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Author Topic: Loading a trailer  (Read 4737 times)

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Offline Raider Bill

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Loading a trailer
« on: July 30, 2008, 12:34:15 PM »
My Dumb question number 25673...................
I need to haul my pull around forklift to Tenn this trip. It is about 8' tall  and very bottom heavy. Trailer is 10-12 Ft long.
I was thinking about loading it on it's back so I wouldn't have a sail sticking up but that would put all the weight either way in front or behind the single axle.
My question is should I load it so the weight is behind the axle or in front?
 It's a 700 mile ride.



 
This is the trailer and forklift when I brought it home upright.
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Offline ADAMINMO

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 12:39:53 PM »
You will most likly want the weight in front of the axle. If you get it behind the axle then anything over 15mph the trailer will probably whip side ti side violently causing you to lose control or the trailer and load.My friend had some lumber on a 2 wheeled trailer and most of the weight was behind the axle and we almost crashed and slowed to under 15 and done ok. but only had to go a couple miles. Just my opinion.
ADAMINMO

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 12:55:01 PM »
That's what I was wondering, I pulled a bobcat 25 miles a few months ago and the whipping about wrecked me. Always wondered if it was loaded too far front or rear to do that.
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Offline dewwood

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 01:21:23 PM »
Definitely put the weight ahead of the axle.  With it behind it does what Adam said causes trailer whipping and takes weight off of the tow vehicle causing loss of control of tow vehicle.  Several years ago we had a neighbor killed hauling some lumber home from a local sawmill for that exact reason, weight lifted rear end of tow vehicle and he lost control and crashed about a mile from home.  Also always keep the weight as low as possible to maintain stability.  Check to make sure you will not lose any fluids if you lay the unit down.

Have a safe trip!
Selling hardwood lumber, doing some sawing and drying, growing the next generation of trees and enjoying the kids and grandkids.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 02:40:13 PM »
For a bumper hitch trailer you always want the center of gravity just slightly ahead of the axles. Most pull trailers call for two to three hundred pounds of tongue weight. Any more than that and you will overload the rear springs of most towing vehicles and have steering problems. Less than that and you will have stability problems with the trailer as the others have explained.

So it sounds like you do need to stand the forklift up to avoid overloading the front of the trailer. However it may require a careful balancing to avoid the wind from lifting to much from the front as you are going down the road. You may have to drive slower or avoid headwinds.
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 02:58:53 PM »
Bill, you can remove the legs with two bolts (on mine I think yours is the same) and the wheeled handle part. And the mast, fully down, makes the thing rather compact. plenty short enough to be weithin your 10' deck length.

You could secure the heavy legs (they are made heavy for ballast and a significant portion of the overall weight) anywhere on the trailer to distribute the weight howver you want to achieve your desired tongue weight. A little more work, but may well be worth it in the long run. You know, that 700 mile long, run. :)
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2008, 03:22:13 PM »
Yepper 2 bolts will take the wheels off so I can lay it on it's back.
I have a 18 ft double axle trailer "car hauler" but have only used it around town in florida and am not sure if I want to try it on the interstate.
I have a chevy 1500, just fixed the elec brakes on the big trailer and if I did use that one I would also think about hauling a hydrulic bike lift and possibly a shovelhead too then leave the trailer there.
The First 60 some years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 06:18:01 PM »
If unsure of the center of gravity on what I am loading I will measure the hitch of my truck (94 Dodge 2500) and move the load til the tongue brings the hitch down 2 to 3". Not very hi tech but it works.
Bill

Offline Maineloggerkid

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 08:45:54 PM »
Ideally, having 75% of the wieght from the axle forward seems to give the best ride, IMO.

