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air springs or weight dist. hitch

2006-03-09 00:00:00 125877  havoctec

Just wondering if anyone has experience with both air springs and weight distributing hitches. If so which do you think gives better towing and why. I am going to put one or the other on a 1/2 ton truck to pull a 7000lb trailer. It work quite well without either exept for the fact that the rear leaf springs bottom out.

I know that a heavier truck is the better solution but that is not in the cards right now. So lets just not talk about that.

Thanks for any help.
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-09 00:00:00 125881  Murf

No question, hands down, weight distributing hitch!!

If the back of your truck is that far down you have very little front axle weight. The front does all the steering & most of the braking. While you're at it, throw on a sway control device as well.

Best of luck. ....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-09 00:00:00 125889  havoctec

That is what i was thinking. The only reason I was thinking about the springs is that they would be usefull once in a great while for hauling a heavy load.

....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-09 00:00:00 125895  Murf

I can only imagine Minn. winters are as tough on equipment as Ontario winters.

The term "...once in a great while..." leads me to believe in Murphy's Law, when you want it to work, it won't.

Best of luck. ....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-11 00:00:00 125943  earthwrks

Given the parameters it seems on the face of it you don't need either. Why? Assuming your springs are good, you mention the rear springs bottoming out. That is an indication you have way too much tongue weight which is causing the truck to behave like standing on the back of a child's skateboard. You might want to move your load back 6 or 8 inches and you might be amazed to see the back of the truck go up a lot. Another option is if you can't move the load backward is to remove and reweld the spring hangers to get a target weight distribution of 60/40 with 10 percent of the load and trailer on the hitch ball. I have done the above with the expected results (refer to your owners manual as to what number not to exceed which I have a hunch is probably no more than 500lb.). And I have used weight dist. hitches (WDH) too. WDH are good for long trailers which tend to catch cross winds which can get a truck and trailer fish-tailing. The down fall with WDH is literally you are transferring the truck and trailer weight to the front wheels and the trailer wheels---the weight is taken off the rear truck wheels, which, if not set up properly will result in a loss of rear wheel traction/braking (ask me how I know)---especially when approaching/exiting a steep driveway or even steeply embanked railroad tracks. (Conversly, driving over a large hump cancels the effects of the WDH) It can be embarrassing when you have get out in traffic you have stopped only to get and let the tension off the trailer hitch. Or go sliding around a right turn jackknife-style. Air bags are not the solution either as you probably have exceeded the tongue weight and will get the skateboarding-effect and ultimately nothing was solved but the height of the rear of the truck. ....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-11 00:00:00 125947  Chief

If you haven't already; I would check to be sure you are not exceeding the trucks GCVWR. ....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-11 00:00:00 125958  k9fletch

The Cheif and Jeff both have great points, I had an extra set of leafs added to my truck which helped. To help with the toung weight issue I also took my entire setup(truck, trailer, tractor and implements) to my local motor carrier after a few hours we got the set up just right, and I painted areas for front and rear tire placement(on the floor of the trailer) based on the implements that I was hauling with the tractor. This is a huge time saver when loading up the tractor to head up north for the weekend.

I havn't had any experience with WDH. ....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-12 00:00:00 125965  DRankin

I hate to add a really sober note here, but in my mind's eye I can still see some of the wrecks and dead bodies I hauled off after the "tail" started "wagging the dog" with some towing accidents.

Whatever you must spend to make it safe will seem really cheap next to a serious injury or a fatal accident.

....
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air springs or weight dist. hitch
2006-03-12 00:00:00 125985  earthwrks

I'm with Rankin---there's nothing like peace of mind with a well-thought out and executed truck and trailer rig. Like Cruise Control -- just set it and forget it. ....
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