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Equipment Trailer for Bobcat

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by YellowDogSVC, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    I know this is in the wrong forum but I wanted the heavy equipment perspective. I apologize in advance for the long-winded explanation..:)

    I have been running an f350 dually flatbed and 16' 12k bobcat trailer for years in an effort to stay under CDL and stay away from a longer gooseneck which I used to run.

    I recently picked up a good deal on a used F350 but it isn't a flatbed. I have a rider on my personal insurance that allows me to use it for up to 20% business if I don't put a flatbed on it. Saves about $2k a year and since I won't be hauling all the time, I may do that for the immediate future.

    I know my trailer weighs about 2300lbs. My modded s330 machine with a bucket weighs about 8900 lbs. which doesn't leave me much wiggle room to haul a heavier attachment. I am figuring exact weights based on the machine weight and trailer weight which I put on a certified scale separately.

    Should I figure a 10% transfer of weight to the truck for a bumper pull or is it more? If I get a longer, slightly heavier trailer does that affect the transfer of weight to the truck because the trailer is longer? The new Fords use a class V, 2.5" 15klb. rated hitch in case you were wondering what hitch I use.

    I would like to be able to haul my s330 (8300 lbs without bucket) and 2300 lb mulcher on the trailer or get a longer trailer and haul machine and bucket plus one attachment but I didn't want to overload a 12k rated trailer even though I run G range tires. I have also considered getting a 14k rated trailer and having it rebadged to 13k lbs. I did that with my dump trailer to stay under CDL since I only haul mulch and chips and some metal.

    Anythoughts other than, "get a CDL and dual tandem"?
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Get a CDL and a Goose neck and you never have to worry again.

    Sorry, but I got a Class 1 (CDL to you Yanks) last year, up until that point, my next truck/trailer purchase was always dodging me due to the regular class 5, but now the sky is the limit.........................really, the next step is an air-crane helicopter that is for sale that I saw.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    When you get pulled over or stop at a DOT weigh station, the basis of whether or not your over weight will be the amount of weight on all the axles individually in relation to rated GVW ,and in your case, also in relation to your nonCDL limit requirements. The amount of weight on the tongue is totally dependent on the positioning of the trailer axles, further back more weight on tongue but more stable, further forward less weight on the tonge and less stable at speed.

    I would take your equipment, truck and trailer to a grain elevator or other certified scale (hopefully someone who would not charge you) and see what combination will yield the best results. Just remember to weigh each axle separate.

    I usually put attachments on my flatbed and haul the machine on the trailer, if there are two attachments or more going those go on the trailer. I pull with a 5500 and an 18K pull behind trailer (that is 18K of available payload). I seldom run at max. capacity with that setup. Although I do with the gooseneck.

    If you looking at trailers. Towmaster I think is hands down the best built trailer on the market. That is my opinion.

    It might be me but I would just get a CDL, I know that is not what you want to do, but once you get it your set. You don't have to worry on how your going to load trailer to save weight, its more safe and if you want to add heavier or more equipment to the trailer your covered on the licensing portion. Good luck.
  4. ARP

    ARP LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    I was in your situation recently Yellowdog. I recently started my own company and purchased an 08 F450 pickup to tow a 10000-11000lb CTL plus attachments. I knew I had to get a CDL but I wanted to read the regs to make sure I was clear on all the points.
    For reference, I used the info at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regu...?rule_toc=752&section=383.91&section_toc=1331 to help determine the national rules and regs.

    I'm sure the issue of the weight limit for what an individual can or cannot tow without a class A CDL has probably been discussed on here many times, but judging by the weights of the machine and trailer you listed, it looks like you are over the 10,000lb GVW limit already for a towed vehicle. (2300lb trailer + 8900lb machine = 11,200 GVW for the "towed vehicle" if my fuzzy math makes sense.)

