Expensive lesson learned today.

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by GravelyNut, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    On long trips I always put locks thru the hitch latches so they can't come open. Today for a short 4 mile trip with the trailer empty to get it weighed, I didn't. Within 500 feet of the entrance to the scale location I hit a rather rough section of road at about 30 MPH. Just starting to brake for the turn when the trailer took a hop. Came off the hitch and down onto the tongue jack. Two bounces and about 30 ft of skid marks from the jack, we came to a stop. Breakaway didn't trip as the trailer tongue was never more than a couple inches away from the truck hitch. Jack got a slight bend and the 1.75 X 5" channal that it''s welded to also got bent. Figured the welding shop could straighten the channal enough to last the next trip north with a stop on the way south at the manufacturers to get it redone. He had a brand new one in stock plus the channal. $125 later and after a 3 hour wait, it was repaired. Lesson learned? Lock your hitch latch no matter how short the highway trip.
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Lock your hitch latch?! Shouldnt that always be done??!!
  3. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    Lock as in put a lock thru the latch in the closed position. Not just latching it.
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    O im guessing you dont have a bulldog coupler?
  5. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    If you cross your safety chains, they will catch the hitch if it falls off in motion.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    In most states you have to cross the chains by law. My cousin just got $175fine for not having them crossed.
  7. HOLLYWOOD6973

    HOLLYWOOD6973 LawnSite Member
    from PGH PA
    Messages: 77

    Wow! This is why the D.O.T. is so tuff now. This guy doesn't know to put a pin in even when towing an empty trailer.:hammerhead:
  8. Southernlandscape343

    Southernlandscape343 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    I believe he's talking about the place for a lock on the trailer itself. I think yall are picturing the reciever pin which should AWAYS be in place.
  9. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    Chains were crossed. Still didn't stop it from dropping the jack on the ground. With the hitch lenght, the chains will allow the tongue to hit if it weren't for the jack. Far better the jack than to have the nose of the trailer dig in. And when the trailer runs in when stopping, the chains will go slack enough for just about any trailer to drop. Remember not to hit the truck brakes or it could be worse.

    Don't believe it? Try this. Hook up your trailer with the chains. Use your jack to remove from ball. Lower trailer tongue. Back up truck. If you are lucky it will be sitting on the chains but on the ground. If you have a high truck, it could force the chains out of the way. Chains are there to keep the trailer under control in this type situation, nothing more. And they did.

    And before someone says the chains are too long, no they aren't. When hooked up they barely reach the hitch frame on the truck.
  10. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    First time in over 35 years of towing a trailer. With trips ranging into the thousands of miles per trip. And I'd bet that if I went out and checked 100 empty landscape trailers tomorrow, I'd find most don't have pins in the latches. Most would have locks if anything.

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