Perhaps the most versatile of components available are the different track systems now being offered by trailer and equipment manufacturers. The commonly used steel E-tracks have been used for years as a generic slotted-track system, which holds down different fasteners and connecting points. Their drawback has been that they are hard to flush-mount--although they can be surface-mounted virtually anywhere in a trailer--and have limited attachments.

New on the market are some slick aluminum-track systems, such as the ones offered by Mac's Custom Tie-Downs. This system offers a variety of surface or recessed-mount tracks and single-point connections. More importantly, they offer a wide variety of rings and attachments that provide a completely versatile system with high-strength connections.

Trailer manufacturers are now offering track systems such as these installed in floorboards, walls, and even ceiling and roof structures. Because of the aluminum construction, the tracks last much better in exterior applications.

Whatever tie-down system ends up on your trailer, it is worth your while to make sure it is up to speed in terms of safety, function, and versatility. As with everything in racing, progress has been made in the quality and effectiveness of tie-down systems. Spend a little time to ensure you have a trailer that will keep your race car and equipment where you want it.

Guidelines for proper loading:
* Know your trailer's gross weight, along with the weight fully loaded. Make sure you are within the vehicle's and hitch's recommended maximum.

* Load your trailer well below the maximum for the first two uses with a new rig, or while you are learning.

* Keep track of the weights of the individual items as you load them. When in doubt, guess high.

* Adjust the load so you have the recommended hitch-weight percentages.

* Attach the trailer to the tow vehicle, and note how much the rear end drops. If it looks excessive, check the tow vehicle's load capabilities again.

* When in doubt, call the trailer manufacturer.

Featherlite Trailers
P.O. Box 320
Hwys. 63 & 9
IA  52136
Team Simpson Racing
328 FM 306
New Braunfels
TX  78130
Mac's Custom Tie-Downs Sooner Trailer Manufacturing
1515 McCurdy
OK  73533
M&R Products Trailer Source
117 Barber Rd.
GA  30060
Pace American
11550 Harter Dr.
IN  46540
Trailer World
800 Three Springs Rd.
Bowling Green
KY  42104
P.O. Box 59509
TX  75229