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Old 10-27-2011, 12:30 PM   #337
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OK. It seems that most of us, me included, think the driver is the most important element in accident prevention while towing. So, what do you all think about mandate driver training in order to get your license stamped as approved to tow anything over a certain weight/length?

In my state, WA, you need to do this in order to legally operate a motorcycle.

Also, the legal speed in CA. is 55 mph when towing anything. CHP would not be happy with anyone trying to do 70 in their state.

John

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Old 10-27-2011, 12:32 PM   #338
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Experience towing without problems does not equal experience towing with a problem. Unless one trains for towing a swaying trailer there is no reason to believe that one will know how to control it once it starts. Police, fire and military do not sit around saying we haven't had a problem in 3 years so there is no need for using the best equipment available for the instance that a problem occurs.

I can't name the number of times I've heard, "I have towed for 30 years without a problem, then all of a sudden..."

Confidence is a funny thing that can be ascribed to many things.
Like the boy scouts say. Be prepared.

Safety is a huge matter of preparing for what might or could happen.

It's like insurance. If you never need it, it's a waste of money.

BUT, if and when you do need it, it's far more than a great feeling.

Plus it helps folks to stay on the better side of the grass.

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Old 10-27-2011, 12:51 PM   #339
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Confidence is a funny thing that can be ascribed to many things.
Adding mechanical protection can affect confidence, with unintended adverse effects.

When bicycle helmets became required for children in California, the incidence of head trauma went down. However, the incidence of spinal trauma and paralysis went up. Why? The helmet conveyed a feeling of protection beyond its actual physical parameters. Teens wearing helmets felt safe to take more risks than before.

While those towing trailers are not teenagers, we may also be subject to the same feelings of overconfidence.

Towing a trailer at 70 adds a great deal more energy to the TV/trailer system than towing at 55. That energy magnifies the results of any oscillation or accident.

Adding sway control and continuing to tow at 55 could increase stability in those rare situations that arise once in a blue moon, and at the very least, wouldn't hurt.

Someone who adds sway control in order to feel as safe towing at 70 as at 55 reminds me of the teen with a bicycle helmet.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:57 PM   #340
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I adjust my speed accordingly and I never tail gate. I also don't like to be tail gated but I probably won't know pulling a trailer. On the way back from FL the other day, I would get up to 70 going down a hill to get some momentum to get up the next one and sometimes my speed would drop to 60MPH going up a hill and the object was not not waste gas. What gets on my nerves is folks in cars that get in front of you and slow down so you can't gain a little speed down the hills. I probably averaged 65 MPH. If I drive slow I am not as alert as when I am driving a little faster. When we loose focus or try to multiplex while driving we get into trouble. It only takes a second to get into trouble whatever your rig. Todays drivers are way too distracted. Poeple driving on the cell phone scare the crap out of me. If they are pulling several tons of trailer while doing this they are deadly. One technique that helps is to put on the trailer brakes and let it pull itself out of a sway. This is assuming you have enough time and presence of mind to do this. The remote trailer brake overide button is probably a good idea. Sometimes I wish my trucks had a hand operated emergency brake.

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Old 10-27-2011, 01:00 PM   #341
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To drive a common carrier you need a special license, but to drive a MH, essentially a bus, you don't. The rationale is that common carriers carry people who expect good driving, but the vehicle is the same. Commercial truck drivers need a special license too, but we don't. We are both towing, but ours are a lot smaller. These are not exact comparisons, but just information.

I'm not sure how you would set up and pay for special RV licenses.

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Old 10-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #342
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I am not in favor of special licenses for motorcycles or anything else. These special licenses cost money. Most states that require motorcycle courses don’t pay for them. I do think it would be a good idea if folks over 65 have to have a real driving test to make sure they still have the faculties to drive. We hear at least once or twice a year an old person ran through a crowded bus stop and killed 12 people because they got confused and hit the gas instead of the brake. These folks don't need to be on the road and definitely not pulling an RV. I am not saying that old people are bad drivers but some have age related problems.

My main problem with tests is they take time and I don't have time to deal with it.


Perry
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:07 PM   #343
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Oh boy, now us over 65 are basically unsafe drivers due to age.

I'm going down the three lane interstate, the soccer mom in front is fighting with the kids, the teeny on the left is driving with her knees while texting her girl friends, the guy on the right is eating hamburger/fries, and the businessman behind just finished a three-martini lunch. Then some hot shot is cutting in between us all trying to get to the next exit first.

Give me a break.

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Old 10-27-2011, 02:16 PM   #344
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Sean, your Propride hitch is an extraordinary product for towing and I will be getting one soon. I want every measure for safety.

But I don't plan on driving faster under adverse conditions because of it. Why? Because sway is only one of the things that can put you upside down in the ditch. Proof? Look how many are upside down in the ditch without trailers.

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Old 10-27-2011, 04:28 PM   #345
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This aint true! I drive 63 (sweet spot on torque curve) and NEVER have had anyone try and run over me. Not even on I75! Just stay in the right lane (maybe second from right in urban areas).

This "gotta drive fast to be safe" is BUNK!
Couldn't agree more. To tow at 60-65mph is more comfortable, safe (or safer, relatively speaking) and saves gas. If other road users don't like it then they simply have to pass me (on the left, please, I'm normally in the right hand lane).
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #346
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Most of the interstate freeways have different speed limits for trucks. There IS a reason for that.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:32 PM   #347
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Some states have aggressive programs to de-license older drivers if a doctor thinks they are too old to drive or if they have an accident. You don't need a doctor's recommendation to get a license and they don't use doctors to take you on a test drive for a license. How is a doctor to know whether people can drive in many cases. In Cal. some lawyers have made a career of getting older people's licenses back, but not everyone can afford that.

When someone loses their license, they become isolated if they have no family nearby. It is hard to function in our society without a car. I too have seen drivers of all ages driving like idiots. Older drivers have experience and that should count for something. Many cops never bother with bad drivers; instead they do the easy thing—give speeding tickets.

In Colorado I can't more than a 5 year license though younger people can get a 10 year license. Yet all they test me for is eyesight and I don't even need glasses to drive.

Maybe the test for older drivers is whether they can lift up the hitch head. That thing must weigh at least 50 lbs.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #348
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Dang, in Illinois everybody gets a 4 year license and at 85 (I think that's when my dad had to) we test every year.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #349
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Well old does not mean bad. If you are senile, half blind, deaf, and have the reaction time of a slug then you are unsafe at any speed. A guy at work was joking with me several years ago when we were both a lot younger and he said if you are too old to screw you are too old to drive. I am not sure if the same skill set is necessary to drive. There maybe some truth to that statement however distasteful it appears. There are lots of folks in their 90's that are sharp as a tack. Then there are some at 60 that get lost in their back yard.

Perry
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:27 PM   #350
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A guy at work was joking with me several years ago when we were both a lot younger and he said if you are too old to screw you are too old to drive.

Perry
How are they going to test for that?

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