Good post, overall.
As noted, for heavier trucks, you can safely tow more than the weight of the truck.
I think for anything less than a half ton, definately don't exceed the weight of the tow vehicle, and even for half tons, thats a point where you need to start being extra careful.
The info about trailer brakes is not quite correct:
Sec. 705. (1) (d) A new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer sold in this state and operated upon the highways shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels, except a motorcycle or moped, and except that a semitrailer, pole trailer, or trailer of less than 3,000 pounds gross weight need not be equipped with brakes if the gross weight of a trailer or pole trailer, no part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle, and if the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the gross weight of a semitrailer or pole trailer, part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the semitrailer or pole trailer. This subdivision shall not apply to a trailer or semitrailer owned by a farmer and used exclusively in connection with the farming operations of the farmer and not used for hire.
Roughly, anything loaded over 3000 lbs MUST have brakes on all axles.
Anything loaded under 3000 lbs requires brakes on all axles if the load exceeds 40% of the towing vehicle.
So, technically, a 5000 lbs truck requires brakes on any trailer above 2000 lbs..
Last edited by Haggar; March 22nd, 2006 at 08:02 AM.