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buick man

Need Sound Advice for towing Buick Roadmaster on an open car trailer.

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Hey,I always X em and always keep them as straight as i can front to back on all 4 corners.SOMETIMES the best spots to tie down are not around the rear or front suspension if the straps are on too much of an angle.Keep the straps parallel with the car as much as possible Yes the straps need to be tight but don't break the car in half.As someone stated previously air those trailers tires up to spec and check them everyday your towing.I believe with a class 3 or 4 receiver the capacity is doubled when using a weight distributing hitch versus a ball only:)diz

Edited by DizzyDale (see edit history)

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I must agree with Restorer 32. I never cross strap but if you do don't do it in the front. Just a couple other points not mentioned so far. Be careful putting the straps over the rear axle, as many people crush the brake line that may run along the top of the axle on cars with juice brakes. If you cross strap, make sure your straps are not going to slide inword as they will loosen up. Always use the wide nylon straps as they are the strongest. Never use chains on a collector car or anything else. As hard as it may be to believe , those straps are stronger than chains. When tying down the front, I sometimes use nylon straps with a hook . That way you won't have to strap around tie rods,stabalizer bars, etc..

You have a good heavy vehicle to tow with. The heavier and more stabile the tow vehicle, the better the ride for the item your towing. I once saw a guy at a national meet towing a 5000 lb. vehicle on an open trailer while pulling it with a Chevy light duty pick-up. That trailer pushed that truck all over the road and that's an accident waiting to happen. Good luck.

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Personally I like a four wheel net situation into a track system, with the track running right under the wheels. Several months ago a client was towing a '32 roadster this way on the second deck of his stacker trailer, and when things went wrong (the trailer ended up on it's side) he opened the door to find the car hanging safely from it's nets.

All in all, redundancy is a good thing, but there is a higher initial cost, and more time involved with the tie-down procedure. For me, peace-of-mind during the trip lets me enjoy being out on the road a bit more, and the extra effort is worth it. I can see it being a pain if you were in a hurry, though...

When I had my car trailer built I had E-Track installed almost the entire length of the trailer floor on both sides. The E-Track is bolted to the frame of the trailer. I use wheel baskets over each of the four wheels and ratchet them down to the E-Track. That along with setting the parking brake and putting the manual transmission in gear make for a VERY secure trip.

Yours is not the first time I have heard of vehicle anchored using E-Track and wheel baskets not having a scratch after a trailer accident. Personally I feel that this method is the most secure way to tow a vehicle if the trailer and vehicle permit one to do so.

Unfortunately, this method does not work if one is renting a trailer or if the trailer being used does not support the use of E-Track. Anchoring a vehicle down with this method can take more time to do it properly. The vehicle being anchored also needs sufficient clearance for the baskets, straps and the ratchet mechanism. I am fortunate in that the three vehicles that I tow all have sufficient clearance and just about identical wheel tracking so the tires of the vehicles all line up with the E-Track.

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David, I will chime in with some observations. I , also drove semis for a few years[36]. ALMOST all trailers I observed swaying as you refer to had the toung elevated above level. It is my believe that the hitch on the towing vehicle must be such that when loaded, the trailer tounge is lower slightly from level.

As others have said, position the load so that the front of the trailer[toung] is a few hundred pounds heavier than back

Enjoy

Ben.

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Thanks again JSmitty for the information on tie down straps. Went to Mac's web site and noticed that the Versa track and E track show no load limits on them.

Just curious how the stuff is rated? I know E track has been used for years in commercial trailer applications. Most times I see it wall mounted for load stabilization. How does it hold when an accident occurs and now the trailer is on it's side? I use some E track on the walls of my trailer. I use it to keep stuff organized and off the floor. When I purchased the lock in rings they came in a variety of ratings even though they all "looked" the same.

I'm always looking for an improved way of doing things.

Both types of track are very strong, and will exceed the 5,000lb rating of a standard flip-up D-ring found in most trailers. I prefer the VersaTrack because it is easier to use and clean, and if you use an idler fitting to pull a strap below a fender, the fittings are more than an inch lower.

There is a Heavy Duty ring for E-Track rated at 6,000lb, and VersaTie fittings are rated at 5,000lb - but test well north of that number at most angles. I have the test data if you are interested.

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Please be assured here I'm not trying to get cocky here but only gain some knowledge.

If a typical web strap has a breaking point of 10,000 # does the track system or D ring, as it might be, automatically become the weak link?

When I hear the stories of severe accidents where the anchor points held up I become curious. Some trailers I've looked under have little or no steel reinforcing for the D ring anchors. This would make that a weak spot likely to fail. The one big plus I see to the track is it allows multiple anchor points to all cross members if done right.

With 5,000 to 6,000# rating though it is loosing something in my simple mind math.

