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 11-28-2000, 23:02 Post: 21910
john hunter



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 trailer sway

Has anyone used a sway control or equalizer on an equipment trailer? Does this make sense?






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 11-29-2000, 07:55 Post: 21914
Bird Senter

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 trailer sway

John, by "equalizer" I assume you mean the load distributing hitch as is commonly used on travel trailers. I've never seen one used on an equipment trailer, but see no reason it couldn't be. The big difference being that the travel trailer has a fairly consistent tongue weight so once you get it adjusted properly, it'll be the same each time you hook it up. With an equipment trailer, the tongue weight is frequently changing. And the friction type sway control used on the travel trailers should also work on an equipment trailer, but I've never seen anyone use one for that purpose. I assume for a similar reason. The total weight of the trailer as well as weight distribution are the determining factors in adjusting the sway control, and it changes too often on an equipment trailer. You know you can adjust one of those so tight that you lose steering on slick, i.e. wet or icy, roads.






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 11-29-2000, 10:32 Post: 21921
Frank R Taylor



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Thanks Bird, I didn't realize there was a safety issue involved here. I was thinking of adding a weight distributing hitch to my trailer because I have the need occasionally to tow a MF 275 at well over 6,000 pounds. My tow hitch is only rated to 5,000 pounds, and I saw this as a cheaper answer than upgrading the hitch or changing out my present trailer for a goosneck. As I said my need to tow this much weight is only very occasional and I didn't think it was worth the additional expense or trouble and a WDH sounded like cheap and easy answer to my problem. Ah well, back to doing more research.






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 11-29-2000, 10:41 Post: 21922
Murf



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John, while agreeing totally with Bird's comments, let me add to them. As someone who has six trucks one the road every day, all year-round hauling our equipment around (and a degree in Engineering) I have a little bit of experience and knowledge to base my comments on. Please pay strict attention, one and all, SAFETY MUST BE PARAMOUNT, ALWAYS !!!!! If you need sway control or load equalization on any trailer, then you have 1) too small a tow vehicle for the task, 2) too large a load, 3) an inadequate trailer, or (hopefully not) some COMBINATION of the foregoing. I cannot tell you how often I encounter people who (rarely intentionally) would NEVER think of operating equipment without a ROPS, seat belt, or drunk, but will not hesitate to go down the road towing their prized machine in circumstances where they have totally inadequate (if any) steering, braking, load security or lights. I speak to the local DOT enforcement people on a regular basis, they tell me about examples that make Stephen King stories seem tame. Your life (and the others on the road) are worth more than the cost, be it in dollars or inconvenience, of doing it properly. I recently had a friend of the family bring their machine over for some repairs, when I saw how he transported it I reused to let him leave with it, (I took it home on one of my trucks instead.) He had trailered a NH33? 100+ miles on a single axle landscapers trailer with no brakes, behind a 2wd Nissan pickup truck. Just to make the picture complete, the tractor was TIED ON with nylon ropes, his remarks at my amazement? "The parking brake was set, and besides, I got here didn't I?"........please friends, think twice, act once, PROPERLY. Best of luck.






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 11-29-2000, 11:06 Post: 21924
Bird Senter

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Very good points, Murf, and absolutely right. My first RV was a 10.5' slide-in, cabover, pickup camper and being a novice at the time, I thought the dealer knew what he was doing (wrong again). When I discovered how much overloaded that sucker was, and how dangerous it was (without any mishaps to that point), I promptly traded for a travel trailer. And in all my years of RVing, and police work, I never had any real proof, but empirical evidence led me to believe at least 50% to 75% of the RVs on the road are over their GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating - for those not familiar with the term). A lot of them are involved in serious accidents, but I've actually been surprised that the accident rate hasn't been even higher.






