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View Full Version : Expensive lesson learned today.


GravelyNut
09-25-2008, 10:55 PM
On long trips I always put locks thru the hitch latches so they can't come open. Today for a short 4 mile trip with the trailer empty to get it weighed, I didn't. Within 500 feet of the entrance to the scale location I hit a rather rough section of road at about 30 MPH. Just starting to brake for the turn when the trailer took a hop. Came off the hitch and down onto the tongue jack. Two bounces and about 30 ft of skid marks from the jack, we came to a stop. Breakaway didn't trip as the trailer tongue was never more than a couple inches away from the truck hitch. Jack got a slight bend and the 1.75 X 5" channal that it''s welded to also got bent. Figured the welding shop could straighten the channal enough to last the next trip north with a stop on the way south at the manufacturers to get it redone. He had a brand new one in stock plus the channal. $125 later and after a 3 hour wait, it was repaired. Lesson learned? Lock your hitch latch no matter how short the highway trip.

TXNSLighting
09-25-2008, 11:25 PM
Lock your hitch latch?! Shouldnt that always be done??!!

GravelyNut
09-25-2008, 11:57 PM
Lock your hitch latch?! Shouldnt that always be done??!!
Lock as in put a lock thru the latch in the closed position. Not just latching it.

TXNSLighting
09-26-2008, 01:20 PM
O im guessing you dont have a bulldog coupler?

bobcat_ron
09-26-2008, 01:24 PM
If you cross your safety chains, they will catch the hitch if it falls off in motion.

LushGreenLawn
09-26-2008, 01:43 PM
In most states you have to cross the chains by law. My cousin just got $175fine for not having them crossed.

HOLLYWOOD6973
09-26-2008, 06:53 PM
Wow! This is why the D.O.T. is so tuff now. This guy doesn't know to put a pin in even when towing an empty trailer.:hammerhead:

Southernlandscape343
09-26-2008, 07:56 PM
I believe he's talking about the place for a lock on the trailer itself. I think yall are picturing the reciever pin which should AWAYS be in place.

GravelyNut
09-26-2008, 08:14 PM
If you cross your safety chains, they will catch the hitch if it falls off in motion.
Chains were crossed. Still didn't stop it from dropping the jack on the ground. With the hitch lenght, the chains will allow the tongue to hit if it weren't for the jack. Far better the jack than to have the nose of the trailer dig in. And when the trailer runs in when stopping, the chains will go slack enough for just about any trailer to drop. Remember not to hit the truck brakes or it could be worse.

Don't believe it? Try this. Hook up your trailer with the chains. Use your jack to remove from ball. Lower trailer tongue. Back up truck. If you are lucky it will be sitting on the chains but on the ground. If you have a high truck, it could force the chains out of the way. Chains are there to keep the trailer under control in this type situation, nothing more. And they did.

And before someone says the chains are too long, no they aren't. When hooked up they barely reach the hitch frame on the truck.

GravelyNut
09-26-2008, 08:27 PM
Wow! This is why the D.O.T. is so tuff now. This guy doesn't know to put a pin in even when towing an empty trailer.:hammerhead:
First time in over 35 years of towing a trailer. With trips ranging into the thousands of miles per trip. And I'd bet that if I went out and checked 100 empty landscape trailers tomorrow, I'd find most don't have pins in the latches. Most would have locks if anything.

GravelyNut
09-26-2008, 08:33 PM
I believe he's talking about the place for a lock on the trailer itself. I think yall are picturing the reciever pin which should AWAYS be in place.Correct.
That reciever hitch pin on mine is a locking pin. It is always in place except when the hitch is being changed.

DUSTYCEDAR
09-26-2008, 08:41 PM
sht happens now we know

topsites
09-27-2008, 01:35 AM
I believe we're talking about THIS little lock:

GravelyNut
09-27-2008, 11:48 AM
I believe we're talking about THIS little lock:
That be the place.
:waving:

PerfectEarth
09-27-2008, 11:53 AM
I obsess about my trailering connections. I double and triple check them everytime I'm out. But one day, I just know I'll let something slip and I'll be in trouble.

deere615
09-27-2008, 11:54 PM
I always put the pin in and criss cross the chains(its a law here) also my chains have latches on them so they can't come off.

Jason Rose
09-28-2008, 01:08 AM
Yep, need to lock of pin the coupler so it can't come open... I see so many people that don't bother with this, then they have chains, or the hooks on the chains that wouldn't hold the trailer standing still, let alone a jolt when it comes loose. Their reasoning; "if it comes off the ball I don't want it to be hooked to me".

My hitch is always secured as best as I can make it. Something beyond my control is going to have to fail for my trailer to come unhooked from the truck.

Everyone gets all fuzzed up about "crossing the chains", what if, like both of my trailers, your chains originate from the same spot under the tounge of the trailer? (in the center). Both are professionally built trailers.

GravelyNut
09-28-2008, 09:30 AM
Yep, need to lock of pin the coupler so it can't come open... I see so many people that don't bother with this, then they have chains, or the hooks on the chains that wouldn't hold the trailer standing still, let alone a jolt when it comes loose. Their reasoning; "if it comes off the ball I don't want it to be hooked to me".

My hitch is always secured as best as I can make it. Something beyond my control is going to have to fail for my trailer to come unhooked from the truck.

Everyone gets all fuzzed up about "crossing the chains", what if, like both of my trailers, your chains originate from the same spot under the tounge of the trailer? (in the center). Both are professionally built trailers.
I think the OEMs long ago figured out that in most cases crossed chains don't mean a whole lot. For the chains to keep the tongue off the ground, they would have to be kept real short on alot of trucks. And then you'd run the risk of damaging the hitch when you made a sharp turn. Take a look at Topsites' picture and tell me the chains would keep the tongue up. The reason for crossing chains is so in turns the chains don't bind.

mtcjb
09-28-2008, 10:05 AM
My first trailer this year (6.5 X 16) did not even have a place for a pin, didnt notice when i picked it up because I got the trailer for $600 and wanted out of there before the guy changed his mind lol. Sold it for $700 and bought another...that I can lock onto the ball.

mgray10
10-05-2008, 08:41 PM
Okay, this is real simple:

Take your S hook on the end of the chain and twist it to fold the links onto each other, effectively shortening the chain. If you cross the chains, having them short is not a problem in sharp turns. Of course, that is unless you shorten them so much that the nearly touch the ball stud or nut underneath your ballmount.

Better yet, get yourself some heavy duty forged steel shackles and leave them on your hitch eyes. Then, you can run your pin through any link you want!

;)

As an aside, I drove 25 miles on the highway with a miller bob-cat mounted on a small trailer with a bulldog hitch--the collar was never engaged over the clam shells. The guy who backed me up made all the connections while I went and spoke with someone on the site. When I came back, I did a quick once over of his connections, but did not notice he didn't slide the collar; they are usually spring loaded. Anyway, I arrived and started disconnecting when I noticed it. The ride was rough, too; I cannot figure out how it did not come off.