View Full Version : Runaway trucks

The Mowman
09-05-2000, 12:54 AM
Here is my story. We were doing a trenching job for drain tile. We had done most of the trenching the day before, then had a huge storm which lasted into the next day. Anyway, we were loading the 3 ton trencher onto the trailer connected to our parked Dodge 3500 which was sitting, pointing down the rain soaked hill. Needless to say, as the trencher went up the ramps, the front of the trailer put enough lifting power on the trailer ball that the back of the truck lifted enough to start skidding 8 feet down the hill. One employee jumped into the truck and jumped on brakes and emergency brake. Can't imagine what would have happened. Just remember to get big machines onto the trailers before the truck has time to start moving.

09-05-2000, 04:55 PM
You are very lucky. Buy that employee dinner!

Richard Martin
09-05-2000, 06:54 PM
A deal like that happened down the street from my house one day. They had a single axle dump with a trailer on the back pointed down the hill on asphalt. When they went to run a D-3 up on the trailer it lifted the rear tires of the dump and the whole kit-n-kabootle rolled about 40 feet down the hill and turned over into a drainage ditch. What a mess. Police, tow trucks etc..

09-05-2000, 08:34 PM
When the piece of machinery you are loading on the trailer is lifting the back of the tow unit up ( regardless, of up hill, down hill or flat)that far off, it is overloading plain and simple. I don't care how big the trailer is, axle GVW's, if it does that it's too damn heavy. You must haul the equipment correctly, on properly rated trailers, towed by properly weighted tow vehicles and LOADED on flat surfaces. Even if you have to road it. COMPANY POLICY.

I would take a serious look at the hitch setup and height, to start with. Then review your operating procedures with your operators, ( I would think they have a clue maybe??)

So what your saying is drive them up fast before the under rated vehicle gets away???

The personal injury attorneys would have your business in a heart beat.

09-05-2000, 09:17 PM
what you need to do is weld brackets on bottom of ramps in a"U" shape so front of trailer can only lift 3 to 4 inches. you are not alawys over loading . take a good look at a construction trailer design on ramps.

09-05-2000, 09:25 PM
The employee is lucky. A 46-year old local woman was killed Thursday, she attempted to get in her car which started rolling, slipped, the open door knocked her beneath the wheels. Not an open casket deal, if you get my drift.

Be careful guys.

09-05-2000, 10:04 PM
My buddy did that, he was by himself, guess what stopped him. A new camaro!!

The Mowman
09-06-2000, 06:34 PM
Ok, update on that story. The whole truck wheels did not lift off the ground. The thing was that the pressure on the back of the trailer took enough weight off of the wheels to allow the truck to slid about six feet becuase the road was still soaked with rain and slick.

John DiMartino
09-06-2000, 09:27 PM
Turfman,relax,and where did you ever come up with your theory?I load my tractor/backhoe onto my 5 ton trailer,it weighs 5400 lbs,it will pick the back of my truck right off the ground if i dont stuff a 6x6 under the rear of the trailer before I load.According to you im overloaded,how do you figure,My trailer is 2100,tractor,5400 total towed load is 7500 with 6700 on axles,and 800 on hitch.I weighed this at Certified scales before i bought the trailer to be safe.My tow vehicle is either an old Chevy C30 dump truck with a 12000 lb tow rating or my Dodge /Cummins Ram with a 10000 lb rating.Please tell me how Im overloaded?They both tow the little tractor easily,even on rough roads or in winds.

09-07-2000, 09:43 PM
What are your axles rated at ? If they are 3500# axles, then you are overloaded.What is your combined GVW of the truck trailer and payload ?? If it's 12,000 as the GM 30 series is I believe, then your truck must only weight 4500 total with no load. If it's the Dodge, then your saying it weights only 2,500#. Rated towing capacity and GVW are two totally different things. Most rated tow capacities, like equipment specs is usually BS. GVW is the only thing that counts at the scale and when the weightmaster stops you.

When I load the backhoe on a single axle dump truck on a tandem axle dual wheel trailer, the back of the truck does not come off the ground.If the back of the truck is coming off the ground, the vehicle weight is wrong, the hitch mechanisim is wrong, something is wrong. That is not a safe operation.

