Friday, July 4, 2014

Boat Trailer Inspections in Louisiana

It only takes a loose screw or faulty bar to send a trailer with your 1,000-pound boat careening toward disaster. Due to this risk, the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife conducts inspections on trailers at boat launches across the state. These inspections aren't a new campaign; they've always been there.

Section 1304, Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes grants authorities the power to inspect not just boat trailers but also the vehicles towing them. Over the years, however, enforcement has been irregular, and many trailer owners are now unfamiliar with such requirement.

The requirement exists, nonetheless, and trailer owners must make sure their units pass legal scrutiny. Some of the components inspectors will look at include the brakes, trailer lights, and connection length. For example, trailer brakes must be installed on trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 lbs. Trailers weighing 3,001 to 5,000 lbs. must have brakes on at least one axle.  

Trailer lights are also important, and trailers at least six feet long must have an array of safety lamps and reflectors installed around them. The taillight must be able to emit light bright enough to reach 1,000 feet, useful in night driving. As far as connections go, the trailer's connection to the tow vehicle must not exceed 15 feet.

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