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 11-29-2000, 16:33 Post: 21936
Halsey Green



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 trailer sway

Some additional comments, having pulled a travel trailer 48k in one year, I offer some observations. Sway controls help travel trailers with sway from passing trucks and the winds due to the flat sides. I have not experiences this type of sway from equipment trailers, I guess because the side surface area is less. Equalizer hitches help spread the tongue load to the towing vehicle's front wheel, thus better control but don't do much for trailer sway, but does help prevent the trailer from wagging the tow vehicle. I have used 3 types of sway control, the Reese type that attach to the equalizer bars and trailer frame, the friction type and the electrical - pendulium in a can type that operates the trailer's brakes. Like the friction type best as it does not depend upon weight on hitch bars to function and they are easily adjusted to conditions and needs. I have found with equipment trailers, proper loading and weight distributing prevents most sway.






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 11-29-2000, 17:45 Post: 21942
cutter



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Well stated, Bird Senter! Having been involved with the fire dept. for thirty years and in the utility business for twenty five, I can assure you that it makes me very nervous to be driving near RV's and fly by night contractor rigs. I have seen people killed by trailers that were improperly fastened as they left their moorings and headed across the oncoming lanes of traffic. The trailer industry is partly to blame here. Brakes are not required on trailers of less than 1000# (I believe that is the number), so the manufacturers sell them that way knowing full well once a boat, tractor or whatever is loaded onto it, the tow vehicle brakes are going to be inadequate to safely stop the rig (this also eliminates the emergency break-away feature). I have seen children's swing set chain used for safety chain (or none at all) and overloaded rental box trailers secured by temporary bumper hitches on passenger cars. Most of the people using this stuf are totally unaware of the danger to themselves and even more so to others. I possess a CDL to drive a truck should the need arise, many folks driving 40' long motor homes can barley parallel park their cars. I am dead set against government regulation, but highway safety is one place better standards are needed (not in the auto industry). So, to make a short story long John, I use hitches, trailers and the like that are OVERRATED for my needs and build my own margin of safety into every trip.






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 11-29-2000, 22:57 Post: 21954
KlayW in MI



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 trailer sway

DITTO, DITTO, DITTO! Nothing gets me hotter than seeing a pickup sized dump truck pulling a 18,000# hoe on a cheap dual axle trailer with no chains at 70 MPH. You all make very good points and safety is primary. I know you all want to sleep in your own bed tonight and so does everybody else, don't risk it. GCVWR (1 ton and less i believe?)is the key, mfr's rate a vehicle for a 10,000# trailer but then in the fine print tell you about the GCVWR. My 10,000# trailer rated tow vehicle can actually haul only a 6000# trailer cause the rest of the equation is lost to a fully loaded tow vehicle. It's a numbers game that on the surface causes one to overload their vehicle. Be safe and add in a large safety factor!






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 11-30-2000, 09:59 Post: 21972
Frank R Taylor



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the more I look into it, the more complicated this trailering business gets. I need some more of your advice. I tow my trailer with a 1 ton, 4x4, diesel, dually, crew cab that came with a 5,000# hitch factory installed. I picked up my 14'(plus 4' dove tail) dual axle trailer used and rewired it, replaced the boards and replaced the safety chains, etc. The trailer is now in good shape but during the rewiring I noticed that the trailer brakes were not connected. I don't know if they even still work. The 6-pin round plug had been replaced with a flat 4-pin plug to mate with the factory installed connection and I didn't reconnect then. I seldom trailer more than 3,500 ponds (B2400, FEL and bush hog) which would seem to be well within the capabilities of the vehicle and the trailer but I wondered at what point should I seriously consider hooking up those brakes again or do I already constitute a danger to myself and other road users?






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 11-30-2000, 16:43 Post: 21988
Bird Senter

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Frank, I think trailer brakes are a good safety feature ANYTIME, but admittedly not seriously needed, or used, on a lot of smaller trailers. I haven't kept up with things in recent years, but there used to be a federal "standard" that recommended trailer brakes anytime the trailer and it's load was equal to, or exceeded, 40% of the weight of the towing vehicle.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Farming Ranching Agriculture Forum

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