09-07-2000, 10:18 PM
Turfman, you're out in left field on this one. The problem comes from having a strange condition of the truck and trailer parked on the convex curve of a slope transitioning to a flat. It's plenty easy to miss when you get ready to load, been there, done that. Overloading has nothing to do with it, all your pontificating aside. It's a matter of the operator missing the signals and finding out too late that he's in trouble.

John DiMartino
09-07-2000, 10:54 PM
Turfman,first off,your wacko,second I have a class A CDL with all endorsments,so I know the scales and DOT well.If you listened to my post I said my 5ton trailer,that is a 10000 Lb gvwr,it has two 5400 lb axles with 12" brakes.My Dodge has a 18000 GCWR,It weighs 6680 with me in it,add the 7500 lbs and total is 14180.Im way below rated limit,and rear axle of truck is 6084 lbs.I am legal,My C30 has a 454 with 4.56 axle in rear,it has a 19000 GCWR,it is 2wd and weighs 7000 with me it,thats how I got the tow rating.It is 10000gvwr.You opened a can of worms here.

09-08-2000, 09:51 AM
The simplest measure would be to modify your ramps as mentioned above or put a pair of jack legs at the back of your trailer. Its not overloading so much.Its weight distribution. My old IH 6 tonner had a 4.6 tonne front axle
and a 10.5 rear axle.Consequently,I could only have about
3/4 tonne load weight over the front axle and still be legal.Solution? Move the load to the rear. A freind of mine loads his tractor/slasher on the back of his 5 tonner
and the front wheels of the truck come up about 4' into the


09-08-2000, 08:28 PM
First off, you answered my questions about the gvw etc. I accept your rational on that aspect. I still maintain that if the rear wheels of the truck come off the ground, it is an unsafe loading operation. Others have suggested using jack stands on the back, makes sense. Maybe trailer axles placement affect it.

Geometrical transition ?? Come on now. Proper spotting of the trailer and tow vehicles make sense. How about a flat surface to load on ?

Wacko?? Where the hell did I ever say anything to you to justify that comment ?? Don't get so pissed off dude,you may disagree with my take and I may disagree with yours, but it certainley does not make either one of us wacko.

It is my personal opinion that it was an unsafe loading operation. I am a state certified on the job accident and auto accident investigator. I have a perfect safety record in 4 years of operations management of 25 employee's. That's no lost time accidents in both construction and maintenance, and no chargable motor vehicle accidents.

If thats wacko, then I'll just keep taking that safety record with the big fat workmans comp rebate I get every year. My personal share of that rebate was $ 1500 this last year.

09-08-2000, 09:03 PM
Well if your trailer is lifting the tow vehicle you should try choking the trailers wheels.Even if it is not overloading the trailer it can still lift it if there is no support under the rear of the trailer>I know it happened to me when loading a bobcat on a trailer that the rental store gave me.

John DiMartino
09-09-2000, 07:33 AM
Turfman,I said your wacko for thinking im overloaded when im not,you connected the rear wheels going in the air with being overloaded,as if that were a measurement for being overloaded.I carry 2 1ft sections of 6x6 with me,I use one under the togue jack when taking tailer off,and i use them both under the rear of the trailer before i load something heavy,This never happens then,but my help has forgot to throw the 6x6's in the truck a time or 2 and then we chock the wheels with rocks,put the truck in 4x4,with it running,set the brake and load as quick as we can,and the back of the truck will come about a foot off the ground.I didnt mean to offend you,my wfe says im wacko too for being on LS so much.

09-09-2000, 03:15 PM
We bought a tilt bed trailer, 19 foot with 5000# axles. Tilt bed makes ramps and all this other crap a moot point. I by far would use the tilt bed for everything I haul weight accordingly. This eliminates positional weight transfer and spreads it out over that curve that I think Alan reffered to. We don't have to lift ramps and the whole load / unload process takes about half the time. We are going to get another one because it makes equipment transfer between our job sites much easier.