3 of the Most Common Questions About Trailer Sway, Answered

Many people who tow a trailer just accept that sway control is limited. The fact is, trailer sway is a common issue, but there are things you can do that will improve sway control greatly.

There are plenty of questions about sway control and how to improve it. The top three questions are listed below.

What Causes the Trailer Sway?

A lot of haulers get frustrated with trailer sway because they feel like they have done everything on their part for sway control and yet they are still struggling with the sway. The fact is, many times, trailer sway is caused by things outside of the driver’s control.

A gust of wind, a semi-truck passing, and even a simple and slow lane change can throw the trailer off and cause it to sway. A gust of wind can cause two pounds of square foot pressure on your trailer and push it around.

In some cases it is driver error that causes an increase in sway. Lane changes made too quickly can be a huge contributing factor.

How Should Weight Be Distributed?

Ideally, about 15% of the weight of the trailer should be on the hitch. About 60% of the cargo should be loaded on the front of the trailer. This weight distribution can help to reduce sway. Redistribution of weight can help if you find that your trailer is swaying more than usual.

What is the Best Sway Control Method?

The best way to control sway is to have the right hitching mechanism. A typical ball hitch setup allows the truck and the trailer to act as separate pieces. This means that the trailer is free to move around on a ball hitch. As you are driving, the ball hitch encourages an oscillating action moving the trailer from side to side.

A straight hitch can force the two units to work as one. With a straight hitch, there is no oscillating motion. The truck and the trailer become the same unit with the right straight hitch, which means, where the truck goes so does the trailer.

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