Joe in Canada

trailer weight question

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11 minutes ago, edinmass said:

The most dangerous thing most car people will ever do is trailer a car.........skydiving and others such sports don't hold a candle to a bad trailer towing set up and a blowout of a rear wheel on the tow vehicle. 

 

Ed, the sad part is many people don't realize this, and those who need this information never will read this thread

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21 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

Ed, the sad part is many people don't realize this, and those who need this information never will read this thread

 

Yes John, I agree. What I see going down the road scares the hell out of me. I learned the hard way in my teens, trying to use a Chevy Blazer to tow a BIG car. Even with a good trailer, I didn't have a weight distributing hitch, and the truck was way too short and light. I bought a Chevy Dually after having twenty close calls in two hundred miles. I asked around and learned about the weight distributing hitch, which I have now had for well over thirty years. I spent the big bucks in the old days and bought the adjustable one...........remember this was when I was still having trouble finding the gas money for the truck..........its amazing what we got by with when we were young. Now I run a crew cab dually with a 34 foot tag. Its a triple axel spread with torflex axles. I run load range G tractor trailer tires at 110 psi, the tires never blow out, and wear like iron. I run Michelins on the truck. I have been thinking of going over to a 4500 series truck, but then CDL and log books start to apply in many states. I was thinking of buying a 4500 series truck, and putting 3500 series trim/markers on it so I could have the safety factor and not get stuck up in the DOT thing more than we already are. 

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In California, with a Class C (regular) driver's license, you can tow up to 10K lbs (i.e., a trailer whose GVW per sticker is 9,999 or less) in non-commercial use with a tow vehicle whose own GVW is up to 26K lbs (e.g., motor home).

 

If your trailer is mfr-stickered as a GVW of 10,000 lbs or more (including almost all goosenecks), you need a Class A non-commercial license (carrying your own stuff) which requires an annual medical and an initial driving test with such a trailer--meaning you get a licensed friend to drive you and the rig to the DMMV.  No log book, though.

 

That's one reason why there are relatively few gooseneck car haulers here in Califunny.  And some people order trailers with 15K total rating of axles (2 x 7,500 or 3 x 5,200) but administratively downrated to under-10K by the mfr on its sticker.  Obviously this places a premium on lightweight walls and roof.

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I drive a crew cab long-bed Ford F-350 dually with HD springs towing a 10,000-pound-rated enclosed Featherlite trailer, all on Michelins. Everything sits level when loaded. That said, I don't have a sway control or a weight-distributing hitch, but have encountered no swaying or rear-end sagging issues. What are your thoughts -- do I really need to consider getting sway control and a weight-distributing hitch?

 

I agree with Ed -- I've seen a lot of people trying to get by on the cheap when trailering. I've also heard about a lot of trailering accidents through my decades in the hobby, including fatalities.

 

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1 hour ago, jrbartlett said:

I drive a crew cab long-bed Ford F-350 dually with HD springs towing a 10,000-pound-rated enclosed Featherlite trailer, all on Michelins. Everything sits level when loaded. That said, I don't have a sway control or a weight-distributing hitch, but have encountered no swaying or rear-end sagging issues. What are your thoughts -- do I really need to consider getting sway control and a weight-distributing hitch?

 

I agree with Ed -- I've seen a lot of people trying to get by on the cheap when trailering. I've also heard about a lot of trailering accidents through my decades in the hobby, including fatalities.

 

 

Hi James,

 

Do you "NEED" an Equalizer Hitch and Sway Control? Of course not!

 

BUT  

 

That Fateful Day when some unassuming driver, or child chasing a frisbee, or deer crossing the road, etc ... 

darts out in front of you and you have to make that inevitable swerve, possibly at high speed, with other vehicles near you, and one of your magnificent vehicles in your beautiful rig,

You (and I, sharing the highway with you) likely stand a better chance of a safe(r) outcome through the use of these devices -

  --  just my $ 0.02 worth.

 

For the relatively small cost, and the couple of minutes to hook it up, I see it as a worthwhile investment in safety - yours and mine.

