vehicle), than you need your ball mount in the rise position. If the opposite is true than you need your ball mount in the drop position.

coupler height                                                             Hitch-Height-300x300

Now you are asking, “How much rise or drop do I need?” Well you can figure this out with a level and a measuring tape. First, make sure that your trailer is level, then measure from the ground to the bottom of the coupler. Next measure from the ground to the top of the receiving tube on your vehicle. The difference is the amount of drop or rise that you need.

Check out this video for a nice visual to walk you through the steps.

 

Now to answer the question about why the height of your trailer is important. The short answer is that it is easier to tow something at the right height. The longer answer is, if the tongue of the trailer is low, it puts stress on the suspension of the vehicle, along with making it more likely that you will feel the trailer sway. If the tongue of the trailer is too high, then it also puts stress on the  suspension. I’ve heard that the trick is to have the tongue of the trailer slightly higher when it is empty so that it sits level when it is loaded.

I hope that this answers all the questions that you have about ball height!

 

Weigh Safe Hitches: Should it be Your Next Investment?

Did you know that Grandville Trailer not only has trailers for purchase, but they also have towing accessories?

One of the accessories they carry is drawbars. Today we are going to highlight Weigh Safe Hitches

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First, let’s start with the fact that this hitch comes with 2 different size balls. Why is this important? If you have a ball that is too small in diameter,  the trailer could slip right off. This might not be too much of a problem if you are hauling on super smooth roads, but with all of the bumps you are bound to hit in Michigan, don’t be surprised to look in the rearview mirror to a trailer that is no longer there. Too big of a ball and obviously you won’t even be able to attach your trailer to take it anywhere. Also, this allows for you to haul a variety of trailers because typically, the larger the trailer the larger ball you will need.

Second, the Weigh Safe trailer hitch has an adjustable height. This makes it so that you are able to evenly distribute the weight on your load. If the trailer is short compared to the vehicle that is hauling it, the load will fall towards the back of the trailer. If the trailer is tall compared to the vehicle that is hauling it, the load will move towards the front of the trailer. In both situations, it makes the load unsafe to haul. Having a hitch with an adjustable height makes it easier to haul trailers with a variety of heights.

Finally, Weigh Safe hitches have a scale, right on the side of the hitch, that helps you measure the tongue weight of your trailer. Hence the name, “weigh safe.” Why is tongue weight important? Well, if you have too much tongue weight then you put extra force on the back of the vehicle and this would push the vehicle around. If you have too little tongue weight, the trailer could more easily sway from side to side, making it much harder to control when going down the road.

tongue weight

This hitch has the added bonus of being made in the USA. It is also made from billet aluminum for added strength and the balls for the hitch are made of stainless steel for corrosion resistance. You could get it with a shaft size of 2″, 2.5″, or 3″. Really the list of features this hitch has goes on and on and on….

Interested in learning more about Weigh Safe hitches? You can check out their website here. They have some pretty cool informational videos!
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Not Just A West Michigan Dealership

traveling mapA while back Grandville Trailer was contacted by a gentleman, Fred, who lives in upstate New York. Why might a man living in upstate New York be contacting a West Michigan trailer dealership you ask? You guessed it, he was in need of a trailer. Not just any trailer, though. He was specifically looking for an enclosed trailer that would soon be towing his precious cargo across the United States. Let us explain this nifty story.

deuce 2 fan gone plus no lightsFred found his 1932 Roadster, named Deuce, out in California from a man that had recently built the car from the ground up.  With the 1960’s muscle car in mind, Fred’s Roadster is powered by a 327 cubic inch engine mated to a GM Turbo 350 automatic transmission and finished off with a 8″ Ford differential. Topping off this masterpiece is a full leather interior and trunk area as well, clearly no detail was spared. The only dilemma in this match made in heaven, was how to get this new beauty from the west coast to the east coast.

