Trailer comes off at 75mph!: Trailers  -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum and Review Trailer comes off at 75mph!: Trailers -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum

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 08-10-2008, 22:32 Post: 155987
brokenarrow



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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

My daughter and I were jammin comin home today, Around 75+mph and a "great highway" in Wi. here my trailer started hopping. (grant it that it was not my large trailer. This trailer has axles from a javalin type car. The trailer is pretty heavy for its size and pulls great! Dont even know its there when running 75 and the tunes are cranked. Anyway, I hit a string of frost heaves at 75 today and the trailer was hopping. All of a sudden I see the top of the trailer walls swingin back and forth (I am partly death) My daughter say's, Hey old man, ya here that noise? what is it? I lower the radio and at the same time It hits me and I realize what has happened. Picture this, I am in the center lane with a trailer starting to swing hangin on the saftey chains. Center lane! three lanes of full traffic! Some how the idiots in my state, put down the cell phones, stopped eating their supersized meals and quit puttin on make up while driving long enough to also realize what is about to happen! They all slowed enough while I was applying my brakes in rythem with the bangin of the trailer into the back of my truck. I was trying to slow it down with out panicking and flipping the trailer off. Remember I not only need to get it stopped but also get over 2 lanes of traffic! Scary part is that at even 15-20mph the friggin thing still was slammin into the truck with enough force to scare me a bit if it was to flip back into traffic. I got her stopped and all the way off the highway again. Three lanes of bumper to bumper at 75mph and no one got hurt! Thats an awesome feeling when its all done and you controlled it! So I get out of the truck and head to the back to see what damage is done to the trailer. Im imagining hitch is screwed up enough that it wont be useable. I turn the corner and look at the trailer. Nothing is wrong!!!! Im freakin out! Not a friggin thing is screwed up on the trailer. BTW After the trailer runs down the highway at 75, dont grab the bottom of the square tubing, its about 175 degree's!) My trailer has a 3" square tubeing structural and on top of that is the trailers attatchment hook up. This 3" tubing slid on the cement picking up all the rubber/asphault joint seal as it slid along and jammed it into the tube, ya think I need to pay back the state?)
What happened?.... My 1/4-20 hex bolt I use to keep the trailer locked had a nut on it that was not a nyloc or a doubled lock nut. With out the bolt, all the jumping must of unlocked my trailer and off it came! I learned a lesson and no one got hurt, I will never run again with out a better set up for this (like a keyed lock!)

Anyone ever have this happen to them?

I know I got lucky, Like I told my daughter, some one
today could of been killed! It would of been blood on my back and I know it!






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 08-10-2008, 22:52 Post: 155990
earthwrks

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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Tom, my buddy had a similar situation where he welded a rear gate on a trailer similar to yours for a loacl landscaper. The landscaper sent his helper to pick up the traler and used the wrong ball size. Trailer came off the ball, hit a family and killed three. Long story short, my buddy's portion of the 3.2 million dollar jury award was $920,000. His insurance company refused his claim as he wasn't insured for manufacturing.

Not saying you did this but you may not have had the trailer locked on the ball--I have done this where the trailer looked like it was over the ball BUT wasn't-- then I "locked" it. I've pulled my bobcat trailer 60-70 miles once this way, and my fully loaded 15,000 lb. dump trailer a few times not realizing it. In both cases it was the great amount of tongue weight that kept them on.

The there was the time 4 of the 6 hitch bolts broke off the truck while pulling the loaded dump trailer...w-h-o-a-a-a-a!






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 08-10-2008, 23:42 Post: 155995
auerbach



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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Your trailer was "fishtailing." That may have caused the attachment problem. The load center was too far aft and the speed too high.






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 08-11-2008, 01:44 Post: 155999
DRankin



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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

75+??

Way too fast my friend.






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 08-11-2008, 06:59 Post: 156000
earthwrks

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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Excessively high speed---yup---I agree--didn't want to be the first to say it.

And fishtailing---I agree, it wasn't set up right weight distributionwise. Any trailer set up correctly will follow like a dream at any speed--even if illegal and irresponsible.






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 08-11-2008, 08:20 Post: 156002
DennisCTB

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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Broken,

Happy to hear everyone is OK!

Dennis






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 08-11-2008, 08:56 Post: 156004
auerbach



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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Let me add this. When your trailer fishtails it's usually counterproductive to hit your brakes rather than letting the rig slow gradually. Rather, watch for when it swings straight (where it should be) and apply the trailer brakes at that moment. But that's hard to do if the brake controller is not at hand, and you need both arms to correct the direction of the tow vehicle, especially the case if the tow vehicle is light compared to the trailer.

Also, check that you attached the safety chains in the proper criss-cross (double-diagonal) pattern. Finally, another way to deter fishtailing is to get a professionally chosen and installed equalizing hitch.

And if it makes you feel better, what I know about fishtailing I learned the hard way.






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 08-11-2008, 10:55 Post: 156007
kwschumm



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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

It's stories like these that cause me to never want to tow. Smile

Glad it turned out well for all concerned, it could have been a lot worse.






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 08-11-2008, 11:04 Post: 156008
Murf

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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

Very glad indeed to hear everyone was alright.

A perfect example of why almost every trailer I own has a pintle hook / lunette ring type hitch on it.

Best of luck.






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 08-11-2008, 11:32 Post: 156013
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 Trailer comes off at 75mph!

BA, can understand you fright. Only time I ever had a trailer come loose it was about same as your's but used a pin. It was a small trailer and empty and only driving probably 30 mph and it was scarey enough. Glad all ok. In my case the safety chains prevented all damage as it keep the trailer tongue clear of pickup and road. kt






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