 

Hope to see you and yours at many more National Tours, my friend

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This past weekend I took a trip to upstate New York for my godson's high school graduation (driving my truck without a trailer). The safety issues I saw with people towing trailers were so numerous and serious that I just hoped I could get past them before something happened. What I saw spanned the tow vehicle spectrum from SUVs to 1/2 tons for Dually F350s.  Seems when it comes to lack of towing safety concerns, it seems that no class of tow vehicle is exempt. It is just more of less when it comes to the numbers of each tow vehicle class that are not towing safely. Some issues were mirrors that simply did not extend out far enough creating extremely dangerous blind spots, dangerously improper tow ball height (trailers looked like they were climbing a hill on LEVEL ground), lack of weight distribution (saggy rears) and lack of sway control (trailers doing the wiggle dance).  On one stretch of highway I saw a tractor trailer doing the posted speed limit (65) with a flat trailer tire that was flat and shredding itself. Would not have wanted to be around the people towing trailers in that heavy traffic when that tire came off. Basically, the "But" situation Marty mentions above.

 

The bottom line is all those who tow a trailer need to be careful out there and have good safety equipment which is properly setup. There seems to be a growing number of people that tow that do not know how to tow safely or simply do not care. Those people are going to run out of luck someday and the rest of us do not want to be there when that happens let alone without good equipment set up properly. I have not been towing all that long (13 years). During that time there have been occasions like Marty mentioned about where the proper equipment and setup made all the difference. Sure made me glad I had it.

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Charlier,

your observations are so true! I was talking to a guy at a local show yesterday he was boasting about his trailer and tow vehicle, and as he was describing how great everything he has is. As I do all of the time when I hear these danger situations I politely saw you might want to check things it sounds like you are on the edge with your equipment, and I received the same answers from him as the others'

i) I don't go far

2) I don't go that fast

3) I never had a problem, so why bother with stuff I don't need

my favorite answer is, and they all use it

 " it pulls it fine so there is no problem"

 

I always ask, would you take a flight in an airplane that is 15% over the weight limit? Would you take boat ride with a life preserver? and they still come up with some stupid answer justifying why they would. I just hope they don't hurt any innocent people.

 

I have only started towing about 15 years ago, but I asked people who I knew were doing it for years in the hobby for advise. 95% was great and spot on, the other 5% was very good.. I found I never stopped learning about towing and safety, and unfortunately most of the lessons are based on bad experiences,   I went to the AACA Meeting in Philly this year and attended the trailering seminar which was fantastic! It was all of us putting our experiences out there to learn from. The part that was sad was someone said " the people who really need this won't even bother to come because they already know everything" ........................... how true, just ask them

 

It is bad enough having a problem on the interstate, a problem with a trailer on the interstate or anywhere for that matter is 10X's worse

 

Be safe my friends!

  

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Well going on a tour in a week and I actually do have an equalizer hitch collecting dust in the barn.  You have convicted me in trying it out guys.

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3 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

Well going on a tour in a week and I actually do have an equalizer hitch collecting dust in the barn.  You have convicted me in trying it out guys.

 

Joe,

 

Are we leaving the trailers in Alliston, 

or taking them ahead of time to Kincardine?

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13 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Joe,

 

Are we leaving the trailers in Alliston, 

or taking them ahead of time to Kincardine?

   Marty

I have seen no arrangements for trailers in the literature for the tour. I called the hotel in Kincardine and was told they have room for trailers. Lynne and I will join in on Monday when they arrive there seeing I am trailering.

For you I would look at your map and you will see Kincardine is just above Detroit and a direct route for heading home. Your best bet might be to meet them in Kincardine rather than driving 200 miles back to Port Perry for your trailer. Will save you about 400 mi. return driving for your trailer if this is where you want to cross.  Now this is just a suggestion and not knowing your plans.  

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Marty come to think of it that would give you the time to visit Steve Plunkett's collection in London you have been wanting to see. If you are coming through Buffalo it would not be out of your way.         

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21 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

   Marty

I have seen no arrangements for trailers in the literature for the tour. I called the hotel in Kincardine and was told they have room for trailers. Lynne and I will join in on Monday when they arrive there seeing I am trailering.

For you I would look at your map and you will see Kincardine is just above Detroit and a direct route for heading home. Your best bet might be to meet them in Kincardine rather than driving 200 miles back to Port Perry for your trailer. Will save you about 400 mi. return driving for your trailer if this is where you want to cross.  Now this is just a suggestion and not knowing your plans.  

 

Thanks Joe,

But as of now, and unless something changes before Wednesday,

we will just drive the Corvette,

  leaving Gettysburg after judging - stay over somewhere near Niagara.

 

Gail said that some are coming with early cars, and others likely with 70s and 80s -

and everything in between, so the 'Vette is acceptable.

