Automotive Repair Tips Blog

First-Time Chevy Truck Owners: Six Important Towing Tips

Date
January 10, 2021
|
Author
Matt

Chevy trucks are great for towing stuff. Nevertheless, hauling a load isn’t as easy as you may think. Doing it the wrong way can lead to disaster. Here are six important towing tips for newbies.

Chevy

1. Stay Within Your Limits

Before you even attempt to pull a trailer with your Chevy truck, first research its maximum tow capacity. This number can vary from one trim to the next. For instance, a new Silverado 1500 can tow up to 13,400 pounds when equipped with its range-topping V8 engine. Meanwhile, choosing the available V6 engine lowers the truck’s rating to 7,900 pounds.

Always stay within the automaker’s suggested limits. When your load is too heavy, this puts extra stress on the pickup’s powertrain. An excessive strain often causes overheating to occur. Safety is an even bigger concern. Not only will handling be poor, but the performance of your brakes will also suffer.

2. Check Your Trailer Tires

Most Chevy owners recognize the importance of routinely checking their truck’s tires. However, they often forget to inspect the tires on the trailer. The last thing you want to experience is an unexpected tire blowout, which could result in a complete loss of control. Taking a few minutes to check air pressure will give an extra sense of security.

If you only use your truck for towing on special occasions, there’s a good chance its trailer will be sitting for most of the year. Unfortunately, this makes the trailer tires more likely to experience dry rot and cracking. Never hesitate to replace tires that looked aged. To be on the safe side, it’s also advisable to bring a spare trailer tire with you.

3. Stay On Top Of Your Truck’s Scheduled Maintenance

Routine maintenance is especially important when using your truck for towing. Because of the extra workload, you may need to change the oil more frequently. Luckily, most Chevy trucks built within the last 10 years feature a convenient oil life monitor. As soon as your “oil change light” turns on, be sure to schedule an oil change within the next 50 miles or so.

Regular air filter replacement is just as critical. When driving with a clogged air filter, your engine is forced to work much harder than it should. Also, don’t forget to check the coolant level before taking a long road trip.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Chevy truck owners who don’t have any experience towing should practice. When practicing, do so in a low-traffic area. You’ll be able to gradually build confidence before tackling a busy highway. Don’t rush the process. It can take a while for some drivers to become comfortable carrying a trailer.

The added weight has a big effect on the truck’s ability to stop quickly. Develop a habit of staying a few car lengths behind the next vehicle ahead. Newbies must also learn how to navigate sharp turns. Because of the trailer, you’ll have to become accustomed to making wide turns. It’ll likely you take you a little longer to master the art of backing up.

5. Remain Attentive While on the Road

When towing with your Chevy truck, you must maintain a high sense of awareness at all times. New let your guard down. Always pay close attention to the surrounding traffic. Also, periodically peak in the rearview mirror to monitor your load.

To no surprise, rear visibility is often reduced with a trailer. Oncoming vehicles can easily get lost in your blind spot. Make sure your mirrors are properly positioned ahead of time. If you are a bit nervous about towing for the first time, ask a friend or family member to help you navigate.

6. Consider Towing Upgrades

Even in its standard form, your Chevy pickup is a capable towing machine. However, it never hurts to have an extra degree of protection. Ask a mechanic to install a transmission cooler on your truck. This upgrade can enhance the life of your transmission by several thousand miles.

A 360-degree camera system is another great investment. You’ll be able to experience much better visibility in tight spots. Chevy also offers a cutting-edge Transparent Trailer View feature on its newest models, which enables you to essentially see through trailers.