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What you need to know about towing in Utah

Living in Utah, for many people, means boating, camping, fishing, 3-wheeling, or some other outdoor pastime. If you plan to do any of these, the chances are that you will need to do some towing.

If you’ve never done it before, towing in Utah’s recreational lands might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Towing an average-sized trailer is easier than it looks, but it does require some basic know-how, a little practice, and the common sense to adjust your driving to suit road conditions. When you’re towing, everything you do while driving has to be done differently from how you would drive if you were not pulling a trailer.

If you’re braking, allow yourself twice the distance you would usually allow for stopping. The same thing applies to changing lanes; allow room for both your vehicle and the trailer before shifting over. Accelerate and slow down smoothly and gradually – no “rabbit” stops or starts!

Be sure to obey Utah’s laws regarding towing. At a minimum, all trailers need to have working taillights and brake lights and that all towing trailers must be registered with the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles.

Most people in Utah wind up towing a boat or camper trailer, or a vehicle trailer for a 3-wheeler or similar vehicle. Whether you’re towing any of these, the same basic towing information applies to any towing application. This is because what you are towing and what you are towing it with, no matter where in Utah you are towing, mainly depends on weights and capabilities.

The tow vehicle is as important as the load you are pulling. For example, if you are towing a boat to the lake, you can usually do so easily with most pickup trucks. However, if you plan on towing to one of Utah’s high mountain lakes, you may need the power of a heavy-duty engine to get you through some of our mountain passes.

For towing a load of 2,000 pounds or more through Utah you will definitely need a tow-friendly vehicle, such as an SUV. In fact, even a small SUV is a good choice for the average-sized boat or camper. For heavier loads, such as a large camper of loaded horse trailer, you’re best off with a solid half-ton pickup with lots of horsepower and torque.

Consider, too, whether your vehicle’s transmission, brakes, and rear axle can cope with the added weight and demands on them. If you’re planning on towing in the Utah mountains regularly, a three-quarter ton pickup should be in your future plans.

After the vehicle, the most critical element of your towing setup is your trailer towing hitch.

Trailer hitches are rated according to capacity of the load weight and tongue weight, so you should know the planned weight of your load, and select accordingly. Remember to calculate the added weight of supplies, etc. which you plan to load and carry in your camper or boat.

“Load weight” refers to the expected Gross Trailer Weight. “Tongue weight” refers to the downward force exerted on the hitch ball (usually calculated at 10-15 percent of the maximum rated GTW). The tongue is the hitching mechanism at the front of the trailer. The coupler of the trailer is what accepts the hitch ball. Be sure your hitch ball is the correct dimension for the coupler.

Once you have determined how much weight you'll be towing, that your towing vehicle can handle Utah’s outdoors, and that the total weight won’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle, you're ready to choose the proper hitch.

Most hitches can be bolted to the vehicle, and a bolt-on installation is the preferred method to attach your hitch. Many pickups and SUVs, especially in Utah, come ready for towing with a factory-equipped Class III hitch; the most popular class of hitch.

A Class III hitch can handle up to 5,000 pounds for hauling any load (car, boat, camper, or whatever). For heavier boats or campers, a Class IV hitch (up to 7,500 pounds) is preferred (if you don’t already own one, you should probably also consider a three-quarter-ton truck for towing these loads). In most cases, though, a Class III hitch will handle most campers, car trailers and small- to medium-sized boats if you’re towing in Utah.

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Shed Towing in Utah Made Easy

As a Utah towing company, we get a lot of shed moving requests. Most people here have backyards, and at least one shed; sometimes more.  Why would anybody go to the trouble of towing a shed? Lots of reasons!

Sometimes the homeowners are moving to a new residence in Utah and their new place doesn’t have a shed (or it has a shed that is too old or too small). It’s often cheaper to bring the shed they have with them, rather than build a new one.

Even when homeowners are not moving, there may still be good reasons for towing a shed. They may want to build a larger one in its place and move the smaller shed to a different location in the yard. Or they might want to remove the shed all together, and build something else – a garden gazebo or a swimming pool – on that spot.