 

We will plan to trailer either the '15 Hudson or the '30 Packard for next year's AACA Vintage Tour.

 

I'll check to see if Steve will be available.

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1 minute ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Thanks Joe,

But as of now, and unless something changes before Wednesday,

we will just drive the Corvette,

  leaving Gettysburg after judging - stay over somewhere near Niagara.

 

Gail said that some are coming with early cars, and others likely with 70s and 80s -

and everything in between, so the 'Vette is acceptable.

 

We will plan to trailer either the '15 Hudson or the '30 Packard for next year's AACA Vintage Tour.

 

I'll check to see if Steve will be available.

If you need a room for the night I have an extra one with a queen size bed.

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On ‎6‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 12:16 PM, jrbartlett said:

I drive a crew cab long-bed Ford F-350 dually with HD springs towing a 10,000-pound-rated enclosed Featherlite trailer, all on Michelins. Everything sits level when loaded. That said, I don't have a sway control or a weight-distributing hitch, but have encountered no swaying or rear-end sagging issues. What are your thoughts -- do I really need to consider getting sway control and a weight-distributing hitch?

 

I agree with Ed -- I've seen a lot of people trying to get by on the cheap when trailering. I've also heard about a lot of trailering accidents through my decades in the hobby, including fatalities.

 

 

I just rented the exact truck that you describe for a tour last week as the timing chain tensioner wore out on my Silverado was getting repaired.(300,000+ miles) and I still used my equalizer hitch.  The truck had a 3 inch receiver that I needed to get the adapters for.

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I think that those of us who tow with one ton Dually's may become complacent because of the inherent stability afforded by the heavy springs and dual rear wheels.  Before switching to a Gooseneck trailer I always used a equalizer hitches along with anti sway bar. To this day I always practice coming to a complete stop using only the trailer brakes  before I pull on the Interstate.  I will never forget hitting "black Ice" in Michigan while towing a 34 Pontiac parts car back to Iowa during Christmas vacation.  The Suburban and trailer did a complete 180 before coming to rest in the median but did not jack knife and there was no physical damage.  YOU CAN'T BE TOO SAFE.  Bob Smits

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I don't tow often, but when I do, I drive slower than when I'm "bobtailing". Even slower than the max legal towing speed limit. I always question the sanity of drivers blasting past me at 10 over pulling a trailer. Any trailer, any rig.  -  Carl 

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1 hour ago, C Carl said:

I don't tow often, but when I do, I drive slower than when I'm "bobtailing". Even slower than the max legal towing speed limit. I always question the sanity of drivers blasting past me at 10 over pulling a trailer. Any trailer, any rig.  -  Carl 

 

Same here. I guess now that everyone and their grandmother's poodle has a 1 ton dually and an equalizer hitch, maybe it's ok? I don't know. I still cringe at anything over 50mph.

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On 6/22/2018 at 10:04 AM, edinmass said:

 

Yes John, I agree. What I see going down the road scares the hell out of me. I learned the hard way in my teens, trying to use a Chevy Blazer to tow a BIG car. Even with a good trailer, I didn't have a weight distributing hitch, and the truck was way too short and light. I bought a Chevy Dually after having twenty close calls in two hundred miles. I asked around and learned about the weight distributing hitch, which I have now had for well over thirty years. I spent the big bucks in the old days and bought the adjustable one...........remember this was when I was still having trouble finding the gas money for the truck..........its amazing what we got by with when we were young. Now I run a crew cab dually with a 34 foot tag. Its a triple axel spread with torflex axles. I run load range G tractor trailer tires at 110 psi, the tires never blow out, and wear like iron. I run Michelins on the truck. I have been thinking of going over to a 4500 series truck, but then CDL and log books start to apply in many states. I was thinking of buying a 4500 series truck, and putting 3500 series trim/markers on it so I could have the safety factor and not get stuck up in the DOT thing more than we already are. 

 

Ed having been stopped at several scales in Maryland and even run down by the Maryland DOT!  I have learned one hard lesson.  It doesn't make any difference what the  "stickers" are on the side of the truck or trailer they always go for the truck GAVW door plate and the trailer manufacturer GAVW plate and go from there to determine if CDL territory.  Then there is the fun stuff of taking a pad of paper out and adding the tires capacity to ensure the total is over the trailer manufacturer sticker. I could go on but this is a family show. I am at 25,000 GCVW so all I need is a medical card due to the trailer.

