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  • What an interesting Friday night (long)

    Background story:

    Sister got in a car wreck a few weeks back. My Dad trailers her car to a bodyshop near Wellsville. On the way there, my dad hears a pop, then looks in the mirror, and seconds later smoke is billowing out of the rear drivers side tire. He pulls off to the side of the road. He throws his half empty mug of water on the rim. It is so hot, it doesn't even touch the metal. Insant steam. I'm sure you fabricators whose toyed around with torches and welders know exactly what I'm talking about. He makes it to the garage (which thankfully wasn't far away) stopping literally every 100 feet. This was 3 days ago.

    Tonight, I worked till 7. Closed up the shop, and took every tool I thought I would need to change the axle bearing, seal, etc. I load up the heep, go home to pick up my dad, and go wrenchin around 8. The body shop owner, Steve, is KICK-ARSE and lets us use one of his bays to work on the tow rig. Fawkin' A! No lying in gravel road. We get it fixed and out of the garage around 12. Thanks again Steve for letting us burn the midnight oil. Hook the trailer back up (Since we were dropping the car off to get fixed) and head down the road. We stopped right before we hopped South on 7 to check the wheel. Perfect. (Of course it is, duh! ) Head down the highway all dandy....

    I change tracks on the CD player, and look up, and notice something looks weird. The tail lights aren't matched. Oh SHEET!! I turn on my hazards, flash my high beams a billion times....honk my horn. Random showers of sparks are coming from underneath the van. Keep in mind it's now 12:30, I have been working since 8, and is downpouring rain at an astronimical rate. My dad has a good combo of skill and luck and manages to pull off the side of the road without any mechanical failures (except the trailer tongue jack is...uhhh....slightly shortened.)

    IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT TOWING

    1. Never assume anything
    2. Check and re-check stuff. We kicked outself in the arses because the first time we stopped to check the wheel, we didn't check the hook ups on the trailer. We might have seen that the safety pin had flown off.
    3. Always carry spare pins. Luckily we had 2 spares in the tow rig.
    4. Trailer brakes fawking ROCK. We usually tow with the trailer doing a slight more amount of braking than the tow rig for the fact that the tow rig only has 3/4 ton brakes, and towing a 1,500lb trailer + the usual choo choo train. This aspect saved our bacon. OK, not really our bacon. Just the @ss end of the tow rig!
    5. Remember you don't stop as fast towing as you do normally. Don't be cutting people off or tailgating. Thankfully there was noone on our side of the road and I was following at a safe distance.

    Talk about having excitement in your life!

  • #2
    sounds like a hairy time. good thing nobody got hurt and nothing got to too messed up

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    • #3
      thanks for the semi-horry story leadfoot. ill keep that in mind when im driving the avalanche down to WV pulling our 16' trailer loaded with ATVs this august for some awsome riding on the hatfield-mccoy trails.

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      • #4
        Sounds like you had an interesting evening out there with your dad...
        luckily it turned out fine.

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        • #5
          are you saying the trailer fell off the hitch ball? I have never seen that or even herd of it happening before, that is amazing. I cant believe the safty chains actually held the trailer to the tow truck, was the trailer tounge damaged a lot?
          Or did I just read your story incorrectly?

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          • #6
            Yes, the trailer popped off of the ball on the tow rig. The mechanical jack right behind the ballmount was the source of the fourth of july sparks.

            What is even more strange is that the way it is setup, the trailer CANNOT come undone if the safety pin is in. The pin only goes in if the trailer is fully seated into the ball and the little latch thing or whatever it is, is in place. I'm guessing the safety pin came undone, hit a few bumps, then the latch came undone and off it came. How the FAWK did the safety pin come undone? I have no clue. The towrig/trailer was never unsupervised from the time of hookup till it fell off, so there was no chances of some punks messing around.

            The safety chains worked just like they should have, with the tongue of the trailer resting on the chains (that were crossed over to form an X) If they weren't on.....well. I don't even wanna think about it.

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            • #7
              We had a trailer jump off a hummer in Iraq we however didnt have our chains crossed. That Trailor flipped in to the air as the tounge grabbed the road did 2 complete flipps befor landing upside down. Gear and sand bags went flying. Thank God we had a HEMMET (truck with a mini Crane and cargo area) picked it up and slapped it in the flatbed and kept going.
              Leadfood you left out one good important thing
              6. Know how to back it up befor you hook it up
              So many punks join the army never drove anything execpt mommys mini van think they can back up a trailor. WRONG. Seen my fair share of jack knived vehicals.

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              • #8
                Glad thats all that happened. Shows the importance of safety chains!

                Could have been much worse. Have you heard about the wood chipper that came loose here in Pittsburgh and killed a father and 2 of his 4yr old tripplets and the other is in critical condition.

                Not making any speculation cause things can happen. But it really goes to show you how important it is to have all of your systems working properly on your trailer like safety chains and break-away brakes and overall condition of your trailer.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by odell
                  Know how to back it up befor you hook it up. So many punks join the army never drove anything execpt mommys mini van think they can back up a trailor. WRONG. Seen my fair share of jack knived vehicals.
                  I jack-knifed a trailer following the Major's directions... he insisted which way to cut the wheels, etc. So I looked at my buddy, we smiled, and I did it.
                  Ooops.
                  Kinda made a mess.

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