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IMG_1850This is where we come into the story.  Fred found himself a Haulmark enclosed trailer that he liked and knew would suit his needs in transporting Deuce from point A to point B.  He contacted us with his request and we were able to get him in touch with our Haulmark friends down in Bristol, Indiana. We were able to arrange for Fred to travel from his upstate New York home over to Haulmark in Bristol, Indiana, grab his new trailer and continue on the road to Reno, Nevada, where Deuce was eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Fred says that Deuce traveled extremely well  from Reno back to New York and even though the Roadster isn’t suitable for the snowy New York winters, he looks forward to sitting in his garage and admiring it when he isn’t out driving it around.  As for Grandville Trailer, we couldn’t have been more thrilled to help Fred achieve this dream of his and to have had the opportunity to play a role in this truly unique story.

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At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya

This post was brought to you by:

Meagan Wiersma.

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Meet the Team : Update

Today I want to take a minute to tell you about all the wonderful people that work at this wonderful dealership. They make Grandville Trailer a great place to work and do business. It’s not all about the trailers… It’s about the people!


Management

IMG_4743Let’s start with the owner, Dave. I probably don’t need to talk about him because you probably already know him. Everyone in west Michigan seems to know Dave Tosh. He’s fun, kind, generous and everybody’s friend. Before he stepped into the exciting world of trailers, he had a counter top business called Tosh’s Tops. After giving everyone in Grand Rapids new and beautiful counters, he decided it was time to sell everyone in Grand Rapids a trailer! Dave runs a fair and honest business. He genuinely loves his job and seeks to do right by his customers and employees. On his few days off, he hunts, travels all over to visit family, and cruises around in his fully restored 67′ Mustang.


Service Department

One of the things that makes Grandville Trailer stand out is our excellent service department. Our mechanics work hard to keep customers’ trailers working perfectly. Among other things, they repack bearings, replace electric and hydraulic brakes, install hitches, and repair damaged trailers.

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Joe is our head mechanic and has been at Grandville Trailer longer than anyone else. (His assistant Phil has been with Grandville Trailer for almost a year, and the two of them make a great team).  Joe works hard and does his job very well.  Joe’s love for repairing things has led him to several auctions where he has purchased different machinery items in need of repair. A gear head with a green thumb, he also has a passion for gardening. We hope that Joe will continue to stick around for a long time!


Sales

We strive to have the best selection of cargo, utility, dump and landscape trailers possible. We also want to make sure we have all the right parts and supplies in our store. We have an awesome team of guys that work together to make sure our customers get all their questions answered. We don’t want to sell trailers for the sake of selling trailers. We genuinely want our customers to walk away happy, informed and satisfied with their experience.013 (1)

John just may be the heart of Grandville Trailer. He is an awesome employee who loves his job and loves to give customers a great experience. He is patient, thorough and very knowledgeable about our products. He is “Papa” to six sweet grandkids, and in his free time he enjoys bowling, camping and just spending time with his wonderful family.

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Greg is the son of Dave and Andrea. He’s a goofy guy with a love for people. He keeps things  fun at work, but don’t let that fool you. He works hard and knows a lot about trailers. He spends his free time with his beautiful wife, disc golfing, scoping out new breweries in Grand Rapids or reading “What to expect when you’re expecting”.  That’s right, Greg and his wife are expecting their first child (baby boy) this October.  We are so excited for the two of them, and cannot wait to meet the little guy.

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Jim Is a retired 7th and 8th grade computer teacher, and is a part-time employee of Grandville Trailer. He is a man of many talents and he is gifted musically with singing and playing the guitar. He recently began leading worship at Lifeline Church! Jim also has a passion for building and has almost completed the year long project of building his new house. We are thankful to have him on board!

DSCN1099Lance joined us a few months ago, making him the newest member at Grandville Trailer. He is quickly learning the in’s and out’s of the industry, and is really enjoying meeting all of the customers. He is a true Michigander at heart and loves his sports, especially basketball and golf.  He and his lovely wife, one and a half year old daughter, and 3 four legged family members (his dogs) are currently in the process of finding a new home for their growing family.  We are grateful to have found him.  He makes a great addition.


