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avantey

Tie down systems

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Even though this is about my new trailer I am starting a new thread as the subject is different. I have to change the tie downs in the trailer to four corners from the two centered D rings there now. At a friends suggestion I went to TSC and checked out the "E" track system and ave questions.

The plate is OK at about 3/16" formed steel but the mounting holes are only about 5/16-3/8" dia every 2 inches or so. This implies screwing it to the wood floor and I do not think that is enough. You could catch a frame rail underneath I suppose but that is pretty light hardware to me.

Also the heaviest D ring they had to snap in was a 6000 lb'er. I know my straps are at least 10K , maybe 15K- I don't remember from when I bought them. Again it seems the parts are pretty light duty. In a sudden stop the momentary force on the retainer system is probably well over 20K with even a small car.

My question- Are all E systems the same or is this just TSC's version? I am going to a trailer place anyways and check out flush mount D rings for the front end of the trailer but am curious about anyones experience with the track system.

Thanks- Bill

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Hi Bill,

Personally, I have no experience with E-track, and do not think I would care for it. My trailers have multiple anchoring points - 3 pairs front and 3 more pairs rear, at the corners, 2 feet inboard, and 4 feet from the front/rear extremes. That way I can tie down anything form your Model-A to a stretch Limo, or my Caddys and Packard. Each of the 15K-lb tie down rings or swivels is either anchored to the chassis of the trailer, or has a plate under the floor for extra support because the new trailer that I had in Maine is all aluminum.

Phone me anytime to discuss trailers, or just to say hi - lets tour Maine again. You won't believe how tall Nathan is now at age 13.

Marty

post-54863-143138232092_thumb.jpg

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I have used E-trac for two decades. Over all sorts of highways no issues were encountered and there was a 5,600# car tied to it numerous times. Many of my friends use E-trac as well. As far as the branding I cannot vouch for a particular one so I hope someone here can give you solid info. The flexibility in using the trac system is what drew me to it years ago. There is not a single screw that has come lose on the trac system since installation. My trailer is a Jenson and the straps are 10,000#

This does not answer your question but may be of some value.

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Bill -- I have had a E track system in my Wells Cargo Autowagon for twenty five years. I can't begin to count the variety of cars I have hauled using this system and cannot fault it. Mine are fastened in combination using the crossmembers and the floor with fish plates underneath. But Iam a firm believer of using basket straps and tying all four wheels to the track. I have been across the country to California with my big roadster and on a trip like that you are inevitably going to have some drivers that have no concept of the weight you have behind you, there were several sudden braking incidents and not a movement of the car in the trailer.In the event of a crash the most important factor is yourself and the passengers. You can always buy another car. I suggest the E-track, install it properly and happy motoring. --Bob

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I put 3 strips of E-Track the full length of my open trailer about 10 years ago, I love the versatility and have had no problems. I haul lots of different kinds of things on my open trailer. I just bought a new enclosed trailer and am going with four 5 foot strips in the corners for now but may add more after I see how I use it. I may even put some on the walls for non car hauling.

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Thanks for the good feedback on using the E tracks! But some of the questions are still there for me. Are you using 6K rings or heavier? Are all these systems the same and sourced from one manufacturer? Has anyone done the analysis on the instantaneous load in an emergency stop and showed the 6K rings are enough? Or what is appropriate if the track distributes the load differently from a D ring bolted thru to the frame?

Thanks, interesting answers!- Bill

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When my trailer was built it came with D rings from the factory. I had two strips of E-Trac installed that run 15 feet long each.

Each strip of E-Trac is anchored to the frame of the trailer. IIRC that is about every 16 or so inches apart. I was surprised that the trailer had so many cross members. The hardware used is stainless steel bolts drilled through the frame. (BTW, after 5 + years there is NO Rust on those bolts.)

I use a basket on each of the four wheels of my vehicles. Each end of the basket anchors into a strip of the E-Trac (one in front and one behind each tire). In my case that means that my vehicle is anchored down at eight different points in my E-Trac system. That is in addition to the strap attached to the vehicle connected to the winch that I use to load/unload it.

Bill, brings up an interesting question about the "momentary force" exerted on a tie down system from a sudden stop. I would suspect that this force could somehow be calculated although I doubt that data exists given all the variable involved (size/weight of tow vehicle, size/weight of trailer, size/weight of vehicle being towed, speed of tow vehicle, deceleration rate of tow vehicle, etc., etc,). I figure that with the 8 anchor points from all four tires spreading the load across the E-Trac mounted to multiple trailer frame cross members that is about the best I can do.

The next time some trailer owners here crawl under their trailers take a look at how the D Rings and/or E-Trac are mounted to the trailer. If the D Rings and/or E-Trac are not mounted to the FRAME of the trailer you might want to consider fixing that soon. Believe it or not I have seen trailers where the anchoring systems are not mounted to the frame. That is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Wasn't there a thread no too long ago where someone said they knew of a vehicle that was anchored using E-Trac and wheel baskets? Apparently that trailer rolled over and the vehicle was still anchored to the E-Trac and had not come loose.

BTW, given the potential for a serious accident involving a trailer being towed how many here have beefed up their auto insurance limits or have an umbrella liability policy over top of their auto insurance?

Given what I have seen on the roads traveling to the AACA Meets I have attended this year, it is not getting any safer on the roads these days.

Edited by charlier (see edit history)

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This just keeps getting better! I called the trailer place I was going to and asked about the E system and they also sell it. He was not surprised when I said the heaviest rings I saw were 6K. He said the D rings he sells and most everyone has in a trailer are 5K max load bolted to the frame of course.

I guess I may be wondering too much on this..... But I still want to know why the recommended straps were 10K minimum when I got my straps. Guess the strap guy didn't want to be the weak link in a catastrophic stop situation.

- Bill

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All the E-track I've seen seems to have the same capacity. Usually made from 12 ga steel with a 6000lb capacity with a recommended safe usage of 2000lb load limit. I've seen the stuff at TSC but never checked the rating.

I don't use it because I use my trailer to haul various things besides cars and I like an unobstructed floor for versatility. The slots would get filled up with dirt and debris and be a pain.

Location of the track should be such that the strap will not be at an angle when tied to the car in order to equally distribute the load on the track. If I had a dedicated car trailer I would definitely use E-track but only with the wheel basket harness like a couple other people mentioned.

This way you cut the load in half (practically speaking) since each basket is connected to the track in two places at each corner, one in front of and one behind the tire instead of one location. Or a total of 8 instead of 4 if connected conventioanlly. Like this - Car Trailer E Track Basket Harness Tie Downs | Truck n Tow.com

E-track should definitely be installed to metal crossmebers and/or be backed up with metal plating on the underside of the wood where there is no crossmember. I would never trust it fastened just to the wood. Wood floors in trailers are not designed for that. Depending on how far apart the crossmembers are that the wood is bolted to, and how thick the wood is will impact how much back bracing is needed. This is my own opinion/experience and I am not a professional hauler.

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My new trailer has the E-track. I used to have 8 D rings so I could haul various cars. The D-rings are only rated at 5,000 pounds and the E-track is rated well above 10,000 pounds (bolted to the steel frame). Most of the E-track brackets that clip into the E-track are only 3,000 pound rated however they do make a 6,000 pound rated bracket and they are semi hard to find for some reason.

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