View Full Version : trailer trouble

03-26-2002, 09:18 PM
I have a Toyota Tundra with a V-8. It pulls fine, but the trailer I pull is so heavy it weighs down the back too much. I have tried positioning the equipment as to get the weight off the truck. That did not work. The trailer unloaded weighs down my truck. I want helper springs, but I do not know the pros/cons or where to buy such a thing. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

karl klein
03-26-2002, 10:07 PM
i don't no much about helper springs but i have air bags and LOVE THEM

03-26-2002, 10:15 PM
Sounds like you need a 3/4 ton.
Helper springs could solve the problem of weighing down the back. But if the trailer is heavy enough to do that, it's probably alot of strain on the drivetrain of your truck.
By the way, is it a single or double axle trailer?

03-26-2002, 10:38 PM
My trailer is a double axle 16X7X7 enclosed. I would love to have a 3/4 ton truck. My finances will not allow another vehicle this year. My only option is to upgrade the suspension on this vehicle.

03-26-2002, 10:41 PM
Karl Klein, what are airbags, how do they work, how much, etc???? Thank you for your help.

03-26-2002, 10:42 PM
That's a pretty good-sized trailer for that size truck. Sorry to tell you this, either get a larger truck or a lighter trailer.

03-26-2002, 10:44 PM
Sound like you may just need a weight distributing hitch. Have you considered this?

03-26-2002, 11:00 PM
One of my trucks is a F150 and I put airbags in the front so that I could plow and it helped quite a bit. Airbags are not expensive and I had my installed for under 150.

I've never had to mess with the rear suspension, as my towing truck is a 3/4 heavy duty package. It sounds like that trailor is pretty heavy and is going to way down your Tundra no matter what you do. I'd take the truck into a shop that does installs for dump boxes, they should have the know how on what to do inorder to strenghten your rear suspension.

03-26-2002, 11:27 PM
www.CHEVY.com:) :) :) :)

03-26-2002, 11:34 PM
either get airbags or the helper springs, i agree with them, tundras a nice truck, and enclosed trailers are great, but the two dont go together

03-26-2002, 11:58 PM
I wouldn't worry about the strain on the drive train as much as the stopping!

If you don't have brakes on the trailer I wouldn't pullit because of liability reasons.


03-27-2002, 12:10 AM
Good point about the stopping. That is a lot of trailer for that truck. But go with what you've got.
I'd say get the helper springs. Air bags are cool cuz they're adjustable but they're alot more expensive and more maintenance. You have to have wiring and a compressor installed to fill them. A set of helpers is less than $200 installed or they're easy to install yourself with the right equip.
I do like Mow&Snow's idea though:D

03-27-2002, 12:13 AM
Helper springs will make truck ride ruffer all the time. try air bags or overload springs , they start working as you add weight,

03-27-2002, 01:00 AM
DO NOT PUT AIRBAGS ON YOUR TRUCK!. air bags blow out... have a shop make you an additional spring like a 401. this will add 800#'s of capacity to each side. this trailer better have brakes, it's the law in michigan i'm not sure about your side of town. i just purchased another trailer a little over a week ago, 16x8.5 haulmark. this pig weighs in at about 3300#'s dry. get at least a 4.10 gear trd should have them. reprogram the computer add a k&n filter and a trans cooler and you'll have zero problems. it makes me chuckle hearing everyone say 3/4 or 1 ton. truth is if it's rated by the trucks maker it's ok. make sure the equipment is set up right and you'll be fine. remember the 6 p's. proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

03-27-2002, 01:01 AM
one more thing, helper springs will not make the truck ride ruffer. if done right you will add about an inch of height, far from redneckish

03-27-2002, 02:15 AM

First let me say the following is IMHO.

If the trailer is weighing down the trucks rear end, thus overloading the trucks ability to stop, putting extra work load on the brakes, tranny, engine, etc. Just adding helper springs might not be enough in the long run.