Behind the Scenes
Ron

Ron is Grandville Trailer’s trailer master, and you will see why.  He is the one who oversees the coming and going of trailers, he keeps our lot nice and tidy by organizing the trailers by height and size, takes photos of new inventory for our website, preps the trailers for the lot, and keeps the trailers nice and clean.  And as if that’s not enough, he also cuts the grass, and takes care of all other building maintenance needs.  We appreciate everything he does to make our place look nice, and run smoothly.

unnamed Brendan, is a high school senior at South Christian.  He is very active in a youth program called Teens Encountering Christ (TEC).  Brendan is planning on attending Cornerstone University in the fall of 2017.  He spends his Saturday’s working at Grandville Trailer during the school year, cleaning the store, vacuuming, taking out the trash and his greatest task, putting up with Greg’s antics.

 

1924376_778533975542479_8132334015825027284_nAndrea is Dave’s wife and she has been by his side through it all.  They work together in running this awesome dealership.  Andrea does all of Grandville Trailer’s bookkeeping and a whole lot of paperwork. She spends a lot of her time volunteering, working out, spoiling her grandbabies, and just loving on all the people in her life. Grandville Trailer is blessed to have her around and so is her family!

And then there’s me, Meagan. I am Dave and Andrea’s niece. I’m here in the mitten state with my awesome husband and crazy 9 month old puppy.  I’m a full time waitress at a local restaurant, and work part time for Grandville Trailer doing their computer marketing. I was so excited when they asked me to be a part of their team and in the process I’m learning a lot about marketing, trailers and everything in between. I’m loving every minute of it and I’m so glad to be doing my part to keep our customers informed!

Have you had a good experience at Grandville Trailer because of these people? If so, could you leave us a quick review? We are so thankful for your business and a couple positive sentences from you could do a lot for our little store! You can leave a review on Google, or on our Facebook page.  Thank you and we look forward to working with you in the future!

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

3 Reasons You Absolutely NEED This For Winter : It Comes Down To Axle 1, 2 & 3

While visions of backyard BBQ’s, early morning fishin’, hot summer days spent on the lake, giant bonfires, and endless camping weekends dance in our heads, the cold hard truth is…WINTER IS COMING!

Ok, before you get upset that I mentioned that terrible, and most dreaded 6 letter word (for this time of year), I may have just the thing to sweeten this “winter” deal, and trust me, there is such a thing.

The name is NASX Triple, and it’s a beaut.  The NASX Triple Axle Round Top All Sport Trailer is one of Neo’s newest additions, and it’s sure to be a huge hit.

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Neo NASX Triple Axle Round Top All Sport Trailer

Neo NASX Round Top All Sport Trailer

Neo NASX Triple Axle Round Top All Sport Trailer

 

 

 

 

 

Other than it’s ability to haul just about any and every winter toy you and 10 of your best buds have (and any other toys for that matter), what else does this trailer have to offer you?

  • (3) 3500lbs Dexter Torsion Axles
  • Spring Assist Greaseless Hinge Front & Rear Ramp Door
  • ProFlap™, Ramp Door Flap
  • Side Door Measurements (32″W x 74″H)
  • Front Ramp Door Measurements (61″W x 75.25″H)
  • Rear Ramp Door Measurements (82″W x 79.25″H)
  • 31′ Long, with a 27′ Box Length (for all the fun stuff)
  • Marine Deck Plywood Floor – 3/4″
  • 7′ Interior Height
  • LED Lights
  • Accommodates All Shapes & Sizes
  • 1 Piece Seamless Aluminum Roof
  • Strong But Light Weight Aluminum Body
  • GVRW: 9990lbs.

This trailer was made for fun, practicality and hauling ALL of your toys.  But if this beast has a little more space than you can fill, then it looks like it’s time to get some new sleds.  Ok, but really, Neo certainly offers many other shapes/sizes and colors of trailers that might better fit your needs, and most of them come with a few less axles. 🙂 Check out Grandville Trailer’s selection of Neo Trailers here.