Sp we get a lot of requests from Utah homeowners for towing a shed. But if you feel like having a crack at moving your shed yourself, here are some factors to consider before you start.

First of all, find out if you’ll need a permit to move your shed. In Utah, depending on where you move the shed within your own property, you may need a permit to have it in its new location. Check with your local zoning board before you go to the trouble of moving it – and have to move it again!

If you want to take the shed elsewhere in Utah, you may need a permit for towing a shed so that you can drive on the public roadways. Depending on the size of the shed, you may even need an escort vehicle. Your local public works office can advise you about towing a shed in Utah, so you don’t get pulled over.

Try to choose a day with dry, clear weather for towing the shed. Utah has lots of sunny days, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to work a find a good day for the task. Try to avoid moving or towing a shed on a damp or rainy day, since that will make the move more difficult.

For an experienced, professional towing company, towing a shed in one piece is a relatively simple job. But before you attempt to move the shed, it should be carefully checked for soundness and stability. If you are not experienced, it may be easier to disassemble the shed before towing, and rebuild it in the new location.

(Of course, if the shed is structurally damaged, it probably isn’t worth your time or effort to transport it.)

In Utah, moving a shed for towing is usually accomplished in one of two ways: either by raising the shed up on jacks and sliding it on to a flatbed trailer, or by using a series of rolling poles to move the shed some distance across level ground.

When you arrive at your destination, make sure you have the right foundation ready for your shed. You’ll need to be sure you are compliant with regulations for the local county or municipality in Utah, otherwise all your hard work towing a shed will be wasted!

Posted in <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/salt-lake-city-utah-shed-removal.php">Salt Lake City, Utah Shed Removal</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/salt-lake-towing-companies.php">Salt Lake Towing Companies</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/shed-removal-service-utah.php">Shed Removal Service Utah</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/shed-tow-utah.php">Shed Tow Utah</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/shed-towing-utah.php">Shed Towing Utah</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/utah-towing.php">Utah Towing</a>, <a href="http://www.utahevanstowing.com/blog/category/utah-towing-companies.php">Utah Towing Companies</a> | Post Comment | 215

Utah Shed Removal Made Easy

The average Utah shed is a candidate for removal more frequently than most homeowners anticipated when they put the shed up.

There are several reasons for this. As our lives change, so do our needs. You may have upgraded your landscaping and want to have a new shed that works with the new layout. Everybody has a tendency to accumulate “stuff” and you may need more space to safely store your garden equipment, sports gear, and other tools and things.

Another thing that factors into Utah shed removal is the harshness of our weather. The heat and freeze cycles of our climate, heavy amounts of snowfall in winter and high-altitude sun in summer all contribute to giving the average Utah shed a beating. Removal may be the only sensible option if the shed is so damaged that it has become unsafe or unsightly.

Shed removal is a big job - so Utah property owners often decide to hire a company to take care of the problem for them. But you’re probably reading this article because you’ve decided to have a go at tearing down and handling the removal of your shed yourself. So here are some tips and hints for the easiest way to go about shed removal, and how to dispose of it in Utah.

  • Before you start swinging your sledgehammer, see if there are any parts of the shed that can be recycled or reused. If the doors and windows are in good condition, you may be able to re-purpose them yourself, or sell them to someone who can use them. You may as well make a little money off your old shed if you can!
  • Once you have salvaged what you can from the shed, begin the removal process. Most Utah communities have some sort of community clean-up once or twice a year. If your shed is small, you may be able to tear it apart in chunks small enough for these events. If not, you will need a truck, tractor, or other vehicle strong enough to be able to pull the building down.
  • Attach a sturdy rope or steel cable to a center beam and tie the other end to your demolition pulling vehicle.
  • Drive slowly away from the building. The shed should collapse slowly, making removal of the debris easier, and causing less mess.
  • To make the clean up and removal less work, chop up the shed beams using a chainsaw. Sort any hazardous materials into a pile to be disposed with according to Utah law.
  • Load up your pickup truck with the debris from your shed removal and take it the nearest Utah landfill. Take hazardous materials to the local disposal facility. Do not dump hazardous materials from your shed removal in any Utah landfill – the fine for doing so is hefty.

