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What we learned today!
- The trailer presented for the road test must be properly licensed for the weight (with load) – no more cheating for cheaper fees. You must match the serial plate on trailer.
- Make sure your truck specs cover the trailer load.
- You must present yourself for the road test with a trailer over 4500kg.
- Make sure all parts of trailer work!
- Did you know that the emergency brake wire actually disconnects from the black box, and that you must unplug it and then test that at least one wheel of the trailer does in fact lock up?
- Did you also know that it does not stay attached to the safety chains but should be hooked to the truck box? (In case the chains break off)
- Check that the battery is working and the brakes are not seized if you haven’t been hauling the trailer much in recent months! Has to work on test day!
- There is a procedure to safety checking the trailer! Make sure tires are blocked, lower to ball but not all the way, hook up lights. Do walk around of trailer noting running lights, reflective stickers, tires for tread, and valves are straight, air in tires. No loose mud flaps. Look under trailer for loose wiring, parts, etc. then do light and brake check.
- OK, truck is next, lights, horn, brakes.
- OK, now you can lower onto ball, lock, hook chains. Remove tire blocks (because you probably have not been leaving them by the tires until the last minute, or have you?
- You do not need seatbelt while hooking, unhooking or backing up but once you move forward after backing up – seatbelts on. Adjust your trailer brake settings, sideview mirrors, etc.
- As you pull away, lots of mirror checks both sides, use signals even in an open space like an exhibition ground if changing direction on way out. Use those side mirrors constantly, watch out for the other guy.
- If there are people near your trailer, sound horn so they are aware you are about to pull away.
- You should always turn right on red light when possible.
- If making a right or left turn and there is a double lane at the lights, you know you have to swing wide for the turn. To help prevent someone coming up on you in the inside lane to the turn, start with that lane to get the trailer in it, then angle your truck into the turning lane. Don’t take it for granted, use your mirrors and doublecheck!
- No more rolling stops folks! Oh, and stay behind the crosswalk, etc.
- You have arrived at your destination, and have to back up parallel to building or fence. It’s okay to remove that restrictive seatbelt now. Turn on your four-way flashers before backing up. Once parked, you should block your trailer wheels first.
- Obey all the other rules of the road!
- Meanwhile, as we transport our precious cargo of live horses, we worry about ramps, doors, and windows, hay and water, and more!
So all in all, a very good informative day and feel much better that the next time we pass a weigh scale sign that says pull in – we must pull in! But, we are licensed correctly with the correct weight classification of vehicles, the correct driver license for hauling weight over 4500kg, and can safely continue on our way. (We also learned that those “scales” are in the first 1-2 lanes and can measure length, axle distribution and more!)
It will be great when you can actually resource this information on the Access Nova Scotia website but remember, as we were told today, just call Road Compliance and they will be happy to answer your questions. This program has been out for quite a few years now and is just now really starting to get moving.
(Who felt like a nervous 16-year-old again going for her driver’s test!)
Driver’s Licenses An ordinary Class 5 license allows you to operate most types of farm vehicles on highways and tow implements with a combined weight of up to 4,500 kg. A Condition 15 endorsement on your Class 5 license is required to tow loads on highways with a combined weight between 4,500 kg and 14,000 kg. This includes horse trailers.