Robert

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California allows up through 9,999 lbs gross trailer weight on a Class C (passenger car) driver's license, but the prime mover can be up to 26,000 GVW (read "motor home").  If your gross trailer weight is 10,000 or more per manufacturer's plate/sticker, you need a Class A Non-Commercial license with medical card and a behind-the-wheel test, most of which is backing the combination.  Accordingly, there are many trailers out here built stronger but whose capacity on the sticker/plate has been "administratively downgraded" by the manufacturer to just under 10,000 lbs.  Likewise, there are few gooseneck trailers (almost certainly >10K) for the same reason.  We envy you residents of other states with more generous allowances.

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I understand the trailer tire capacity, I run load range G tires on my triple axle trailer, that gives me 4300 per tire or just under 26k  just for the trailer which is rated at 21,000, so no issue there. My truck is rated to tow 16,700 on a ball hitch. My car and trailer together usually run 13,500. My GCVW is 23,500 .  Since I am non commercial, and own the truck, trailer, and car, and ai am using it for  occasional recreational use, I am DOT exempt. All my equipment is like new, all lights and break away work, I carry triangles, extinguisher, ect........ and have never had a problem. I carry a copy of the Federal DOT rules, showing the exemption. Had a hard ass in  Connecticut  Bust my chops, checking everything, and finally was upset and let me go. He kept accusing me of breaking the law.........I am a licensed Mass State Inspection Sticker agent, and explained that if the truck is legal in Mass, it’s legal on ALL federal highways, get of on a state road, and that MIGHT be another story. If you are usually polite, and they see your doing your best, most of the time they will let you go. I keep my luggage in the rear seat of the truck, to show I am on vacation. I even keep my flare kit, triangles, air pressure guage, oil, washer fluid, and other assorted items in a box in the back where they can see them. I even carry a spare break away battery and switch.........all that with a plain white rig that is well maintained will usually keep you on your way. But sometimes they just try and bust your balls. Photo is my latest trailer, Ford is gone, I’m towing with a GMC now.

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

 Since I am non commercial, and own the truck, trailer, and car, and ai am using it for  occasional recreational use, I am DOT exempt.

 

 

Not in Maryland! 

as the sign says "ALL VEHICLES OVER 10,000 LBS MUST EXIT"

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Understood, but if it’s a Federal Interstate, the DOT exemption still applies. Since I am never at risk of being over weight, it wouldn’t bother me to run through the scales......but in hundreds of thousands of miles, I have only been stopped for passing a scale once, and since I was non commercial and not for gain, I was on my way in a few minutes. I have heard your state is aggressive on the scale issue. I probably drive through it five or six times a year, for the last twenty years, and have never been stopped after bypassing a scale. I’ll probably get jammed up next time......?

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

Understood, but if it’s a Federal Interstate, the DOT exemption still applies. 

 

Ed I thought that too on my back up to NY, I got pulled over for driving past the scale. Took my license said I would get it back at the scale house. I had to turn around at the next cloverleaf pay the toll going south, turnaround and pay the toll going north again and pull off on the scale. Told me to go to the impound yard for a safety inspection... it was a two hour ordeal and cost me 3X the tolls so it is your call.

By the way the troopers did not like me telling them about federal laws, so if it happens to you I suggest not even mentioning it, be safe

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Understood.......lots of it depends on both peoples attitude. A driver license in private property, and he can't keep it. That said, its not worth the pissing contest if your equipment is good. I think a lot of what goes down depends on your rig, and how it looks. I have a plain white truck and trailer that looks generic. As time goes by I think the electronic enforcment changes will start catching up to everyone. Since I am never heavy or overloaded anymore, and I do check all my bulbs and safety equipment, I wouldn't expect any issues. Every time I have been stopped its been very early morning daylight hours. I think I'm going to continue to drive by them untill something new occurs. I also try my best to avoid the 95 corridor from Richmond to New Haven, just because of the expensive tolls and bridges, and the 81 & 84 route are much less traveled, less accidents, and less delays over all. It's a shame that honest and decent people get hassled. Lets face it....it's a money game for them. Recently 45 Mass State Troopers were caught stealing from the state in an organized RICO scheme. A big black eye for them, is seems to still be getting worse. 

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Maryland does not have a facility on 81. They were state troopers who requested my license, my truck was 2 year old GMC 2500 diesel and the trailer was a plain gray that was three years old, and it was empty. From what I could gather they were looking for pirate car transporters not paying road use tax, who use the similar rigs as us... Do what you want, but it looked like they were looking to make money for the state

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