The rule of thumb that I use is that a trailer put about a 15% load on the tongue. So say your trailer is 7000 lbs, that would put 1050 lbs of weight on the rear end and if your are also carring nothing in the bed, and very little gas. On a half ton truck that would be over weight. Also the dot and the police might start to take notice and could end up in fines and other hassle. It might be time to look into a 3/4 or 1 ton truck if you can't remove some of the weight


03-27-2002, 08:16 AM
Buy a truck. An American truck. I have certain customers that would throw me off of they're property if I pulled up in a toy. Some of them even frown on the fact that one of my mowers is powered by a Kawasaki.
Did you know that not one of the foreign auto makers, jap or euro, contributed one cent to the Sept 11 fund.
A little food for thought.

karl klein
03-27-2002, 08:45 AM
aitr bags are basically two pillows that go on top of each spring and allow you to add air in them to keep the rite hieght depending on what your truck weighs. i put them on my suburban and have pulled trailers in acsess of 4tons with out even sagging. there are difrent styles and sizes i have the heavy dudy with on board air compressor, but sense your truck is smaller i would go with the reguler bags and it is up to you wether or not to put a on board compressor on it. for my set up it cost me $425 but i put it on myself. i think you could get a set of reguler bags and fill them up manully for $200

NOTE: you must always keep some air in them so they dont pop i keep about 15psi when i'm not towing and up to 90psi for big loads.

mdb landscaping
03-27-2002, 09:37 AM
You could also put Timbren load busters in. They are made specifically for instances like you have. Usually guys with plows put them in the front to level it out, and they make them for the back for towing heavy loads and such.


AGG Lawn Maintenance
03-27-2002, 10:45 AM
As ronfather said get a lighter trailer or different truck. Your better off selling your truck or trading it in for another one. By the time you put more money into your current truck you could of got a bigger truck. I run 16' trailers with 3/4 ton trucks. Also make sure you have a Draw Tite or Hidden Hitch. Make sure you have electric brakes as well. I hate to see you mess up your truck, so shoot for a bigger one.
Good Luck

03-27-2002, 10:55 AM
If your animate about keeping this truck to pull this trailer, then a weight distributing hitch will solve your rear sag. Reese used to have an advertisement for their weight distributing hitches that had an older (Mid 70's) Front wheel drive Caddy hitched up to a travel trailer. They removed the rear tires of the Caddy and actually pulled the camper trailer as the rear of the Caddy was suspended totally by their special hitch. Most enclosed trailer towers have these hitches. What trailer dealer let you buy this trailer knowing that your pulling it with a Toyota, and didn't sell you a weight distributing hitch?

Good Luck
Get a good brake controller
Dont go over your trucks GCWR (BTW GM's GCWR is 14,000 to 22,000lbs!)

03-27-2002, 11:54 AM
I came across this while doing a search for suspension for my truck. http://www.shockwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/shocks/mon_loadlevel.html

03-27-2002, 12:40 PM
Those load leveling (air) shocks aren't very expensive and they're easy to install. But they put all that extra weight on your shock mounts, which aren't meant to take that kind of stress.

03-27-2002, 04:22 PM
We have the timbren load boosters on some of the dumptrucks, really nothing to go wrong with them.They work great for plowing too they carry the load and when the load is off you are back to normal suspension no air to remove and it doesent ride like a lumber wagon either:blob3:

03-27-2002, 08:24 PM
You have a TOYota Tundra. This is classifies as a 1/2 ton truck. It has loads of torque but minimal horsepower. Also, these things are not made to tow stock, they are trucks for people who live in suburbs and only carry groceries and plywood. YOu have to add air bags or helper leafs or adjustable shocks. However, don't exceed the tow weight b/c these things are TOY trucks. My Ranger w/the options I have on it has a higher tow rating than your truck. Get a real truck or a TOY trailer.

03-27-2002, 08:58 PM
TLS, I bought this trailer for $1,000.00. I had no idea it would be this much trouble to tow. I have brakes so it stops just fine.
Summitgroundskeeping, a Ranger is not even in the same class. If you were talking F-150 okay, but a Ranger is not offered with a V-8.

I agree, I need a different truck. I am looking at a GMC 2500HD, but I can not get one until August because of finances and a need a solution now. Thank all of you for your time and input.

03-27-2002, 11:15 PM
My Ranger has the same payload and towing capasity as an F-150. Smaller class. But it has a V-6 w/a 4:10 reqar end. It can tow more than u think.

03-27-2002, 11:23 PM
summit i think you need to stop servicing yourself. i have that identical ranger, i let my g/f drive it. please oh please stop trying to convince this guy that your ranger has equal to or more towing capacity. look on the ford site, they list towing capacities. really all your ranger with it's v6 and 4.10' equal out to is well bad fuel economy

03-28-2002, 12:20 AM

Here is some imfo from the manufactors web sites on various trucks.