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Dear msmazcol,Are you referring to those D rings that are screwed through the plywood floor:eek:.Yea i thought so.diz

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Wen I trailer my big heavy Crosleys I strap them at the corners in the front and cross the back straps. The front straps are only 2' long and the backs are the rachet type. Of course most Crosley guys thing the straps I use are overkill but better safe than sorry.

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Please be assured here I'm not trying to get cocky here but only gain some knowledge.

If a typical web strap has a breaking point of 10,000 # does the track system or D ring, as it might be, automatically become the weak link?

When I hear the stories of severe accidents where the anchor points held up I become curious. Some trailers I've looked under have little or no steel reinforcing for the D ring anchors. This would make that a weak spot likely to fail. The one big plus I see to the track is it allows multiple anchor points to all cross members if done right.

With 5,000 to 6,000# rating though it is loosing something in my simple mind math.

You are absolutely correct that the system is going to fail at the weakest point. If your D-Rings are secured in 3/4" plywood instead of the steel of the chassis, then the plywood would fail first. Rusty or sub-standard bolts could fail. If your straps far outstrip the D-rings, the rings will fail first.

In the case of the stacker that went over on it's side, four wheel nets were used, with each connecting immediately in front and behind the wheel - that's a total of eight 5,000# fittings. I suspect that having double the number of connectors played a significant role in preventing further damage.

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Thanks JSmitty now I get the math. By using a wheel basket you use two fasteners into the track system. The double of the 5,000# eyes give you the max rating of the 10,000 straps.

That makes sense.

Will you possibly attending the 75th gala?

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Great thoughts, views, explanations, and advice. You guys are all outstanding.

Ok so I am now rethinking this.

I went and checked out the Penske trailer. It turns out the one which would be available would tow 4,000 ibs max. My Roadmaster is 4,300 lbs. . Another matter is my wheel base ( cap to cap ) is 127.5 inches. The rear of the car continues another 4 feet plus. The front continues on about 3.0 plus feet from the front center point.

From tip to filter the car is just around 17.5 feet in length. These trailers are 16 feet in length. Ok, so with this trailer or any 16 ft trailer this allows me 10.6 feet for my foot print. Then I would only have 6 feet of trailer to work with. Meaning the car body would be at least 1.5 feet longer than the trailer. The front tires would need to be no further than 3 feet from the front end of the trailer. A lot of weight would be on the front 1/3 or the trailer. The brakes are surge not electric as I was 1st told.

Well Scratch That!

Now am I thinking this out correctly or would a heavy duty 16-footer work here?

If not, than it looks what I need is at least a 20 foot trailer, with dual 7,200 lb axles with solid rim ( not spoke ) 8-lug wheels with hopefully the largest wheel bearings made. I do know that most 5,200 lb axles out there have the smaller bearing hubs. The 7,200 axles have the larger ones. I am also finding out that rented trailers are surge brake setups. Last but not least are the tires the rental companies use. Big IF factor here as well.

I have towed cars before back in the day for some good distances and did so with only brawn and shear will power as my co-pilot. Those days are gone. I tend to use a more polished micrometer approach to things these days.

I could hire someone to do it but wheres the adventure in that. So I am thinking if I can rent a good 20-foot heavy duty equipment trailer that would be the ticket.

A trailer like this one. Too bad it's in Iowa!

http://bigtenrentals.com/20-ft-10K-Flatbed-Specs.html

David

Edited by buick man (see edit history)

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I'm thinking with as much research as you are putting in this you may just want to hire a pro. They could have picked it up and had it on your door step three or four times by now. I'm starting to think you may not be comfortable making this tow. If you can't relax and roll with the load don't do it. A nervous trailer puller is a wreck waiting it's turn. If you are OK with pulling a trailer there should not be white knuckle marks in your steering wheel.

Be safe.

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I cross tie my cars in the trailer and have never (knocking on wood here) had them move and I've towed over some horrendous (read Pennsylvania) highways. BUT, am I the only guy that attaches the ties not to the axles or lower suspension but to the front and rear bumper brackets and pulls the suspension down. I figure that way the the body is not yoinking all over the place and stressing the tie downs and that system spring loads the car to the trailer so even if a strap slightly slackens it's still taut with the tires firmly pressed against the floor. Am I missing something here?............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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No Bob that sounds good. No I am not a nervous driver just a skilled one after all the semi work I have done. If I had my own trailer right now, i would have it set up right and no worries. The rented gear is crap.

I did not fully understand that when I initiated this post. Besides if I wanted to hire someone I would not of posted in the first place and where is the adventure in that?

But thank you guys for all your input and techniques. This has no doubt helped me and will do the same i am sure for anyone doing an armchair search and looking into doing undertaking a haul.

I have found a guy who will rent me his enclosed trailer and he is a local joe.

Torsion bar suspension, nice tires and solid 20-foot rig. i have decided to go with that. Beside having hold downs at each corner straight off fore and aft, he also has hold downs just under the axle areas where I can cinch down the

suspension to get a good hold. Now with this rig I feel more confident that the equipment matches my driving skills and equipment expectations.