    The only reason I throw this out there is to get you to think about what trailer would be ideal and safest for your operation, (whether it is a gooseneck or a longer bumper pull trailer), without thinking about the limitations of not having a cdl. Once you decide what trailer you need, then worry about getting your cdl since it appears that the weights you pull regularly already requires a cdl.

    BTW- nice truck, equipment and job stories. I always seem to learn from your posts.

  5. Blyth

    Blyth LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Messages: 37

    Hmm... this has got me to thinking... I am going to have to do some research. I am pulling my equipment with a 1997 Dodge Cummins 3500 flatbed 2wd. I have a s250 bobcat with brushcutter and bucket. The trailer is a 20ft bumper pull with 7k axles and brakes on both. I carry the bucket on the flatbed and the brushcutter and s250 on the trailer. I guess I should weigh it and look up the regulations and hope that I am legit.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Why fool around if you need a CDL get a CDL. What is cheaper getting sued and loosing everything because your running a undersized truck and you lost control and crashed into a school bus. Running a larger truck may cost more but its a h*ll of alot safer than running a borderline combination.

    Even pushing say a F-450 to 22-24,000lb gross combination is pushing your luck. Sure Ford may say the truck can gross 24,000lbs you will need perfectly working order trailer brakes no flaws what so ever. The trucks brakes would have to be in good shape ie flawless.

    A friend of mine he hauls some heavy loads on his gooseneck not everyday but average once a week or once every 2 weeks. Every 3 months he pulls the wheels off the trailer and does a brake inspection. If he finds something needs replacing it is replaced.

    I don't think you flatlanders know what its like when your stepping on the brakes and very little stopping is being done.

    Anyhow quit fooling around with undersized trucks and get what will safely tow your trailer.
  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    I have talked to the DPS licensing here and they reiterated that I only need CDL on a combination over 26k for my circumstances. For intrastate, only a combination with a trailer over 10k requires CDL from everything I have read. I really don't want to move from a bumper pull if I can stand it. I hate gooseneck and have many good paying jobs where gooseneck just isn't as feasible. I tow a 12,600 lb. chipper quite a bit too and really like and I am used to, short loads on the back. Thanks for the compliments!
  8. Blyth

    Blyth LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Messages: 37

    I went looking on the TxDOT site and found a flow chart that showed that I was under the weight of needing a CDL... I feel that I am safe and well below what is needed for a CDL and my TV is more than adequate for my application. However, I am still going to do some research and goto a cert. scale (we have one at my regular job) and get my total weight as well as the weight without the TV. I special ordered my trailer and one thing that I added was the brakes on the the second axle. I felt that was especially important.
  9. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    So you are saying I should go get a dump truck to pull my bobcat? I think that would be overkill. The bobcat and CAT dealers use Dodge 3500's and F350's respectively to pull machines and attachments. I agree that brakes need to be checked regularly. I check my cables and repair my wiring all the time. I do my brakes 6 mo. to a year. Heck, I only have 49k miles on my '05 truck and that is split between just driving, towing the bobcat, and towing the chipper. Last time I had the brakes on the truck checked I was still more than 50% and I though the bobcat trailer is due for brakes to be adjusted, they don't get worn down too much even though I drive in the hills. I maintain my equipment pretty good and have receipts to prove it.
    My main question that wasn't addressed was accounting for the tongue weight percentages.
    I really didn't want to rehash the CDL/non CDL debate. We have gone through that. It is on the list of things to do but it really wouldn't help me too much right now anyway. I'm still stuck with two F350's and a 12k trailer. Though a flatbed/gooseneck combo would work very good for some applications, I find the flatbed/short trailer combo works the best, is lowest profile for the narrow ranch roads, and is easy to pull and park in the neighborhoods where I work. The heaviest thing I have to haul on the trailer is a 9k bobcat so the 12k trailer is rated for it. My question still stands, though, about the tongue weight percentages?
  10. Blyth

    Blyth LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Messages: 37


    Are you saying that if my loaded trailer weighs over 10k, I need a CDL to tow it within the state?

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