What is the law what is safe : Trailers  -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum and Review What is the law what is safe : Trailers -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum

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 02-16-2006, 18:14 Post: 124657
DeTwang



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 What is the law what is safe

I have been working my butt off the last couple weeks moving crap up and down the state to my little price of paradise in NorCal....I need to rent a small backhoe (ie kubota) to do some trneching and excavate for my foundations....I have no vehicle with a trailer hitch....I have a 85 F350 Stakebed with a lift gate..it's the kind that fold underneath the rear deck of the stakebed...There is a stop plate where the gate folds in half, that holds the gate flat when unfolded......It is very heavy duty (3/8" steel), and everything is is attached to is very heavy duty as this is the attachment point for the lift cylinder.....It would be a perfect place to attach a hitch to IMO as it stays perpendicular to the ground as the gate is raised/lowered...I could build a bracket out of 1/4" steel for the ball and bolt the bracket to the left gate plate with 1/2" or 5/8" bolts....then I could lower the gate to the exact height I want and tow away....

but is this legal/safe attaching a hitch to a lift gate? If not, would installing (via bolts) another bracket from the hitch to the 1/4" stakebed deck to lock the gate in place make it legal? I had worked out another method, but this method would be much cheaper and easier to instal/uninstall....

Anyone ever done anything like this?






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 02-16-2006, 19:46 Post: 124669
SG8NUC



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 What is the law what is safe

In Ga. there wont be any problem as long as the trailor stays attached to the truck. You are laible for anything that happens associated with the trailor. I would load test the fix you are perposing to a least 200% of the WLL (working load Limit)Ex- 5000lb WLL 10,000 test this would cominstate for any shock load you may experence on the road such as curbs, bumps etc. A trailor comming loose from a jury rig would be a hell of a law suit. I you had a load test you may beat the negligent part of the suit.






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 02-16-2006, 19:57 Post: 124671
DeTwang



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 What is the law what is safe

How do I have it load tested? I can;t imagine the thing coming loose...This hitch would be 5 times as heavy duty as the hitches I see hooked up to most pickups/cars.....That lift gate is made of some pretty heavy duty steel.....The worst thing that I could see happening would be the gate lowering down somehow...which I'd think wouldn't cause detachment, but would cause the tounge/hitch to drag on the ground...I'd probably know about that pretty quick..Laughing out loud






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 02-16-2006, 20:16 Post: 124675
SG8NUC



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 What is the law what is safe

That is the trick with trailors, as long as they stay attached you are good to go. Several ways to test, wire rope the hitch off to a tree, or other expendable item and jack up on the hitch use a dyno for a read out. Any kind of pull test (with tractor) that would give you a warm fuzzy feeling about pulling the trailor. I have pulled trailors for 1000s of miles always factory installed sleeve hitches, chains, locks and what ever else I could attach to help in case of loss. The U-Hauls have strap on hitches. What you have in mind seems to be above average for any tow rig. It just when you are tooling down the road at 70+ that peice of mind is worth alot.






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 02-16-2006, 20:31 Post: 124676
DeTwang



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 What is the law what is safe

My big concern is that I show up at the rental yard to rent the hoe, and they say, "you can't tow our hoe with that!"....or would they even blink?






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 02-16-2006, 20:38 Post: 124678
SG8NUC



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 What is the law what is safe

OK I see now that is the $64 question. Maybe a phone call to see if there is any restrictions? I am with you I dont think they would even look. I am sure they have Insurance. That might be another good question. I have rented equipment an loaded on my trailor but they never questioned the hitch. I guess after they saw all the crap I had it attached with it did not concern them.






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 02-17-2006, 09:21 Post: 124701
Murf

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 What is the law what is safe

I suspect you'll have more problems than you know what to do with if, God forbid, you have an accident or run into a CHiPy in need of some Preparation H.

It's my understanding that the highway traffic / safety laws are pretty much uniform across NA. Ours here specifically states something to the effect of a hitch must be rigidly, permanently and securely attached to the frame of the towing vehicle.

It was worded such for two reasons, to stop those chain on U-haul type temporary hitches, and to stop tow trucks from making up a sandwich affair that clamped onto the stinger to pull a trailer from.

BTW, for what it's worth, if you are renting for 1+ days the rental yards usually move the hoe for you free. Up here they carry mini excavators in the back of the truck, not on a trailer.

Best of luck.






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 02-17-2006, 10:47 Post: 124707
DRankin



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 What is the law what is safe

Save yourself some time and trouble. If Northern CA is anything like Northern NV the rental yards are governed by their insurance regulations.

Here in NV you cannot rent any trailer with two axles unless there are 8 bolts on the rear rims of your towing vehicle. You can show them the owners manual with the manufacturers towing stats, but it is a huge waste of time.

I would bet that your ad hoc trailer rig would not pass their smell test.






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 02-17-2006, 18:50 Post: 124737
DeTwang



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 What is the law what is safe

My stakebed is a 1 tom dually. with 8 botl rims....It's just the attachment point....I'm wanting to attach it to the lift gate which is definitely attached to the frame (does a 4' diameter pipe with 1/4" walls solidly welded to the frame qualify as rigid?)...the entire framework of the lift gate is minimum 3/8" steel..(some of it 1/2"Wink yeah right, and the stakebed truck is a 8' wide x 12' long stakebed with a 460 engine and a 10,000 lb rated GVW....

No doubt this is enough truck to tow a small backhoe on a trailer...the rental yard does not deliver, they have the thing on a trailer...my only question is the 'legal requirements' of a trailer hitch...I have no doubt that this setup would be five times a strong as anything youd find in a U-Haul setup bolted to the frame of a 3/4 tom pickup, but will it pass the insurance/lawsuit wary renta yard smell test? If not, what do I do, having a lift gate in the way of traditional tow hitch attachements?






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 02-17-2006, 19:08 Post: 124739
brokenarrow



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 What is the law what is safe

If all you need is the thing pulled to your place, why not hire some one to do this (if your going to have a problem).
I first would take your rig to the rental yard and show them what you have. If they give you the AX, then I would ask them if anyone there wanted to make a few extra bucks after work and haul it to your place. If still there is no answer you want to hear, maybe asking around town would do the trick. I got one last (and real low life) solution. Look in the paper for a rig set up to haul. Tell em you want to see if it would pull a trailer with this on it. NAAAAAHHHH Forget it, that is too low life to do.
(I say that cause I had sold a boat one weekend (when I was young and dumb) After the weekend the check came back "stopped" and the boat was in my driveway. Turns out they only wanted to use it for the weekend.
Try asking the rental if anyone they know would want to haul it for you for a couple of few bucks a mile.






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