Using Your Truck to Haul Freight

Hauling freight with a truck is common practice; unfortunately, you can’t just throw a bunch of stuff in the back of a truck and drive away; loose cargo can fall out, so it needs to be properly secured first. Follow safety precautions and secure the load to the truck before attempting to haul cargo. When attaching a trailer to a tow hitch, it helps to have somebody assist you. Guidelines: Truck Bed (1) Arrange the cargo so the weight is evenly distributed in the truck bed. Always load cargo as close to the truck cab as possible. (2) Locate the loopholes on the walls of the truck bed nearest the truck cab. (3) Insert the hook of one end of a bungee cord into one of the loopholes. (4) Stretch the bungee cord across the cargo and pull it tight. (5) Insert the hook of the bungee cord into the loophole on the opposite side of the truck bed. Make sure the bungee cord is taut and holds the cargo against the truck cab. If the cargo is large, attach a second bungee cord. Install a Trailer Hitch (1) Jack up the rear end of the truck so you can fit underneath. (2) Lay underneath the truck. Take the installation instructions with you. Consult the installation manual during installation. Most trailer hitches are similar in design, but installation instructions may vary. Remove any spare tires or skid plates from underneath the truck. Review the installation instructions to help you locate the bolt holes on the underside of the truck used during installation. (3) Drill a hole into the truck bed in the appropriate location using the appropriate drill bit or punch press. Center the hole between the two tires. (4) Get out from underneath the truck and insert the drop bolt into the hole. (5) Lay underneath the truck. Take the hitch frame and any necessary tools (screwdriver, adjustable wrench) with you. Hold up the hitch frame to the underside of the truck and align the mounting holes with the holes located on the truck. Insert the appropriate bolts and tighten with an adjustable wrench. Some trailer hitches require you to drill mounting holes into the truck bed. Consult the owner’s manual for the model’s specific mounting instructions. (6) Get out from underneath the truck and insert the ball into the ball mount. Some balls attach to the ball mount by screwing them into place, while others require you to tighten a nut onto the threaded end of the ball. If the ball attaches to the ball mount with a nut, tighten the nut into place with an adjustable wrench. Consult the installation manual for ball mounting instructions. Using a Trailer Hitch (1) Have somebody stand by the cargo vehicle, which could be a trailer or travel cart. (2) Back up the truck so the ball mount is lined up with the tow mount of the trailer. (3) Have somebody jack up the trailer so the tow mount sits higher than the ball mount on the truck. (4) Back up the truck slowly until the ball mount is directly below the trailer’s tow mount. Have the person standing by the trailer tell you when you are properly aligned. Stop the truck and put it into park once the two mount is aligned with the ball mount. (5) Lower the trailer, making sure the tow mount slides on top of the ball mount. You should feel the tow mount clamp onto the ball mount when it is properly secured.