General FAQ New

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General FAQ

If you have a question for which you need an answer this may be the place to find it.

The brakes are stuck on my trailer when I go to drive away, and the handbrake is off what can I do?

This can happen when your trailer is left parked up for a long period with the handbrake applied in the on-position particularly during periods of damp weather conditions. When you apply the handbrake on your trailer the brake shoes, which may be damp, are applied to the brake drum. Thus when you disengage the handbrake the brake shoes remain stuck to the inside of the brake drum on one or more wheels. There is no damage or fault to your trailer and a simple solution, as outlined below, will remedy the issue.

  1. Determine which of your wheels is stuck, it usually is just one wheel.
  2. Using a hammer hit each wheel stud, which holds the wheel in place, about five or six times. Take care not to hit the wheel rim. This will send a vibration to the brake shoes and will disengage the shoes from the drum. Do this a few times until the moisture seal breaks and releases the brake shoe from the brake drum.
  3. If, for any reason, this does not work please phone West Wood Trailers service department for advice.

The current towing legislation does not require trailers with a design gross vehicle weight of 750kg or less to be fitted with brakes. This means the trailer does not have its own mechanical braking system fitted and so depends on the towing vehicle to slow it down. Trailers with a design gross vehicle weight between 750kg and 3500kg must have their own mechanical braking system fitted by law, independent of the towing vehicle’s braking system.

All Ifor Williams trailers manufactured from November 2012 are supplied with an EC Certificate of Conformity (EC CoC) and conform to the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval. These trailers are free to travel throughout the EU assuming the owner has the EC CoC for their trailer. If your trailer was manufactured before November 2012 you must obtain the relevant documentation for the country you are travelling to. This documentation must be sought from the Ifor Williams distributor in your destination country or contact our sales team at West Wood Trailers Ltd.

We recommend that you get your trailer insured for theft. For a little extra cost it gives great peace of mind. When insuring request to be covered when the trailer is hitched or unhitched at your business or residence and when it is hitched in a public place. We advise to always get this in writing and noted on your policy to ensure there is no misunderstanding. Your insurance company may request the serial number, the model, the gross and unladen weight of your trailer and its current value.

The correct hitch height of the towing vehicle is critical when towing a trailer. The correct hitch height should leave your trailer level when hitched on. If the hitch height is not correct this can cause your trailer to sway which can lead to loss of control of your vehicle and trailer. Usually swaying will occur when you exceed 40 / 50kph. Another effect of towing your trailer at the incorrect hitch height is uneven tyre wear. If the trailer is not level, the front or rear tyres may wear excessively due to loads not being evenly dispersed. For most Ifor Williams trailers the correct hitch height should be between 485mm (19”) and 535mm (21”) depending on the trailer and the type of wheel equipment fitted. Please contact West Wood Trailers if you require any additional information.

  1. First of all ensure the ball on your towing vehicle is well greased.
  2. Position the ball of your vehicle under the coupling head of your trailer.
  3. Turn the jockey wheel handle anti-clockwise to lower the coupling head close to the towing vehicle ball.
  4. Pull back the catch or knuckle on the coupling head to open.
  5. Continue to lower the coupling head onto the ball till it engages and is connected. (To check it is correctly connected look under the coupling head to ensure the ball is fully enclosed in the coupling head and the tongue of the coupling head is tight to the bottom of the ball.
  6. Ensure to turn the key in the lock at the top of the coupling head if a lock is fitted thus giving you extra peace of mind against theft.
  7. Continue to turn the jockey wheel handle anti-clockwise till the bottom part of the jockey wheel is retracted fully and is tight to turn. Engage the R Pin at the top of the jockey wheel to stop the jockey wheel from opening.
  8. Turn the locking handle holding the jockey wheel anti-clockwise and lift the jockey wheel up. Turn the wheel around to face the trailer clear of the underside of the coupling itself. Lift the jockey wheel high enough to ensure the wheel is above the bottom of the drawbar and tucked in beside the drawbar itself. Then tighten the locking handle clock-wise and ensure it is good and tight. This will always ensure the jockey wheel is high enough and it is safe from getting damage by road ramps.
  9. Securely attach the safety cable to your towing vehicle . If putting around your ball ,ensure it is pull tight.
  10. Connect your lights by plugging in the black plug on yor trailer into the socket of your towing vehicle. Ensure the little slot in the plug is inline with your socket or it will not plug in correctly.
  11. Get a second person to check all your lights are working before you depart.
  12. Ensure all fasteners for doors, ramps ,dropsides etc are closed properly and are tight.
  13. Ensure all loads are loaded properly and are tided down safely before departure
  14. Periodically check your load and animals during your journey.

If you have never towed a trailer before it is important to know that you will need to modify your driving behaviour while pulling a trailer.

  • The overall length of your towing vehicle and trailer will be longer and therefore you need to widen your turns to avoid hitting the kerb as the trailer will always turn tighter than the towing vehicle.
  • When you are reversing a trailer it is important to remember to turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction that you want the trailer to turn.
  • It is very important to remember to gradually turn your steering wheel as there is a delay between the time you turn your steering wheel and when the trailer will start to turn.
  • A common mistake is to overturn your steering wheel causing the trailer to over-lock which is very difficult to correct without having to drive forward and start again. Slow short gradual turns to start are best until you can see the direction and pace the trailer is turning for you.
  • When you are towing a trailer, whether it has brakes are not, you have more weight behind therefore your stopping distance will be greater. It is very important to remember to leave more time for braking so always keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Never exceed the speed limit for pulling a trailer which is 80kph.

If you have a question that is not answered above please use the form below to ask your question and we will get back to you shortly.