All of this may seem like a daunting task. If you’d rather not spend a glorious Utah weekend sweating out a grimy shed removal project, relax and let us do the job for you! 

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Salt Lake drivers: Here’s Your Shed Towing Checklist!

Driving around Salt Lake, you’ll see drivers towing lots of things, even sheds. Towing a shed isn’t technically difficult but it helps to have a checklist of things to keep you, your shed, and everyone else safe and in one piece.

Before you load your shed & hook up to tow...

  • Know your trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating aka (GVWR)

Some sheds are solidly built, and weigh quite a lot. Other sheds are constructed of lightweight building materials, and weigh less than another, smaller shed. Your trailer’s construction needs to be able to handle the weight of the shed without having an axle fail or break. The last thing you need is to be trucking along a busy Salt Lake road, towing your shed – and have the trailer suddenly collapse under the weight.

  • Inflate the trailer’s tires to the trailer manufacturer's maximum recommended cold pressure.

A properly inflated tire will roll faster and smoother. Be careful of the small tires on light-duty trailer - the tiny outside diameter means they spin faster, and get will heat up more quickly. Towing a shed on a hot Salt Lake day could easily overheat the tires or wheel bearings, especially if you’re traveling at high-speeds. 

  • Don’t assume your trailer’s lights are working.

Before you load the shed and start towing, check all. You don’t have to toggle on all the turn signals and brake lights in succession and make four trips to the truck cab. Instead, turn on the parking lights and the hazard flashers at the same time. Walk all around the truck to the back of the trailer. If the parking lights and flashers are on all around, you've got turn signals and brake lights, because they're the same bulb filaments as the hazards.

Loading the shed for towing:

  • Depending on the shed’s location, you may be able to back the truck and trailer right up to it and load the shed in one go.

If you have to load the trailer before hitching it to the truck, try to have the trailer on as level ground as you can find before hitching up the rig. Park the vehicle you'll use to tow the trailer on level ground too.

  • The trailer needs to be hitched to the truck at a 180° angle (flat).

Prop the tongue jack up on some scrap lumber until it's level. You can easily check the level by placing a carpenter's level on the tongue. If you don’t have a carpenter’s level eyeball the trailer tongue from the side from about 50 feet away. Next, measure from the ground to the top of the ball socket. Then measure from the ground to the top of the hitch receiver and add 3 inches to allow for the height of the ball. 

  • The ball is usually a good bit higher than the trailer tongue... 

But the weight of the loaded trailer will compress the towing vehicle’s springs. So hook up everything (with the trailer loaded) and again measure the levels. You'll probably have to adjust the draw bar height again.

On the road

  • Look up before you leave.

There aren’t too many low underpasses on Salt Lake roads, but you should still check the height of the shed you’re towing before you pull out. It’s common for drivers to forget that the height of the shed and trailer is usually higher than the height of the truck. You don’t want to hear that nasty, grinding sound as you enter an underpass, and you realize that you just lost the roof of your shed.

  • Look sideways before you leave.

The shed you’re towing may extend beyond the trailer sides into the next lane. When you’re driving on a busy Salt Lake road, you don’t want to discover the true width of your load by mistake!

  • Allow lots of space for passing.

If your truck does 45 to 65 mph in four to five second, unloaded, it could take as long as 12 to 15 seconds when towing a shed. On a Salt Lake highway, at 60 mph that's an extra 650 to 1,000 feet just to speed up. You’ll also have to allow pulling an extra 15 to 40 feet when overtaking slower traffic.

  • Allow twice the normal buffer zone in front of you.

This can keep you cool & level-headed when some bozo inevitably cuts you off in heavy Salt Lake traffic, as you’re towing your shed.

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