1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

trailer sizes.

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by 205mx, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Posts: 2,574

    true, true, true.... and adding helper springs to a 1/2 ton doesn't make it any better. So many people forget about how much the brakes and transmissions have to do with pulling.... Why do you think GM makes such a fuss about offering an Allison transmission?

    My neighbor pulls a 35' "light" camper with a Ford Explorer w/V8, he experienced both a catastrophic brake failure and on a separate occasion transmission failure, but he couldn't understand why the add-on tranny cooler wasn't good enough. They call things "heavy duty" for a reason.
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Quite a few things to go through here...

    When you are looking at trailers, make sure to get one that is big enough for your current needs and still having a little spare room to grow in the future. I'm not talking about needing a 14' trailer now but going out and purchasing a 20' trailer so you can "grow into it". I mean, if you think/know that 12' will just fit your needs, step up to a 14' trailer, the extra 2' will be much appreciated.

    As far as the weight of the trailer goes and having the trailer "overloaded" or close to capacity, just make sure the axles are a proper size. Most quality single axle trailers come with a 3500lb axle, after factoring in the weight of the trailer, maybe 1500lbs for a 12', you can only have 2000lbs of equipment on your trailer. If you are worried about the weight limit and don't want to step up to the dual axle, you can have a trailer custom built and just have a 5200lb axle put on the trailer, not that difficult to have done. This way you stay with a simple single axle trailer but have an extra 1700lbs of capacity compared to 3500lb axle trailers.

    Trailer brakes are AWESOME and much needed. I know when I had my old 14' trailer, that didn't have brakes on it and you could feel it. I was towing with a 2500hd diesel truck at the time, so stopping wasn't too big of a deal but it definitely wouldn't stop fast, but the truck did just fine. Now with my current 18' trailer I do have brakes on it and they are absolutely amazing. Between the trailer brakes, my 3/4 ton truck's brakes and the tow/haul mode on my truck, I can dang near stop on a dime (towing 7000lbs). My truck has an integrated brake controller so it brakes exactly proportionately with my truck.

    It seems this thread has become a little side tracked in talking about whether 1/2 ton trucks are good enough to tow full time. Well, that is a weighted question! Sure 1/2 tons are very capable trucks, but whether they are okay to tow full time is dependant on the load in which you will be towing. Towing 8000lbs regularly will definately take its toll on a 1/2 ton truck pretty quickly. Brakes will wear out faster, the transmission will work harder and the engine will be working harder...so things are almost guaranteed to break pretty quickly compared to heavier duty trucks. But towing 3500lbs worth of equipment on a trailer regularly will not kill a 1/2 ton truck very quick. Like I said before, add trailer brakes and your truck will hardly have to work harder than normal to stop your truck/trailer effectively. But everyone has their own opinion on trucks and what they think is "NEEDED". Personally, I have only owned 3/4 ton trucks, so I'm not too sure how well 1/2 ton trucks do with heavier loads...seeing as I have minimal drive time with 1/2 ton trucks.
  3. Blades Lawn Maintenance

    Blades Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Baton Rouge, La
    Posts: 1,233

    Yeah imma have to look into it more and find out all I need.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I have trailer brakes on my 14'. for the first 2 weeks I had they weren't operational because my truck wasn't wired for the box.

    to be honest I don't really notice that much of a difference with or without the brakes. I certainly wouldn't say they are awesome.

    I pull the trailer with a 1/2 ton doge ram and it stops the trailer just fine on its own no problems. I'm not convinced they are all that great. but when I got the trailer they told me in my state that's something the cops look at if you get pulled over.
  5. dahammer

    dahammer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    Sounds like something is wrong with your brakes or the controller isn't adjusted correctly. Mine will lock the tires up on the trailer if you get on them hard enough. There is no mistaken their presence.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I never screwed with it much after I had so much trouble when I first got.

    I tried and tried to find the right setting but each and every time the trailer tires would lock up and make that awful screeching noise. so I finally asked a budy of mine and he told me about where I should be. set it there and forgot about it. he also said its cheaper to replace truck brakes than trailer brakes so he errors on the trailer brake setting to be a little less which is where I think my setting is. I'm sure I'd notice if I had to slam on the brakes but every day normal stopping and going its like the trailer isn't even behind me.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    Pulling a tandem axle 14' enclosed trailer will test your 6 banger.
    I would not run any enclosed with a V6 personally, after seeing how my Dakota 4.7 V-8 works with my 14' trailer.
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    personally I never noticed a difference between pulling my enclosed from the chevy v6 I had to the dodge v8 I have now.

Share This Page