As our sport of four-wheeling has progressed to running deeper mud holes, taller sand dunes, and rougher rock obstacles, the vehicles we drive are becoming more and more specialized and less and less street driveable. Let's face it, if you want the ultimate vehicle for your chosen terrain, then it's probably not going to work as well on the asphalt-and that's when you'll start thinking about a trailer. Trailers are a handy tool and evil curse all in one. From the moment you drag one home you must consider where you are going to park this new vehicle that requires maintenance, tires, and (in some states) license and insurance.
But unlike your Jeep or mud truck, you can't even drive this thing to work on sunny days or when your daily driver or tow rig is in the shop. Yes, trailers are a curse. But on the other hand, look at all the great things a trailer can do for you. Ever see a rusty old truck that would be the perfect hunting rig at the cabin? Tow it home. Got some friends that are getting rid of a fridge, couch, or lathe across town? Tow it home.
Even if you like to drive your trail machine on the street, there may just come that opportunity where you get a week or two off, and you decide to go wheeling on some trail thousands of miles away. Though the drive there in your trail rig may be possible, the drive home in a battered and broken truck may not be so safe for the other drivers you'll share the highway with. Finally, whether we like to admit it or not, sitting in a warm, quiet cabin of a tow rig can make a long drive much easier on the driver. A comfortable driver is often more aware of his surroundings and able to react better to dangerous situations. Simply put, having a trailer can allow you to get there, wheel harder, and get back safer.
If you're on a long trip, be sure to stop, check your brakes and marking lights, and retighten the straps after the first few miles, and then again at every fuel stop. Don't be afraid to back up the tie-downs with a safety chain, and make sure the vehicle is in gear and has the parking brake on. This unfortunate accident happened less than a block from home, and though we can all look back and laugh at it now, it could have been much worse. The culprit was using only one strap at each end, assuming it would be fine for the short drive home.