The U-Haul Marco Garcia Trailer Demonstrator (MGTD) recently journeyed all the way to Hawaii to bring Safe Trailering education to students. Marco Garcia, director of U-Haul Engineering Services, as well as the team from U-Haul Company of Hawaii, led the charge to deliver a message that will keep the people and roads of Hawaii safer.
Operation Driver Excellence
The first stop was the 30th annual Operation Driver Excellence event, hosted by the Hawaii Department of Education at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
This event provides hands-on experiences to teenage drivers and their parents in order to improve overall driving skills and awareness. U-Haul, a longtime supporter of the Hawaii Driver Education program, set up stations to teach students proper trailer/tow vehicle hookup procedures.
The U-Haul station also exhibited the MGTD, the Company’s most effective teaching tool in Safe Trailering education. Students experienced firsthand one of the most important lessons in towing: load heavier in the front.
“Driver education is not about teaching driving skills only,” emphasized Jan Meeker, state resource teacher with the Hawaii Driver Education Program. “Driver education should provide students with experiences, an understanding of risk factors and awareness of safety precautions. Only this will make them safe drivers and passengers, which make our roads safer for all travelers.”
U-Haul is proud to partner with driver education professionals, and also to provide these experiences.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
After working with the teenage drivers at Aloha Stadium, U-Haul Team Members packed up the MGTD and brought it to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Professor Panos Prevedouros, department chair of Transportation Engineering at the university, saw the MGTD at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Consequently, he knew his students could benefit from the demonstration.
Students and staff members took control of the MGTD’s wheel and experienced both stable towing conditions, as well as trailer whipping. The students, most with transportation-engineering backgrounds, showed surprise at how unstable the trailer/tow vehicle combination became with improper weight distribution. A small difference can throw off the physics of stable towing.
“Our engineering students often trailer autonomous crafts and mini racing cars to testing grounds and venues,” Prevedouros noted. “One of the students remarked at the difference the center of gravity makes. He said that from now on, he’d make sure their heavy tool case is relocated from the back to the front of the trailer for proper weight distribution and more stable towing.”
It is U-Haul Company’s hope that by educating students on Safe Trailering practices at a young age, they will become the next generation of traffic safety advocates and ensure safer roads for all.
Finally, do you know of any youth safety and education groups that could benefit from a Safe Trailering workshop? U-Haul offers this resource as a public service at no charge. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule today.