Imagine all of the beautiful pieces of machinery you could haul around in this Neo Trailer…Better yet, tell us about it on our facebook page.  We LOVE hearing the reasons you need a HUGE triple axle trailer, and what you would carry around inside.


 

      At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya

This post was brought to you by:

Meagan Wiersma.

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Local Organization is Making a Huge Difference in Michigan

1 in 5 Children in the United States, go without which one of the following options, every day?

A. Access to Social Media           B. Cell Phone                  C. Cable TV                         D. Other

While A, B and C are great guesses, if you guessed “other”, you’re on the right track.  The ratio of 1 in 5 is actually how many children in the United States will go without food, today!

In an effort to narrow these jaw dropping numbers, many organizations have joined the fight to help end hunger in the United States.

Did you know, that all of these organizations combined are helping over 20 million children receive either a free or discounted lunch during the school week? While the assistance that these kiddos receive during the week is certainly a huge blessing, it still raises a pretty big question.

Where do those same kids get proper nourishment on the weekend?  h2h_logo_2013-294x300

I’m glad you asked! This is where Hand2Hand steps in.  Hand2Hand is a local organization here in Jenison, Michigan (just a hop, skip and a jump from Grandville Trailer) that was founded in 2008 by a woman named Cheri Honderd.

Cheri Honderd, Founder and Executive Director

Cheri Honderd, Hand2Hand Founder and Executive Director

During her childhood, Cheri’s parents struggled as well to find employment. She could relate to the children in her community who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from, and the ongoing stories Cheri heard, of children going hungry, caused her to take action.

Cheri’s passion, dedication and nearly 730 volunteers make the Hand2Hand vision a reality! Hand2Hand’s mission is “to deliver hope to hungry children by mobilizing schools and churches to provide nutritious food over the weekends”.

The Hand2Hand organization not only bridges the gap of weekend hunger, they also show these kiddos that they are cared for, and that there can be a “constant” in their life.

Recently, Grandville Trailer had the opportunity to partner with Hand2Hand, in helping them fulfill their dream of having a “Hope on the Move” trailer.

The brilliant idea behind their “Hope on the Move” trailer is to bring the donation center to you, and make donating even more accessible.  Their hope is that different groups will host the trailer in their neighborhood or at their workplace.  The trailer would then become a 1 to 2 day mobile “drop off” location for anyone willing to donate food to the Hand2Hand ministry.

We were beyond flattered that they asked us to be a part of such a huge mission, and obviously, gladly accepted.new hand 2 hand

What started as an idea in 2008, with 19 children being well nourished over the weekend, has grown to 3692 children, and a partnership with 85 Michigan schools and 59 Churches.

In 2016 Hand2Hand is on track to partner with 12 more schools and 9 more churches, and with the help of the Lord, faithful volunteers with servant hearts, and loads of donations, hopefully their impact can spread even farther than West Michigan.


At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

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Helpful Hints On Weight Distribution

trailer-heavy-on-tongueHave you ever seen this?

The classic dangerous duo rolling down the highway. I notice this all the time (a lot more since joining the trailer industry.) Obviously the trailer in the first picture is loaded heavily in the front, resulting in too much tongue weight. Another risky situation is too much tail weight. When the back of the trailer is loaded too heavily it can be harder to tow and can result in injury when unhooking.

Proper weight distribution is an important aspect of trailer safety. If your truck and trailer have been looking like either of these pictures, don’t worry, just watch this video to learn how to prevent problems on the road. And if you’re a seasoned trailer loader, pass this knowledge on after you see the handy tips in this video. I love the level idea that they show us!

Video: Weight Distribution 
By: Aluma TrailersAluma_Logo_400

-We’d like to add that we are a proud Aluma dealer! Check out our full listing of Aluma Trailers here. Or browse their website and let us know if you want to make an order. We hope to see you soon! 

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

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