The Garage Cars 101

It’s Time Everyone Learns the Proper Way to Load a Trailer

Let these seven tips teach you the proper way to load a trailer.

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Properly loading a vehicle onto a trailer can be an art form, especially when you are loading classic cars or exotics. Between low ground clearance, limited room on each side, and unstable ramps, among other variables, loading vehicles can go wrong in a heartbeat.

That is where the series of videos below come into play. As you can tell, the slow process of loading a car onto a trailer can get out of hand quickly with a little too much throttle or poor wheel direction. With this in mind, ­The Drive is here to help teach you how to properly load a vehicle onto a trailer.

  1. Have more than one spotter. Just because you have one guy waving his hands in front of you, that does not mean every angle of the vehicle is covered. A second spotter helps make up for the blind spots around the vehicle.
  2. Have designated hand signals. Although certain people will be adamant about what the “proper” hand signals are, use whatever is most comfortable for you and the spotter.
  3. Ensure the trailer and towing vehicle are secure. Make sure to chock the trailer and apply the parking brake on the towing vehicle, so that any movement doesn’t cause the trailer to become mobile.
  4. Make sure your ramp is stable. Some vehicles require additional wood or material to provide a more gradual incline into the trailer. That’s all well and good—just don’t let the material go flying the second a vehicle touches it.
  5. Know your pedals. Whether you are driving a manual or an automatic, be sure you are very comfortable with the clutch and gas pedal before loading. One slip of the clutch or gas could send the vehicle into the back of the trailer or off its track.
  6. Measure everything. Whether you are comparing the width of the tracks to the width of the vehicle or the angles of the ramp, make sure you know your limitations. Never load a vehicle blind, that’s just asking for trouble.
  7. Keep all limbs inside the vehicle. Even if you have loaded your old Jeep onto the trailer a thousand times, it only takes one wrong move to lose a limb. Make sure your doors are closed and secured before loading.


Max Goldberg Avatar

Max Goldberg

Associate Editor

Before working at The Drive, Max Goldberg raced the streets of Westchester in an ambulance as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. He has boundless enthusiasm.