GM's numbers are
1500 Reg Cab
1/2 ton
(2002) 4173k (9200lbs )

2500HD Reg Cab
3/4 ton
5443k (12,000lbs )

1 ton
5443k (12,000lbs )

ford's are


its 7,700-lb. towing capacity


Towing capacity 3149 lbs.

toyota tundra

you can tow up to 7,200 lbs.

SO first Summit how is it that your ranger at 3149 is even close to a f-150?? or say a gm 1500 series truck at 9200lbs????

Towing is one of the areas that the tim allen approach is good, more power, more capacity, more pulling........

When all is said and done no one here is going to really change someones mind if they are stubborn. But how much are you willing to pay for it????


03-28-2002, 09:35 AM
hey you left out dodge and their hefty little 4.7

PrimeGreen Lawn
03-28-2002, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by f350
it makes me chuckle hearing everyone say 3/4 or 1 ton. truth is if it's rated by the trucks maker it's ok. make sure the equipment is set up right and you'll be fine. remember the 6 p's. proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

Here's the truth... Sure the truck maker might say (for example) 7,000 lbs towing capacity. However will little 1/2 ton truck last going up hills fully weighted? I'm sure it can, but for how long? Getting your 3/4 or 1 ton truck will save time in the shop. With the bigger trucks you get bigger frames, bigger and heavier duty trannies, and bigger engines (usually). Being the owner of many trucks, 1/2 to 1.5 tonm, I speak from much experience. Don't expect a 1/2 ton Ram or F150 to pull a small skid loader on a daily basis and not break something. Just ask my 2000 F450 with 144,000 hard pulling miles (mostly with 2 Bobcats)...never been in the shop ONCE for engine/tranny work.

Not trying to brag here, but this is the truth. You buy a tougher truck designed for our uses, you will be MUCH happier in the long run. Wish somebody told me that years ago. :(


03-28-2002, 10:22 AM
Your right,

I appologize... here is dodge

the 3500 consider that you have the ability to haul a trailer weighing up to a whopping 15,100 pounds

Maximum towing on the Quad Cab improves to 8,350

Maximum towing on the Regular Cab is now 8,660 pound

03-28-2002, 10:26 AM

sometimes you have to step up even bigger

I moved to a International 4900 with a 34,000 GVW. Looking for a good and cheap 20 to 25 ton trailer now to improve trailering

And yes I know the tri-axles go to 80k, but not ready for that size yet...

03-28-2002, 03:52 PM
i totally agree that bigger is better. but sometimes you have to make due with what you have. like he said the revenue will not permit a new purchase until august. i shun at the thought of purchasing a 30k truck as a residental contractor. with all the talk of lowballing and scrubs why would you put yourself in a postion like that. we are nothing more than contractors and money will never be secure.

03-29-2002, 12:16 AM
with over 200 customers i like to think my income is secured.....even if i lose half, income will still be there.....

03-29-2002, 12:39 AM
well ok you win! you are stable and fear no market trends. i see it totally differant. see i live in the uaw capitol of the world. automotive slows down and these people start to suffer so they A. start a company to make ends meat and afford that 300k house, this company could be hanging dry wall or mowing grass.
B. stop needing the lawn guy so they can afford cable.

do you see the trnd i am trying to produce?

let me ask you this as an outsider looking in. with that many accounts do you feel that your over-all customer service suffers?
are there weak spots that you need to address. have you looked hard at these figures or are you assuming it's all gravy?

i'm just curious....

03-29-2002, 12:48 AM
u guys r tellin the tundra guy to buy an international 4900?? or a 1 ton??? im sorry but a toyota tundra is not a toy truck, it is a fullsize. that means that it is built for hauling stuff. i dont care what kind of truck u have it isnt built to haul groceries, its built to haul a load on either a hitch or in the bed. that is what trux r designed to do. some may not be as safe as others to haul heavy loads, but if he doesn't have much more than 2 ztrs in that trailer it shouldnt bother the trucks drivetrain.

anyway, put some overload springs, helper springs, bags, or airshox on ur truck. airshox work wonderfully, i have a set on my cheyenne with a4.3 v6 and i have not had any trouble with shock mounts, the rearend, tires and wheels, or drivetrain.

if i was u i would check out that weight distributing hitch.

