Minnesota winters are no joke, and we’re knee-deep into the snowy season. Here at M&G Trailer Sales & Service we want to make sure our fellow Minnesotans stay safe in the ice and snow. So, we put together a list of ways to make sure the weather doesn’t get the better of your towing this season. From the basics to the just-in-case, here are eight tips to remember when you tow in the snow.
Change your trailer tires
Smooth, icy roads can make it difficult for your tires to grip, so snowy weather increases your chance of skidding. Traction is essential, not just for your vehicle. Having snow tires on your trailer will help you tow with confidence and control. Our M&G snow tires are made with deep grooves that will help you stay steady, even while towing heavy loads.
Check your trailer brakes
When driving icy roads, having in-tact brakes can save your life. It’s all too easy to slip and skid into accidents during the winter months. Working trailer brakes alleviate strain on your vehicle brakes and help prevent skidding or fishtailing. Before you begin towing, even in summer months, it’s essential that you check to make sure your breaks are in top-notch working condition. If you’re in need of break parts or repairs, M&G offers both in house.
Keep up the momentum
If you find yourself facing uphill drives or fresh, loose snow the best thing you can do is keep your forward momentum going. Even with the best M&G winter tires, making it through piles of loosely packed snow can be difficult. It’s also best to keep forward momentum going on an iced-over incline, as traction uphill can be difficult to find.
Slow and steady keeps you safe
Keeping a slow pace and braking well before stopping are always good methods while towing a trailer, but they become more important in the winter months. You should also make sure to keep plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle ahead so there’s ample time to brake. Maintaining a safe speed and distance is far more important than meeting a travel deadline.
Prep your vehicle for winter driving
Trailers need snow tires for these frigid winters, and so does your car! Obvious, right? But there are a few more steps to take when readying a vehicle for winter, such as checking battery life and making sure tires are full and heavily treaded. If you’re towing with a car or truck, you should also change out your oil and antifreeze. It’s best to check up on your vehicle before you’re stuck in a snowstorm!
Clear eyes can’t lose
Be sure to stay bright-eyed and alert while towing, but there are steps to be taken before you ever get behind the wheel. Clear snow and ice off your vehicle first, so it doesn’t obstruct your vision, or anyone else’s, by blowing or sliding off when you begin to drive. You should also step around to the front of your vehicle and check your headlights, you don’t want to be caught in the snow without their assistance!
Keep an emergency kit on-hand
If you’ve already got an emergency kit, you’re not in the clear yet! Emergency kits should be inspected yearly, and any outdated or insufficient products replaced before the start of the season. A good emergency kit should include a few basics: jumper cables, flares, and first-aid supplies. However, a winter kit needs a few extra pieces: a warm hat and gloves, an ice scraper, traction mats and a snow shovel.
Plan out your route
If you plan on towing long distances, it’s important to know your route before you go. Don’t just depend on the GPS! Make sure to identify safe places to pull over if you get caught in a heavy storm. Even if you don’t plan to go far, consider letting someone know where you’re headed, when you leave, and when you plan to reach your destination. Keeping someone up to date on your planned path, especially in dangerous weather conditions, can help keep you safe.
There are plenty more things to consider when towing through harsh Minnesota winters, but this list should get you through the basics. We’ve still got a few long winter months up ahead, although it’ll soon be up to Punxsutawney Phil. Even if the celebrity groundhog decides winter will be ending soon, it’s a good idea to stay alert and stay on top of your winter safety routine. If you have any questions or want to know what supplies we have to keep you and your trailer in good shape, give us a call at (763) 506-0930.