But hey, everyone does it different.
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Offline Polly

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 09:36:16 PM »
 8) :)   i like to put the wright toward the front of trailer enought to see the rear of the vehicle drop down slightly that way you are pulling the trailer instead of the trailer pushing you  :D

Offline smoothED

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 10:13:04 PM »
I had about 10,000# of beams on a double axel trailer and because of the lenhth more was to the rear , wipping back and forth over 50mph

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 12:25:57 AM »
In an ideal world, 15% of the loaded weight would be on the tongue. Any more overloads the tongue and towing vehicle, any less the tail wags the dog. I once towed an empty 22' car trailer through the mountains. The previous user had shortened the tongue to make it more manoeverable thereby moving the axles forward and it was horrible. It bounced so badly two spring leaves on the truck broke.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 10:33:48 AM »
I'm not sure I totally agree with assigning a percentage to it, but I guess it gives you a rule of thumb.  The trick is to keep the center of gravity forward of the axle.  Keep in mind that the CG will shift as the trailer moves, especially when gets out of level.  The lower the CG is, the less it will move.  Loading that lift in a vertical position could cause the CG to shift quite a bit when going uphill.  Also, wind resistance will cause the CG to shift to the rear on a tall load.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2008, 10:46:23 AM »
Dang
I never liked the idea of towing it upright. Figured to lay it on it's back. The bottom is very heavy.
I'm leaning towards using my 2 axle trailer which I've never hauled at high speed but have used to move cars.
I greased the axles yesterday, need to wire lights today and check the elec brakes as they were disconnected when I bought it.
The First 60 some years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline DanG

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2008, 11:28:34 AM »
Figured to lay it on it's back.

I figgered you figgered that, Bill. :)  I just can't resist sharing what little knowledge I have when the opportunity presents itself. ::) :D :D  Two axle trailers have less tendency to sway, but they aren't immune.  I'd use the single if it is up to the job.  Less wheels on the ground + less weight will give you better mileage, which means a lot these days.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2008, 11:39:15 AM »
Figured to lay it on it's back.

I figgered you figgered that, Bill. :)  I just can't resist sharing what little knowledge I have when the opportunity presents itself. ::) :D :D  Two axle trailers have less tendency to sway, but they aren't immune.  I'd use the single if it is up to the job.  Less wheels on the ground + less weight will give you better mileage, which means a lot these days.

Well it's not as if I haven't considered the upright position but just bringing it across town upright on the small trailer at less than 30mph was rough.

I'm probaley going to haul it on the twin axle trailer so I can bring it, the bike lift and a bike then leave the trailer up there.
I just hate the unknown aspects of that far a trip with a trailer I really don't know.

The good part is the twin has a winch to help me load it.
The First 60 some years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline DanG

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2008, 11:55:38 AM »
Sounz like bigger will be better.  Taking extra stuff will save ya a trip later, too.  The trailer should be fine, but I'd think about taking along a couple of spare tires and maybe a set of wheel bearings.  It's a real pain to leave yer stuff beside the road while you go for parts. :o
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2008, 12:14:52 PM »
Quote
The good part is the twin has a winch to help me load it.

Also to help you reposition the load if neccesary down the road.  Don't forget your battery and snatch block. ;)

If the weight is loaded to far forward on my trailer, it bounces or sends a harmonic through it and the truck.  Just last night, I had to reposition a large log farther back on the trailer for that reason.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 12:23:58 PM »
Howdy Chris!
Good to hear from you.
You should come on up to the property sometime. Bring the kids and ride the buggies!

I wonder how long that Harley would last sitting on the side of the road :-\
The First 60 some years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline DanG

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Re: Loading a trailer
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 01:07:23 PM »
This is a lot of fun, helping ol' Bill with his decision, but this thread is an excellent educational opportunity on an important safety subject as well. 8) 8)

I just went back and looked at the pic in the original post, and it is a good example to illustrate my point about the shifting center of gravity.  Notice how the column is sitting directly over the axle?  With the forks and legs out front, the CG is probably forward when the trailer is sitting level.  Now, picture that ride across town with it hooked to the truck.  In many places, you have to ride over the crown of a cross street.  As the truck's rear wheels cross the apex, the hitch is probably 3 feet off the ground, tipping the trailer to the rear.  In the next instant, the truck reaches the bottom while the trailer is at the top and the top of that mast probably pitched forward 3 or 4 feet.  The center of gravity will move at least a couple of feet every time a wheel goes over the hump or through a valley.  I bet that thing was whipping back and forth like a stop sign in a hurricane!  I don't wonder that it was a rough ride! :o

Another factor is the length of the trailer, as well as the distance from the truck's rear wheels back to the hitch.  The ratio of that length to the distance from the hitch to the trailer axle has a great deal to do with how a trailer pulls.  That ratio is what makes a gooseneck trailer vastly superior to a tag trailer.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."


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