Driving your dog trailers safely

Running a road haulage operation might seem simple to those outside the industry, but those who work in the industry know how much planning and effort can go into even the shortest journey. Before your goods can set out on their journey, there are a lot of questions that must be answered. You will need to have the right vehicles for the job, whether that is dog trailers or something else. You must ensure that the truck can be safely loaded and unloaded at each end. You must be sure that the weight distribution of the load has been checked and that it won't move during the journey. Finally, you must be sure that your vehicle meets all of the legal requirements for dog trailers.

Are you following the rules?

It is the responsibility of all owners and drivers to ensure that they are carefully following all of the relevant regulations. Some examples of these rules include:

If you are driving a truck and dog trailer combination, then you must have a copy of the Class 3 Truck and Dog Trailer Combination Notice 2010 in the vehicle driving compartment whenever it is loaded above 42.5 tonnes, and the driver must be capable of producing this notice when requested to do so.

If you are driving dog trailers with three axles, you are not permitted to load them to a height in excess of 3.5 metres without written permission from the authorities. If your dog trailers have four axles, then the loading can be as high as 4.3 metres. You will also want to examine the axle spacing of your chosen vehicle since this also has an impact on the amount of weight you are allowed to carry.

Your truck suspension is another area that must comply with the regulations. If you want to drive a truck and dog trailer combination, then they must have been fitted with a recognised air suspension system which covers every axle or axle group in the combination apart from the steer axle. Dog trailers working in combination with a truck must also ensure that their coupling rear overhang is no longer than it has to be. Not only does keeping the distance from the coupling point to the rear overhang line short improve vehicle performance, but it also helps to improve the safety of the vehicle.

Ensuring that all of the relevant regulations are followed is essential for maintaining the safety of the driver and other road users. Talk to your operator today if you have any concerns. They will be happy to show you how they comply with all relevant legislation and regulations.