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I am confused about trailer capacities...

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by thepawnshop, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    OK, I hate to sound totally ignorant about trailers, but I am. I have ordered this trailer:


    But I had it shortened to a 20' trailer with a 4' dovetail. The order will not be finalized until I fax back the invoice so I need input from you guys before I do that. Here is what I am wondering...

    It says the G.V.W.R. is 25,900 lbs. The salesman told me the trailer weighs 5,900lbs. So does this mean that if you have the correct vehicle, that trailer can actually CARRY 10 tons of equipment? (btw...the actual trailer weight will be 5,000 lbs due to shortening of the bed...so I assume the G.V.W.R. would then be 25,000 lbs)

    You see, last year, I bought a 6 ton trailer..thinking it could hall 6 friggen tons, when in all actuality, it can only pull 5 tons, because you had to subtract the weight of the trailer to come up with what you could ACTUALLY tow. Live and learn I guess...

    I am also fully aware of the CDL that I am opening myself up to but here is the funny thing....

    I told the trailer sales guy that I have a 2004 Chevy 3500 Dually with the Duramax and that I am going to be towing a 6 ton excavator, and he claims I am fine as long as I stay under 19,000lbs. I don't think he is right on that one...but why in the hell would he think that (other than the obvious...to sell another trailer).

    BTW...the 3500 is only a short time solution, as I plan to buy a larger truck next year...but I want to get a trailer now while I have the cash. I made a mistake buying not enough trailer last year...I don't want to do that again.

    Please help me here...I REALLY need some guidance and all opinions are welcome...even if it hurts my feeelings!

  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    No need to hurt anybodys feelings :)

    For starters that trailer doesn't even have enough tire rating the axles are rated for 10,000lb each combined 20,000 the tires are only rated for 19,480lbs so 520 short of capacity. You will have to upgrade to LT235/85R16 Michelin XPS Ribs E rating.

    I don't know how it can have a 25,900 GVW if the axle rating is only 20,000lbs where does the extra 5000lbs come from you can't put that much pin weight on a 1 ton.

    It says 3500lb slipper springs well there is only 4 of them that only gives you a spring capacity of 14,000lbs ?

    So ballpark the gvw of the trailer to be 22,000lbs so 20,000lbs on the axles and 2000lbs on the hitch/truck. So the trailer should have a tare weight of 6000lbs so subtract that from 22,000 you have a 16,000lb capacity roughly.

    For your needs you can probably get away with a trailer with 14' or 16' of deck space shorter the trailer the better which means lower tare weight.

    From the spec's that trailer you are looking at is out of whack.
  3. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Thanks GR...Aslo, if anyone has suggestions for a good trailer, I'm all ears as well!
  4. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    What do you mean by that quote? Dumb question I know, but what is "pin weight"?

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    Is it a 5th wheel or hitch.
  6. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

  7. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    5th wheel and Gooseneck are the same, aren't they...Like I said. I'm in the dark on trailers.
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I am pretty sure that if the weight you are towing is 10,001 lbs or greater you have to have a class A cdl. As for the trailer. Your 6 ton excavator is 12000 lbs and you should be fine on the weight issue. I assume that you are getting a goose neck trailer simply because i wouldnt want to pull 6 tons behind a 3500 truck with a trailer ball. With a goose neck, you are placing a lot more of the total weight on the truck. Just because your machine weighs 6 tons doesnt mean all the weight is carried by the trailer axles. Because of the weight transfer onto the truck, your total weigh being towed might be less than 10,001 lbs and you might get by without the CDL, depending on how your state views the laws. Some states ignore GVWs and just weigh the vehicles at the axles. With the trailer hooked to the truck and the machine loaded on the trailer, and due to the weight transfer of part of their weight, you should be less than 10,000 on the trailer axles. Assumeing a weight transfer of 60%, the combined weight of the machine and trailer would be 17,000 lbs. 17,000-60%= 6800lbs. That would mean that 10,200lbs of the total weigh is being carried by the truck. Depending on the weight of the truck which is probably around 6000 lbs your total combined weight would be 23,000 lbs or 3001 lbs under class B cdl requirements. Where you would get in trouble is if you cant get 60% weight tranfer due to the configuration of the equipment requireing you to place the machine weight closer to the rear of the trailer, or if the weight transfer exceeds the total hualing capacity of the truck. 10,200 lbs is 5 tons on the back of a ton truck or a total truck weight of 16,200 lbs. If your truck GVW is only 11,500 you will be over weight on the truck by 4700 lbs. Thats enough that you could get ticketed for. If you place the machine closer to the back of the trailer so that you tranfer the extra 4700 lbs back on the trailer then you will exceed the CDL class A requirement of 10,001 lbs. even tho the total combined weight is only 23000 lbs. You need a class 4 truck to pull what you are trying to pull. A class 4 truck will have a GVW of around 17,000 and allow you to stay under the CDL requirements. That still just allows you about 800lbs of added attachment weight that can be hualed, so if you are planning on a extra bucket or a fuel barrel, or tool box and extra tools, you could still get in trouble with the GVW and CDL issue.
  9. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    I am getting my CDL, so that isnt an issue. I just want a good trailer that I wont outgrow too soon...as I did my last one.
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I really don't think you will want to have anymore than 2000lbs of pin weight maybe 3000lbs at most you are only dealing with a regular 1 ton. You do have a good chunk of weight on one part of the frame aka over the rear axle.

    Say your P/U weighs 7000lbs empty which is a pretty conservative tare weight you will probably weigh 7500lb empty subract that from your gvw that leaves you a payload of 4000lbs. Remember 4000lbs is suppose to be spread out in the bed not concentrated in one spot.

    For your 1 ton you probably would want to keep most of the weight on the trailer axles and enough pin weight to keep the trailer connected properly and enough weight on the tires. Not enough weight the trailer could essentially see saw on the trailer axles and lift the truck off the ground :eek:

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