Braking for bass

Bass anglers typically haul loads of gear while towing a heavy boat gazillions of miles in pursuit of bass. It’s a lot to ask of a tow vehicle. To ensure safe travel, you should inspect your tow vehicle regularly.

Checking the brakes is especially important, stresses Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews. His brakes once prevented a disaster while towing his boat to his Virginia home after a tournament in Wisconsin.

“I got stuck behind an 18-wheeler in heavy Chicago traffic,” Crews said. “All of a sudden the semi locked up its brakes. I locked up mine and stopped just before running into it.”

Had Crews’ brakes not been in perfect working order, that close call may have been a calamity. How long your brakes hold up depends on a variety of factors, including the load and your driving habits. Some drivers may burn out their brakes in 50,000 miles, while other may get twice that many miles from their brakes.

Most late model tow vehicles come with four-wheel disc brakes. Brake pads that have metal wear indicators will squeal when they get worn down. Some vehicles have a light on the dashboard that notifies you when the pads need replacing. Even if these indicators don’t go off in your vehicle, should you have them, always inspect your brakes anytime you notice reduced responsiveness or fade when braking.

Check your brakes by removing each tire and visually inspecting the brake pads and rotors. Most industry standards suggest replacing brake pads with 3mm or less friction material.

Should your brake pads need replacing, you’d be wise to invest in CARQUEST Frontline Severe Duty Brake Pads from Advance Auto Parts. These pads are engineered specifically for extreme braking conditions, including towing. They provide superior stopping power, cleaner wheels and longer life. If your original brake pads have a metal wear indicator or an electronic wear indicator, CARQUEST Frontline replacement pads will also have these features.  

Inspect the rotors by measuring their thickness with a micrometer. The minimum replacement thickness is usually etched into the edge of the rotor. If the rotors are worn down even close to the minimum, you’ll be far head to replace them and the brake pads at the same time. This ensures longer life and greater safety.

The ideal match for CARQUEST Frontline Severe Duty Brake Pads are CARQUEST Frontline Brake Rotors. They exceed ISO guidelines, have superior stopping power and dissipate heat, which extends pad life.

Advance Auto Parts stresses that you should always replace rotors in pairs to improve stopping power. It is common for the rotors on the front wheels to wear down faster than those on the rear wheels.

To further ensure safe driving, regularly check the air pressure in the tires of your tow vehicle and boat trailer and keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also replace worn windshield wipers and bring all fluid levels up to specs, including the windshield washer fluid.

Whether you’re simply changing the oil in your tow vehicle or getting your hands dirty with more advanced repairs, such as replacing an alternator, Advance Auto Parts has whatever you need to get the job done right. They also have products that keep your tow vehicle looking showroom new. You’ll even find replacement running lights for your boat trailer here.

Crews dovetails tow vehicle maintenance to the care he gives his fishing tackle. By cleaning and oiling his reels regularly, they perform better and last longer, Crews points out.

“It’s preventative maintenance, just as with checking my truck’s brakes and tire pressure,” Crews said.

Preventative measures with fishing tackle improve your chances for catching bass. Preventative measures with your tow vehicle assure that you get to your fishing destinations and back without incident. They may even save your life.

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