I will no doubt use a combination of what I have learned here to fasten and secure the car so everything and everybody can get-er-done!

Thanks guys, and I will post the results when I get back in a couple of weeks.

David

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Hey Bhigdog.

The crossed straps is the same way we tie down. We had a gentleman with strap design in his job description make mention that in order to get full breaking load limit out of straps they needed to pull in a straight line. This would question the crossing of the straps.

It is a valid point. Can't say I've ever broke a strap. I have gotten lazy and had loads walk sideways in a trailer. I'm still crossing them for now.

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You are absolutely correct that the system is going to fail at the weakest point. If your D-Rings are secured in 3/4" plywood instead of the steel of the chassis, then the plywood would fail first. Rusty or sub-standard bolts could fail. If your straps far outstrip the D-rings, the rings will fail first.

While doing some maintenance on my trailer this past weekend I thought of this thread. Sure enough the D Rings on my trailer are simply anchored into the plywood floor and not the steel frame. The E-Track on the other hand is anchored into the steel frame members down the entire length of the trailer. Was very happy to see that the nuts and bolts that anchor the E-Track are not rusting even after 5 years of service.

Good to see that the original poster has found a trailer that will accommodate the vehicle being towed. Rental trailers can be a real challenge to find one that fits one's needs. It can also be a real problem since it is not unusual to show up on the day of the rental and find that the trailer did not get back yet from it's last rental. That can really ruin a person's day.

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It seems to me that straight front to rear is best for preventing fore/aft movement and would be weakest for side to side shifting. Cross strapping would not yield the highest strength in either fore/aft or side/side but would give adequate and equal protection in both planes. I don't want my cars moving either direction in the trailer.

I was in the amphibious navy and we often carried trucks, jeeps, even the occasional tank on the weather deck and they had to be tied down. The deck had rows of key hole openings that took chains with turn buckles and hooks. The bos'n mate aways made sure we cross chained everything down tight and that we pulled the vehicles well down into thier springs. I figure that grizzled old bos'n mate knew what he was doing so that's how I tie my cars down............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Thanks JSmitty now I get the math. By using a wheel basket you use two fasteners into the track system. The double of the 5,000# eyes give you the max rating of the 10,000 straps.

That makes sense.

Will you possibly attending the 75th gala?

No, I'm sorry, but we will miss the 75th with the Mac's Van.:(

While doing some maintenance on my trailer this past weekend I thought of this thread. Sure enough the D Rings on my trailer are simply anchored into the plywood floor and not the steel frame. The E-Track on the other hand is anchored into the steel frame members down the entire length of the trailer. Was very happy to see that the nuts and bolts that anchor the E-Track are not rusting even after 5 years of service.

I'm glad you checked - and that you have a good alternative!

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I don't think the crossing of a chain would be in question. The debate is what happens to the breaking strength of a strap if it is not used in a straight on pull. It has been said the strap won't reach it's maximum rating when not pulling in a straight line.

Me, I'm voting for do what your safe with. It's your load and equipment. You can only look in the mirror if something should go bad.

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After following the ideas and advice in this thread, I think we can ALL agree on two things. #1 The inportance of safety. #2 Everyone secures thier load as THEY feel comfortable with it. Because if YOU don't have peace of mind, then it does'nt matter who else does. Many of us have simply stated in this thread what works for US, and is not to be construed as any sort of universal standard. Therefore; if you feel you need FOUR straps on each corner [two crossed and two straight] plus tire nets, plus anything else YOU need to feel o.k. with it, that is all that matters.

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I don't think the crossing of a chain would be in question. The debate is what happens to the breaking strength of a strap if it is not used in a straight on pull. It has been said the strap won't reach it's maximum rating when not pulling in a straight line.

Me, I'm voting for do what your safe with. It's your load and equipment. You can only look in the mirror if something should go bad.[/quote

Chain or strap makes no difference. At a 45 degree cross angle the strap/chain loses approx. 30% of it's rated capacity. But it will retain that strength when stressed both fore and aft or side to side. When strapped straight on there is little strength in a side load stiuation.

So by cross tying you are trading a 30% loss of rated capacity of the straps for effective control of shifting in all directions. By straight tying you are trading 100% of rated capacity in the fore/aft axis for little or no control of side to side shift.

So the best situation is to have over rated straps and cross tie. I believe the 10,000 pound or so straps that most use are sufficienly over rated for the job asked of them that some loss of capacity is easily tolerated and well worth it .........Bob

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And if one of your cross tied straps or chains breaks, all the force of the other strap or chain wants to pull the vehicle to the side. It's called vector analysis. 4 corner straps not crossed is the way to go in my opinion. If the vehicle moves to the side with straight straps then your straps were not tight enough. I see nothing at all to be gained, and a lot to lose by crossing tiedowns.

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Whatever floats your boat. Speaking of which I'll go with what the US Navy does to keep a 6X6 truck in place on a slippery deck in heavy seas.....Bob

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