Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide

After many years of working in the trailer industry, we have seen a lot of different hitching and unhitching guides telling us how to attach our trailers to our vehicle. They seem to range from the very basic to the very complicated.

So, with the help of a local B+E Training Centre we have put together our own, step by step Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide.

Always make sure you have preformed a trailer safety safety check before towing.

Hitching Up

  1. Attach the breakaway cable – either to the special towbar rings or looped around the bar.
  2. Wind the jockey wheel to lower the hitch onto the towball, while holding hitch handle up, then release once on.
  3. Keep winding the jockey wheel down to apply pressure on the coupling to check the trailer is coupled properly.
  4. Fully raise the jockey wheel and secure in travel position.
  5. Plug in the electrics, ensuring that cables have sufficient slack to corner but that they don’t touch the ground.
  6. Release the trailer handbrake.
  7. Check your lights are working and final walk round the trailer.
Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide - a step by step guide.
Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide – a step by step guide.

Unhitching

  1. Apply the trailer handbrake.
  2. Unplug the electric lead and store cable tidily.
  3. Loosen the jockey wheel clamp; slide jockey wheel down, tighten clamp.
  4. Wind jockey wheel handle to raise trailer off the tow car, while holding hitch handle up, continue winding the jockey wheel until the hitch is clear of the tow ball. Release hitch handle.
  5. Disconnect breakaway cable. 
  6. When unhitched, push the trailer to check the handbrake is working.
Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide - a step by step guide.
Safe Hitching and Unhitching Guide – a step by step guide.

Handy tip…

  • If the trailer is not going to be used for a while, we recommend thoroughly chocking the wheels and releasing the handbrake, to avoid brakes seizing on.
  • Always apply handbrake before hitching on a trailer and check you have removed any wheel chocks.

Credit: Dave Robbins Transport Academy.

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