Backing off trailers

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Fieldman12, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    My trailer just has ramps. When backing I try to have someone watch while Im backing off to make sure Im coming down the ramps straight. Is there any tricks to backing off by your self? I never have loaded a dozer on a trailer but I hear until the front comes down on the trailer your looking in the sky. :)
  2. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    loading a dozer/trackloader isnt that are looking at the sky until the teeter-totter affect brings you down but you just take it slow and it will slowly come down. As far as the unloading of a skid loader goes just set your ramps directly behind the tire, step back and take a look at it, then go straight back. Its no biggy, as long as you have an inch of tire on the ramp you're not going to fall off, and if you do its doubtful that you are going over backwards...

    the one thing i hate is loading a backhoe on a tag-along trailer. I forgot to lock the boom up once and the front tires headed for the sky, even when the boom is locked up the front tire have a tendency to come up with the 2 foot and 3 foot buckets both on the back

    but really loading a trackhoe onto our lowboy is what i find the most challenging. You have to be right on or you will be over width. The tracks stick out on either side 2 inches from the trailer (actually its over width anyway, the machine is 103 inches from track to track) then you have to bring the boom all the way back to you without hitting the cab and set it down perfectly between the tracks, the worst part is you have to put the track binders on and re-hitch the trailer before you can fully tie it down so there is a lot of jumping on and off the machine when its up on the trailer, makes it tough on rainy days
  3. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    That's what I do. I back as close as I can to the ramps and then stop and get off to look. If it's okay, I back on off. I jsut feel more comfortable when someone is watching since Im going backwards.
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    I back on.......
  5. fhdesign

    fhdesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I also normally back on, especially with a dozer.
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Skid...line the ramps up correctly. Get in the skid and make a mental marker of the middle of the front of the trailer and travel backwards slowly. Relax in the seat and continue back over the "teeter totter" until the machine is committed to the ramps. Slow and easy, relaxed, no jerking movements and keep your line straight. I prefer (if in hill country) to park my truck with the nose of the truck facing downhill so I am unloading uphill. I also double check to make sure the tow - truck tires are turned into the curb, brakes are set, trailer is attached correctly to ball and then do the ditty.....All that said, the best thing I could say is that middle mental marker helps alot.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    it seems like backing on would be harder than backing off. I typically find a spot on the bucket or attachement and line it up with a fixed point on the trailer and make sure ti stays in line all the way down. A good example is when i have a toothed bucket on the skidder and i line one of the teeth up with one of the center boards on the trailer. even when the mach. drops back and points at the stars, you should still be able to see the trailer. I know the first time i did it, i think you could not have gotten a fart out of my behind. but after a couple of times, it gets to be second nature. the only thing i won't do is off load a skidder with no bucket or attachment. Rather not take that chance.
  8. cddva

    cddva LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    Something RockSet touched on, as far as loading/unloading parked on a hill. I had my first job recently where the street was very steep, narrow and no curbs only small sharp ditches on either side of the road. I parked with the truck facing downhill, with the parking brake on, so I could unload uphill. I back my RC50 onto the 18' w/ 2' beavertail trailer. The unloading went fine but when I backed it on to load the trailer typically lifts on the front end until you get some weight up onto it. This time the truck and trailer started taking off downhill. I just kept backing the machine on and dropped the loader bucket onto the deck and fortunately everything came to a stop after about 5 feet of travel. It all happened real quick and unexpectedly. I never gave any thought about the parking brake only applies to the rear wheels. Maybe if I had 4 wheel drive engaged it would have prevented it. It was an exciting moment I don't want to relive. I've made a mental note to bring wheel chocks the next time I'm parking on a slope.
  9. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    my boss was loading a mini-trackhoe onto a trailer...the F350 it was hitched to had been having problems going into park and i kept telling him about it, but he never fixed it...long story short, the truck came out of park rolling away with him on the mini-trackhoe on the trailer, luckily another guy could run over to the truck and jump in on the brake...2 days later the truck was in the tranny shop haha
  10. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Ditto. The ramps stay in your vision for a while before they disappear when you are looking up. By then, your usually lined up enough to get on. Backing off, you usually can't see any of the trailer so its harder for me to gauge. Of course, the new tilt trailer I bought makes the whole process much easier.

Share This Page