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View Full Version : Trailer flew off the truck


promower
09-04-2012, 10:53 PM
Thats right what a way to start the commute to the job this morning. Long story short, I left my the receiver I needed at a job over the weekend but found another one I could use but I didnt have a hitch pin for it. No prob my pops lives right the street I'll steal one from him for the day. Stop in chat for a min, he grabs me a brand new pin, I'm looking at it and the design looks sketchy, never seen a pin like this one, Ill post pics of the pin when I find one on line.

Throw the pin on, hook up trailer and were off. Got 20 mins of highway time from east to west side and its always chaos, tons of traffic Im sure you all have your rush hour to. Cruisin along at about 45-50 traffic all around me I'm in the right lane. Intuition is getting the best of me and I feel like something is wrong and I keep thinking about that stupid pin its got me nervous.

I check my rear view mirror for about the 500th time in 10 mins just as feel a jarring pull and see my trailer swing to the left, I knew right away that the trailer came off and as if that wasnt serious enough I knew it was bad because the way it swung I was pretty sure at least on of my safety chains broke. I slowed quick but with traffic I didnt lock em up. After I slowed the trailer violently swung left at which point I did lock the brakes. I managed pin the trailer between my truck and guard rail, both chains had snapped, the trailer was about 3/4 up parralel to my truck. Severe truck damage, cant open the passenger side door, window wont go up.

No one died or got hurt, zero damage to trailer aside from needing new chains which Ill be doubling up on for the future. What happened was honestly best case scenario, this could have ended very badly, truck rollover, runaway trailer on the hwy at rush surely would have killed someone. I will def get pics of this pin to warn others and I will be calling the manufacturer as they should be recalled. I also feel like they should carry the responsibilty of the truck repair but thats prob a dead end. Careful out there!

fentonlawncare
09-04-2012, 11:11 PM
Dang, I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm glad you and everyone is safe.

blakescape
09-04-2012, 11:20 PM
Man you are lucky. Do you or your father have the original receipt and packaging for the pin? Also, do you have pictures of the accident and documentation of what you were hauling?

If the pin was rated for more weight than you were hauling, I would sue the manufacturer for damages and if necessary, a recall. Also, there might be an independant material testing lab that can test the shear strengh of the exact model pin to see if it meets or exceeds the advertised rating. But thats just me.

blakescape
09-04-2012, 11:24 PM
And im assuming the pin was the correct diameter, i.e. no movement in the hitch when you brake or accelerate?

promower
09-04-2012, 11:44 PM
hey, yea the pin was the correct diameter for my hitch. Thats the thing the pin did not shear off and fail. Most pins have a hole that you can stick a codder pin through to keep it from coming out this one did not. Instead it had a shallow grove at the end of the pin that codder pin slide over. Vibration, maybe a hard bump or whatever but the codder pin came off and eventually the pin itself came out of the receiver. Very hard to explain but when I post a pic its a big WTF I cant even believe these made it to store shelves, but then again against my better judgement I used it anyways.
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BPS##
09-04-2012, 11:51 PM
hey, yea the pin was the correct diameter for my hitch. Thats the thing the pin did not shear off and fail. Most pins have a hole that you can stick a codder pin through to keep it from coming out this one did not. Instead it had a shallow grove at the end of the pin that codder pin slide over. Vibration, maybe a hard bump or whatever but the codder pin came off and eventually the pin itself came out of the receiver. Very hard to explain but when I post a pic its a big WTF I cant even believe these made it to store shelves, but then again against my better judgement I used it anyways.
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I've seen those before. And wondered how safe they are.


Couple weeks ago I saw a guy that had his trailer pop off the ball on an asphalt seem.
I'm pretty sure he didn't have the right size ball. He managed to pin the trailer on the right side so it didn't fly out into traffic. Jacked up his right side pretty good.

DVS Hardscaper
09-05-2012, 07:42 AM
Well.....basically you were using a pin that probably is sold at Walmart or PepBoys.

Never ever use anything but solid steel trailer hitch components that are sold only at dedicated trailer / equipment dealers.

Pins, hitches, balls, drop bars, etc. I've seen guys using the hollow drop bars - foolish, you drop bar should be a solid chunk of steel. Same with the balls - solid steel, not chrome plated.

I've had people offer to let me use their drop bars, etc., intake one look at them and say "ah no thanks".
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woodlawnservice
09-05-2012, 12:54 PM
Yep had a hollow.tube drop hitch crack almost completely.in half.... like stated above I felt.something wasn't right pulled.over and.check.it out and.sure enough.. immediately out of the recievwr tube it was cracked on all four side just barely holding on at the top by a 1/4"... now I have solid steel!
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sven1277
09-05-2012, 08:32 PM
I have one of those hitch pins. As long as the "codder" pin isn't splayed out, it should be fine. The cotter pin needs to be the correct size and in proper working order too. I have the type as you mentioned with the notch cut near the end and the style that has a hole through the pin. I have never had a problem with either style, nor would be concerned to use either type.

jbailey52
09-05-2012, 08:49 PM
While we are on the subject... Has anyone seen the device you put on your hitch? Let me see if U can explain this. You detach the ball from your hitch, install this 'box' then install the ball. The box has a hinge on one side, and when you hook up the trailer, you then close the box over top of the trailer and ball. it then locks, and if the trailer would want to come of the ball for whatever reason, it wont allow it to pop up. ... Its a pain to put on and off, but I have trucks which the trailers dont come off, so it is perfect for them.

jbailey52
09-05-2012, 09:00 PM
I just read my discription on what I was talking about, and punched myself in the face.

Here is the picture

http://www.happytrailstrailers.com/images/product/SS200[1].jpg

alldayrj
09-05-2012, 09:03 PM
edit: nevermind.
thought you were the guy whos hitch popped off and this is what he used

cgaengineer
09-05-2012, 09:06 PM
I have one of those hitch pins. As long as the "codder" pin isn't splayed out, it should be fine. The cotter pin needs to be the correct size and in proper working order too. I have the type as you mentioned with the notch cut near the end and the style that has a hole through the pin. I have never had a problem with either style, nor would be concerned to use either type.

Same for me, I've used both and they work fine...it only needs to hold the pin in the hole.
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zedosix
09-05-2012, 09:09 PM
I also use that type of pin and have never had issues, only issue really is that someone can steal the reciever in a dash

cgaengineer
09-05-2012, 09:16 PM
If any of you have an 04 250 chech the factory hitch...was wondering why ours was sagging and checked it...all bolts were missing nuts and the remaing two were finger tight...had just pulled the bobcat with it setup like this...forget chains, they would have just kept me from losing the receiver when the whole thing came off.

I replaced every nut with lock washers and new nuts.
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big daddy b
09-05-2012, 09:34 PM
wow, yeah good thing no one was hurt.
I had something similar happen to me about 6 years ago when I didn't know any better.
We had one of those hitch pins where the end of it slides up, spring loaded kind of deal, works great when you actually slide the end up...not so great when you leave it sticking out flat so the hitch pin can slide back out.

So anyway, I was towing an equipment trailer with a full sized backhoe (for my first time) down a back road, and the trailer hitch receiver pulled right off the truck, trailer tongue went smashing on the gravel, but the safety chains held strong and the trailer never took off. Nothing was damaged, no one got hurt, was able to jack the trailer back up and put the same pin back in and continue on down the road.

TomG
09-05-2012, 11:20 PM
I just read my discription on what I was talking about, and punched myself in the face.

I have to say, that made me laugh pretty hard.

juspayme
09-06-2012, 01:11 AM
dude get a lock that goes through the hole i have been using them for years. then you know it wont fall out