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Old 11-11-2020, 12:28 PM   #1
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This is why you never load a trailer heavy in the back

Ran across this video of bad sway. This guy was very lucky in the end.

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Old 11-11-2020, 12:48 PM   #2
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My brother rolled his Jeep Grand Cherokee into a ditch that very way. He was going somewhat slow, so he wasn't injured.

He had a vehicle loaded onto a tandem axle flat bed backwards (engine toward the rear of the trailer). The heaviest part of the car was well behind the axle set. The heavy rearward load created a sway event, and the trailer pulled the whole works off the road and rolled it all into the ditch.

Learned some VERY valuable lessons that day.

It actually surprised me. He knew better than to load the trailer that way. We've both been dealing with this stuff since before we could drive (legally). We've towed and hauled ALL kinds of things. After I ensured he was okay, I asked him what he was thinking. He said "I just wasn't paying attention to the weight distribution when we loaded the car up on the trailer." I had to chuckle a bit and just shake my head. Like I said, he KNOWS better...
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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Maybe going a bit fast? I'll bet it took a while to dry out his britches!
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:50 PM   #4
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If the guy in the video had proper trailer brakes and knew how to use the manual function he could have gotten that under control just as it started. He was extremely lucky no one was hurt and no damage.
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Old 11-11-2020, 01:52 PM   #5
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Maybe going a bit fast? I'll bet it took a while to dry out his britches!
Ya think??? Lol! I bet they needed a lot more than drying out!
Prolly needed FEMA for some disaster relief on those shorts.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:20 PM   #6
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I wonder what damage there was to the truck or trailer. Neither are built to handle that kind of strain. Could easily be invisible to the naked eye. I hope he didn't just continue on his way.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #7
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A tap of the trailer brakes and it would have straightened out
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:13 PM   #8
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Yup, he should've squeezed the manual trailer brake control on that first little shimmy. AND he should've loaded the trailer correctly...
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:37 AM   #9
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Yep that tractor should have been further up on the trailer.

I towed my '85 Jeep CJ7 on a 16 ft. trailer for many years without incident and without a WDH.
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:14 AM   #10
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A properly loaded trailer driving at highway speeds with no wind should not experience any sway whatsoever. If sway is encountered it needs to be corrected ASAP. If sway happens while driving use the manual trailer brake on the brake controller to restore control and then slow down. Continuing to drive with a swaying trailer will only lead to an accident.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:44 AM   #11
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I re-watched the video this morning. Right at the very beginning you see a posted speed limit sign of 70 mph. The semi's dash cam says he was doing 60 mph when the truck pasted. I suspect the pickup was doing 62-65 mph when he passed. You can see a little shimmy as the semi moves over. I bet the upset air pressure, as he passes the semi, started the chain reaction of the sway. Should have touched his manual brake engagement, to get things under control.

I rarely ever put my old cars on a trailer (they are drivers not trailer queens). I loaded it on a barrowed car trailer, got it all strapped down. Sat on the rear end for a moment, and realized the trailer was very tongue light. I was very mad at myself for not watching closer. Just glad I did not jump up the freeway with no tongue weight.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:24 AM   #12
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That tractor appears somewhat smaller than mine. It looks to be a 4000 series JD, I have a 5303 with a 510 loader. But, I can tell you that with the rear tires filled, mine is surprisingly rear heavy. I have over 1000 lb of additional weight in the rear of mine just in the tire ballast alone. That is without any additional implements, etc.

It's hard to tell without exact scale weights, but on a short trailer like that, it may have been better to back that tractor on so that the rear wheels are as far forward as possible, the front tires near the centerline of the trailer axles, and only the loader to the rear of the axles.

To me, this is a perfect example where a visit to the CAT scale may have really helped in proper load distribution.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:35 AM   #13
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That tractor appears somewhat smaller than mine. It looks to be a 4000 series JD, I have a 5303 with a 510 loader. But, I can tell you that with the rear tires filled, mine is surprisingly rear heavy. I have over 1000 lb of additional weight in the rear of mine just in the tire ballast alone. That is without any additional implements, etc.

It's hard to tell without exact scale weights, but on a short trailer like that, it may have been better to back that tractor on so that the rear wheels are as far forward as possible, the front tires near the centerline of the trailer axles, and only the loader to the rear of the axles.

To me, this is a perfect example where a visit to the CAT scale may have really helped in proper load distribution.
I was thinking that loading the tractor on reverse would have been better too.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:01 PM   #14
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Looks like the truck brake lights came on so he may have panic braked. Maybe he didn't have trailer brakes or they didn't work or he was alone and couldn't reach them. I remind my wife every time we go on a trip about the manual (easily reached by her without taking off belt). On some major downhills I have asked her to stand by with her hand on it just in case.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:58 PM   #15
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And definitely not apply the brakes like he did. Trailer brakes and throttle should have straightened that right up. Scary seeing trucks with campers loaded like this all the time. Rear ends of trucks dragging the ground due to having too big of a camper. Those camper dealerships will tell people anything they want to hear to get a camper.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:24 PM   #16
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The Chevy trailer brakes have trailer sway control. When it sees the wheels spinning at different rates it applies the trailer brakes. Slows the trailer down while the truck stays ahead.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:49 PM   #17
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The Chevy trailer brakes have trailer sway control. When it sees the wheels spinning at different rates it applies the trailer brakes. Slows the trailer down while the truck stays ahead.
I'm not sure, but I don't think that year model came with integrated sway control. I used to tow with a 2012 Sierra, and it did not have integrated sway control that I know of...

Newer models, sure, but that Chevy looks to be a little old for that tech?
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:51 PM   #18
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Most utility trailers do not have brakes
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:54 PM   #19
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Looks like the truck brake lights came on so he may have panic braked. Maybe he didn't have trailer brakes or they didn't work or he was alone and couldn't reach them. I remind my wife every time we go on a trip about the manual (easily reached by her without taking off belt). On some major downhills I have asked her to stand by with her hand on it just in case.
Why would you have a brake controller out of reach. Very dangerous.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:34 PM   #20
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Most utility trailers do not have brakes
That trailer is not considered a light weight utility trailer.

Any trailer when loaded has a GVW greater than 3000 pound is required to have electric brakes. That looks to be a purchased flatbed trailer, so out of the factory it came with electric brakes.
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