Tongue weight might seem like a funny term, but it has nothing to do with dentistry or the human tongue. It is used in trailer mechanics and is responsible for safe driving. One of the most important things to ensure safe driving is to check various weight and limitations associated.
If you are new to the world of mechanics and car sciences, we will let you know why it is important to know about the tongue weight. Read on and find out all you need to know about tongue weight.
What Is Tongue Weight?
The tongue weight of a trailer is the amount of force that your trailer puts on the hitch of your towing vehicle. The right amount of tongue weight is essential for safe car towing and driving. A dangerous level of tongue weight can lead to wobbly driving and can cause serious accidents. It also affects the visibility of the driver.
Having an optimum amount of tongue weight is crucial for a safe tow. If there is not enough tongue weight, the trailer can sway from side to side. If there is too much pressure on the hitch, it can pressure the vehicles’ rear tires.
This can push the rear end of the vehicle around and cause its disbalance. Therefore, it wise to look for a towing company that provides an optimum amount of tongue weight for safer towing experiences. Ideally, it should be between 10-15% of the total weight of the trailer.
What Is The Optimal Value Of Tongue Weight?
Tongue weight should be 10%-15% of the total loaded trailer weight. For instance, if the trailer’s weight is 3000 pounds and the weight is 1000 pounds, the optimal tongue weight would be around 400-600 pounds. That accounts for about 10%-15% of the total weight.
Tongue Weight Trailer Tips
If you want to keep your vehicle safe while towing, you should take care of these points:
- The tongue weight is dynamic. Your tongue weight changes as weight is added or removed. One of the first tips towards a safe towing is to check the tongue weight every time.
- Your hitch needs to be able to handle more than just your tongue weight. This is useful if you are planning to use a weight-distribution hitch.
- While you can measure tongue weight using a bathroom scale, having a tongue weight scale can weigh much more efficiently.
How To Measure Tongue Weight On A Trailer?
Ensure to read the capacity of the tongue weight scale before purchasing one. It can weigh between 2000 pounds to 20,000 pounds. Follow the instructions written on it to measure the tongue weight of your trailer. Here is how you can measure your trailers tongue weight:
- Your vehicle and trailer should be parked on the same hard surface.
- Slide the scale where your trailer’s tongue jack meets the ground.
- Crank the trailer jack until it is pressed on the scale.
- Detach the trailer and note your reading.
If your gross trailer weight is less than 3,000 pounds, you can use a bathroom scale as well. Buy a separate bathroom scale instead of using the one from your bathroom. A bathroom scale can be used for this purpose, but it may not be as accurate as a commercial weight scale.
How Do You Reduce Your Tongue Weight?
If you think that your tongue weight is less than 10%, you may experience trailer sway. It is best not to hit the brakes. You should first reduce your speed slowly by pulling off force from your pedals. Once you have stopped, make sure to readjust the setting and set the tongue weight between 10%-15% of the gross trailer weight.
When you experience more weight than 15% of gross trailer weight, it may be very difficult for you to handle and maneuver your vehicle. In this situation, your vehicle would be unresponsive and difficult to control.
Having the right towing company available to help you is crucial for a safe tow. Having an optimal value of tongue weight is important to keep your vehicle safe. The bathroom scale is used for measuring the tongue scale for the weight of less than 10% of gross trailer weight. It is recommended to use a commercial weight scale to measure the tongue weight more than this.