What To Expect When You Call For Help

By Michael Vatalaro

Before TRAILER ASSIST® can send a tow truck, they'll want a few details about your trailer.

Photo of roadside Trailer Assist towBoatUS Trailer Assist can come in many forms, including flat-tire repair. (Photo: Jason Arnold)

1. Trailer Make

You probably know this one, but if the dispatcher needs to hunt down replacement parts to get you moving again, he or she will ask.

2. Overall Length

Measure your trailer from the end of the tongue to the end of the sterndrive or outboard. The easy way to do this is to run the tape measure under the entire rig, but if your rig is longer than 25 feet, you may have to do it in sections.

3. Boat On Trailer Height

Measure from the ground to the highest fixed point on the boat.

4. Overall Width

Determine the overall width of the boat-and-trailer unit at its widest point. This may be at the trailer's fenders, or if the bow of the boat sports significant flare, it could be the boat itself.

5. Boat And Trailer Weight

If you've never weighed your rig fully loaded, a visit to a truck-stop scale is in order. While you're at it, check your tongue weight. For tips on how to figure out tongue weight, see "Tongue Weight DIY".

6. Tire Size And Bolt Pattern

Most days, you can read the tire size off the sidewall easily enough, but in the dark or driving rain, it's not so simple. Do yourself a favor and jot it down now. It should be a combination of letters and numbers, such as "ST225/75R 15."

The bolt pattern refers to the number of lug nuts it takes to keep the wheel in place. Five-bolt patterns are usually found on smaller trailers; larger trailers usually have six-bolt patterns. 

— Published: Spring 2015


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