If you’re thinking about doing some towing, and you also think that all the concern over weight distribution on the trailer is a load of crap perpetrated by the weight-distribution lobby, then I really suggest you watch this little video. Because what’s funny with toys is terrifying in reality.
This demonstration, which seems to come from the Ontario Police Commercial Vehicle Committee, is so wonderfully simple and effective. The little Mustang (the tow vehicle of choice for most discriminating towers) is pulling a trailer with two sets of weights: one at the front, one at the rear.
When more of the weight is at the front, things remain quite stable. Even a shove at the rear of the trailer by a massive Hand of God can’t really do all that much to discombobulate the trailer.
But once more weight is placed at the rear, that little lateral shove starts all kinds of pendulum-like swinging and trouble; it’s amazing how rapidly the system gets uncontrollable.
This is even likely less bad than a full-scale, real-world situation would be, because that conveyer belt is going at a steady, constant speed, and the car’s front wheels remain rigidly straight. In reality, once the swinging starts, the Mustang driver would likely be alternating cranking the wheel in a panic while jamming on the brakes, taking some time between these two acts to lavishly soil their pants.
So, take it from some toys on a conveyer belt: be careful how you distribute the weight of what you tow!
Also, it’s probably good there weren’t a bunch of Lego minifigs on the side of that conveyer belt, or that toy Mustang would have tried to plow them down.
UPDATE: This video was produced by our pals at U-Haul, who had this to add:
“Now that all the wiggle .gifs have been handled, I’d just like to clarify that we here at U-Haul built this display to encourage safe trailer use and proper loading. A team of our engineers and communications people take this rolling road model to trade shows, law enforcement groups, and various educational and safety councils to teach people the simple ways that they can make our roads safer for everyone. We even teamed up with your “Truck Yeah!” head-brochacho Andrew Collins a while back to produce some videos about this.
All of which is to say THANKS for featuring this today - it could save a life.”