SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Hundreds of thousands of automobile enthusiasts descend on the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at Scottsdale’s sprawling WestWorld property, eager to observe some of the most rare, powerful, classic and captivating vehicles on the planet.
The celebrated event held over nine days every January features a mammoth exhibitor’s area. Crowds stroll these isles to take a brief hiatus from car-ogling to see what else captures their attention.
This is where Barrett-Jackson fans will find U-Haul representatives all week. They are selling one of the most valuable things anyone can take home: a message of safety.
The U-Haul Safe Trailering exhibit is on hand solely to educate passersby about the basic principles of safely towing a trailer – namely the 60-40 rule. This rule states that 60 percent of the cargo weight of a trailer should go in the front (side nearest the car) and 40 percent in the back.
This message is relayed through a dynamic visual: the Marco Garcia Trailering Demonstrator. This teaching tool features a treadmill with a one-tenth-scaled car and also an attached weight-toting bar representing a trailer.
When loaded correctly with more weight in the front and traveling at a simulated speed of 55 mph on the treadmill, the model trailer can be nudged (simulating a disturbance like a bumpy road, an abrupt lane change, a strong gust of wind, etc.) but quickly recovers to position itself behind the car.
But when loaded incorrectly with more weight in the back than the front, the MGTD shows that the same nudge will cause the trailer to fishtail, whipping dangerously and potentially creating a catastrophic towing scenario.
“This is part of our bigger traffic safety initiative. Our goal is to educate the public and keep people safe,” said John Heiland, U-Haul community education specialist. “It’s not just a message that applies to U-Haul trailers, but every trailer. This is about public education, and it’s free of charge.
“Everyone comes by, watches the demonstration with great interest, and asks what it is we’re selling. We’re selling safety. This message has gone over well. People are very appreciative.”
Garcia, U-Haul Director of Engineering Services and creator of the MGTD, has stressed the need to educate children before they drive or tow a trailer. “We would like to educate drivers at a young age so we can help save lives and accidents involving towing,” he noted.
The U-Haul Safe Trailering exhibit will be on display at the Barrett-Jackson event through Jan. 21.
Learn about U-Haul trailers, as well as what equipment your vehicle can tow, at uhaul.com/trailers.
Finally, do you have an event that offers an ideal audience for the MGTD and the U-Haul Safe Trailering message? U-Haul furnishes demonstrators to government, education and also industry groups as a public service. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your event.