Refer to FM 21-305 for further information on proper driving practices.
Sudden stops may cause drawbar to bend or buckle and may also cause severe
damage to inertia brake actuator.
(1) When trailer is coupled, always start and stop the towing vehicle slowly and gradually. Do this
whether the trailer is loaded or not.
(2) Never exceed the maximum speed of 50 mi/h (80 km/h) highway and 10 mi/h (16 km/h) cross-
(3) When driving the towing vehicle and trailer, overall length of the unit must be kept in mind when
turning and passing other vehicles. Because the unit is hinged in the middle, turning and backing are also affected.
Heavier payloads will increase stopping distance and decrease off-road maneuverability.
Tight turns may cause severe damage to inertia brake actuator.
b. Turning. When turning corners, allow for the fact that the trailer wheels turn inside the turning radius of the
towing vehicle . To make a right turn at a road intersection, drive the towing vehicle part way into the intersection and
then cut sharply to the right. This will allow for the turning radius of the trailer and keep it off the curb.
Jackknifing when backing may cause severe damage to inertia brake actuator.
(1) Always back the towing vehicle slowly and gradually.
(2) Whenever possible, use an assistant driver or another person to act as a ground guide.
(3) When backing, the rear of the trailer will move in the opposite direction in which the towing vehicle is
turned. When the towing vehicle is turned to the right, the rear of the trailer will go left. When the towing vehicle has
turned and backing in a straight line is required, turn the towing vehicle in the direction the trailer is moving. This will
slowly bring the towing vehicle and trailer into a straight line.
d. Stopping. In normal operation, the brakes of the towing vehicle and trailer are applied at the same time
when the driver steps on the brake pedal. Brake pressure must be applied gradually and smoothly. With some towing
vehicles, the trailer brakes can be applied separately by using a brake control (refer to towing vehicle operator's
manual). On steep grades or slippery surfaces, the trailer brakes should be applied before the towing vehicle brakes, if
possible. This will reduce the possibility of jackknifing the trailer.
e. Parking. When the towing vehicle and trailer are to be left unattended, set the towing vehicle parking
brake, turn off the engine, and set the wheel chocks (para 2-12).