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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.