Car Tow Dolly, Think Before You Buy

Published: 21st September 2009
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This article is going to examine a few things you should consider before you buy a tow dolly. First, you should think about the warranty. Most makers offer a very limited 1 year warranty on the "assembly" of the tow dolly. This sort of warranty is very ambiguous. There really is not much that can go wrong with the "assembly" of a tow dolly. The real warranty concern is that of brakes, actuators, bearings, hubs, and seals. These are the vital moving parts and really about the only thing that can malfunction or go wrong on a tow dolly. When making the purchase look for a company that offers a five year warranty on these parts. That is a good signal for you the high faith they have in their product.

There are no warranties for lights, tires, wheel straps, ratchets. In fact these items are considered to be consumables on a tow dolly. Car Tow Dolly comes in 4 styles. An idler, ( No Brakes ), an Electric Brake System, A Hydraulic Surge Drum Brake System, or a Hydraulic Surge Disc Brake System.

The idler system is frequently assigned for around town use, shuttling small cars from here to there around town. If you are to be traveling it is imperative to know that many states need brakes of one type or other on a Car Tow Dolly. Everyyear more states are added to the list. Also, the resale value of a tow dolly with brakes is much higher.

Electric Brake System is better than not having anything. But not ideal. These brakes need a Brake Control Box inside your RV. The box has internal inertia sensors, and external adjusting knobs. If you are not very precise in understanding and setting these controls then in reality you do not have brakes on your Tow Dolly and just don't realize it. Moreover, if you face any problem with brakes then you will have to troubleshoot beginning with the brake control box, the wiring from the brake control box back to the trailer plug, then the complete wiring system of the tow dolly. A real burden and expensive.

The most efficient and trouble free is the Hydraulic Surge Brake System. It will cost a good bit more, but it is worth it. Nearly all manufacturers use a Hydraulic Surge "DRUM" Brake System. This is actually old technology. Drum brakes tend to become much hotter, have a propensity towards chucking or abrupt hard braking. Due to the features of a Tow Dolly, the adjustability of DRUM Brake Systems is poor. The adjusting port is blocked by a spindle plate and one cannot access the adjuster port to adjust the brakes. A number of dealers will say to you that tow dollies have brake adjusters. This is really a play of words. These are manual adjusters and without any automatic mechanism. No one manufactures a trailer of any kind with self adjusting brakes. After each single long trip tow dolly brakes need to be adjusted or you just will not have brakes and may never know it. So, the near perfect braking system is a Hydraulic Surge "DISC" Brake System. DISC brakes do not get hot, never need adjusting, they do not chuck or hit hard when put into action and they are 4 times more capable than a DRUM system. The brake pads are in clear view and very easy to replace with pads available at all auto parts stores.

The best tow dolly will also come equipped with bearings that require no maintenance. Bearings that never need lubrication. These are very generally used on very costly high end equipment trailers but are rarely observed on small trailers. These are just a few considerations before you make your purchase decision. Take your time and consider all points carefully. Go to the manufacturer's web site and find out for yourself how much information they make available to you about their product.

The more information the better. Safe Trailers Save Lives.





Acme Trailer specializes in Tow Bars and Tow Dollies

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