Chances are, if you drive horses, you also drive a truck and pull a horse trailer. And chances are you are VERY good at it!
But we all know that pulling a trailer can be intimidating. We have to know where we are going. Is there going to be a place to turn around? Will we have to back our rig at all? Will there be enough room for us to park?
When I was learning to drive…. many, many, many years ago… my Dad wouldn’t let me drive forward until I could back up every single trailer he had. He is a contractor so there were a fair number to choose from. He would not allow me to turn around when I was backing these trailers, but I had to use my mirrors. I hated it then. I am very grateful for that now! I can back up pretty much any trailer, under any conditions and either use my mirrors or turn my head around and back up. This has come in very handy over the years!
Here are a few tips for backing up a trailer:
- Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel to start. If you want the trailer to move to the left, move your hand to the left. If you want the trailer to move to the right, move your hand to the right.
- If you want to make a sharp turn while backing, turn the steering wheel before you move the vehicle.
- If you want to make a more gradual turn, turn the steering wheel while the vehicle is moving.
- If you have the trailer at home, then take some time to practice, by yourself, without someone telling you what to do. Make sure you are in a nice open space, give yourself room and practice!
Being able to back up the trailer is a very empowering thing. Having the knowledge to back your rig can be the difference between being able to go anywhere and drive your horse or having to stay home and drive in your field.