03-29-2002, 07:46 PM
[Qlet me ask you this as an outsider looking in. with that many accounts do you feel that your over-all customer service suffers?
are there weak spots that you need to address. have you looked hard at these figures or are you assuming it's all gravy?[/QUOTE]

Well here's the thing.... there are some accounts that are likely to stop this service in the event of hardship. This is the case in any business. However, there r some; Olderly, business people, and commercial accounts that will use my services no matter what the economy does. I try to keep a good mix of these types of client for this very fear.

03-29-2002, 08:27 PM
good insite. so what your saying is that you have some that get extra special attention? and in doing this you feel 100% confident that in an event of misfortune they will stay, thus keeping your bank roll intact. good points

03-29-2002, 09:14 PM
I have a Tundra and pull a large trailer and hall a backhoe at times without problems! what are you hauling?? Brian

03-29-2002, 09:21 PM

Not being smart, but please describe your "backhoes" size. All backhoes that I know are hauled on beaver tail trailers pulled by 10 wheelers or tri-axles. I have a friend that has a diesel F-450 that pays somebody else with a tri-axle to transport his Case 580 extendahoe.

So, please elaborate on this "backhoe" of yours that you pull with a Toyota!

03-29-2002, 09:21 PM
i pulled a 3400lb stock car with a small pick up it to need help went down to local auto parts and picked up a set of leaf spring helpers solved the problem easy to install 4 bolts

03-29-2002, 09:46 PM
what,, i'm sorry i just read that post and i swear your boomhour from king of the hill... i'm sorry

03-29-2002, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by f350
what,, i'm sorry i just read that post and i swear your boomhour from king of the hill... i'm sorry

I am Laughing My ASSSS of man!!!! that is too funny!!LOLOLOL

03-30-2002, 01:19 AM
If you want helper springs just go to your local auto parts store and tell them what you are wanting to do. Most helpers are just bolt-on items I believe. They should come with instructions, but if you don't want to do it yourself just take them with you to a trusted mechanic. Another way to get them is through a catalog like J.C. Whitney. If you want to add springs another option is to have leaves added to your stacks. I did this on an old '81 F-100 I own. To do most of it yourself jack up the rear of the truck and let it down on jack stands positioned under the frame. With the weight of the frame resting on the stands place two stands under the axle to support it (it will only be attached to the truck by the driveshaft in a moment). With the truck in the air and the axle supported just unbolt the U-bolts that hold the axle to the springs and unbolt the springs from the shackles/frame at either end of the stack. Take the spring stacks (in the bed of another truck) to an auto spring shop and have them add however many extra springs as you like. Be careful not to add too many because with too many your truck will ride really rough. I'd recommend maybe one, two, or three. Check with Toyota to find out the most springs Tundras come with to get an idea of what you want. With the "new" springs back just bolt them back under your truck, using a torque wrench to tighten them to spec.

04-14-2003, 10:53 PM
If i was you i would stick with the truck you have throw some new springs under it. Some synthetic oil and a K&N air filter keep up your secluded maintenance and your all set. To all of you that think just because it is a foreign vehicle that it cant compete you are so wrong those TOYotas have got to be the best built trucks you can get i will put my little Tacoma with a 4 banger up to any American compact truck and even some 1500s, don't get me wrong i like American trucks but when it came down to me spending my hard earned money i wanted something that will last and believe me 6 months 20,000 miles of H!@# and it still runs great. if you can move the trailer and stop it than your all set.

04-14-2003, 11:41 PM
Just another thought here what about all the weight being slapped down on the rear axle of that Tundra. I don't care what kind of helper springs or air bags or whatever you find to help hold up the rear end of that thing you are really putting the crunch on the axle bearings on that thing and what is soon to follow is failure. I don't really have a serious bad rap with toyota but when you want to drop the hammer on the rear end you better have some serious steel to back it up. Rear axles on Chevy 3/4 tons have bearings on the outside and inner ends of the shafts thus the reason they can handle the load better over the long haul. It was said in a previous post dump the trailer or dump the truck, getting the helper stuff is good money chasing after a bad repair bill. Good luck.

04-15-2003, 12:45 AM

I have pulled a medium size excavator about 32,000 lbs or more double the weight of the case 580 at about 13,500 lbs with my 6 wheeled dump truck.....

I have also pulled a horizontal beast 3680 tri-axle grinder at about 40,000lbs with the same truck

Humm... seems like a little over kill on a tri-axle.......

but your talking a completely different truck that a 1/2 or even a 1 ton truck then mine....

just me .02


04-15-2003, 02:18 AM

how about these for my s-10.