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Accidents with trailer in tow???

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Old 04-25-2004, 12:12 AM
  #11
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Originally posted by Strip Poker 388
Yea Madcow had a bad one I still could not believe the road rash on his arm. ouch.


Rob

rash was on Tizbad's arm it rolled on the pasanger side
 
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Old 04-25-2004, 01:30 AM
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Originally posted by Reed Jensen
Does this count?.............



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Old 04-25-2004, 07:38 AM
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My husband says he can't believe I haven't posted this story. The only reason I am posting it is because I want to know how you determine how the ball would be incompatible with the trailer.

I have hooked our trailer up to our truck LOTS of times. I have a neurotic system of doing it and double checking it. I'll post the whole story in case someone else can figure out where I went wrong...cuz I can't figure it out.

At the Buffalo, NY poker run you have to launch and then take the boat and the truck to an island. We decided to take the trailer off the truck so it would be easier to go across the bridge and maneuver the little side streets to get to the hotel.

On Sunday I get back to the trailer (JB is on the boat) and hook it up to the truck. My system is as follows: back up the truck. Lower the trailer onto the ball. Make sure the "cup" is totally encompassing the ball (not sitting on top of it). Secure the pin/lock thing. Hook up the chains, the emergency brake cable and then the lights. Get into the truck and pull forward. Get back out and make sure everything looks secure. Then I pull around, back into the launch and JB drives on. I secure the boat with the winch/seat belt looking thing and pull the boat on the remaining 2 inches (or whatever it is).

I did that. I pull forward. JB looks the hook up over. Pushes on this and that and makes sure the lines are all hooked up. I actually laughed to myself that he did that - after all, I've done it right a bajillion times, when is he going to trust me???

We get going on 190 approaching 290. Where the two merge there is a LARGE bump in the road. We hit the bump and the trailer literally popped off the ball and laid on the ground in the middle of the expressway.

JB now has to slow the truck down and try to maintain control with the trailer without taking out other vehicles. He gets it stopped with minimal damage (boat was fine, a little dent in the truck) except we are taking up one lane of the expressway.

Natually, I'm freaking out. I'm screaming "OMG this is MY fault!! I'm so sorry!!" Have you ever tried to put a boat back on a truck when it's laying on the ground? I assure you, it's not fun. Add to that that the chains are taught and it's a real headache. I should add that while it was on the ground, the trailer was still in the locked position - which would make you believe that it was never all the way on the ball....but it was, the cup totally covered the ball. And yes, it's a standard 2" ball.

Clearly this could have been much worse. We have a Ford V10 and a 25' Baja. I could have easily wiped out over $100,000 with one shot....not to mention other motorists and potential destruction and injuries. I take this VERY seriously.

I view each problem as a learning experience. I have reviewed over and over how I hooked up the trailer that day. I would feel better it there was something I could put my finger on and say "If I do this next time, I can be 100% sure that will never happen again."

I can't. It's frustrating. I do hook it up in a very specific order and always check and double check. If there is and question whatsoever, I lift on the trailer and see if it comes up at all (they're not heavy). Maybe hit had something to do with the bump in the road...it wasn't a little bump. It was more of a ditch. JB saw it coming and slowed down to hit it.

Can anybody give me any help here? How do you know if the ball is incompatible? Can you think of another way to double/triple check?

Please skip the comments about letting JB hook it up. I've successfully done it a million times....I'm not so sure that wouldn't have happened to ANYBODY - male or female.
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:01 AM
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Bonnie,
My thoughts were exactly what Wildthing said about checking your hitch to make sure it was for a 2" ball and not the larger one. Also check the ball itself "again" to make sure it is the same size. Hey, maybe the guy that made the ball was drinking that day and had the wrong size stamped on it.
I would also check or "have checked" the part inside the hitch that surrounds the ball when you close the lock for damage.

You also made this statement:
I lift on the trailer and see if it comes up at all (they're not heavy).

It makes me wonder if you do not have enough tongue weight and all of the weight is at the back of the trailer causing the front to want to lift up.
I still do not think the hitch coupler should have removed from the ball if it was the right size and properly latched.

Glad that you did not sustain damage and there is nothing wrong with posting this as we all learn things from each other.

Cordell
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:22 AM
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If your trailer hitch is 2 5/16 as Wildthing suggested, but the ball is 2, that could account for it. I've lost a 2 trailer off a 1 7/8 ball before, and that is only 1/8 difference. (Was just going to move it around the yard and too lazy to change balls -- what could happen after all?)

Secondarily, have you gotten under the trailer hitch and looked for damage to it? Maybe something failed in the locking linkage between the lever you touch, and the cup that locks under the ball.

Thirdly, is either the ball or trailer worn? (Remember the 1/8 inch difference. I didn't tell that story just so OSO knows what a dope I can be. I told it for you.)

BTW, it's great how you jump in and handle the loading/launching tasks.

BTW again, don't take his double checking the hitch as necessarily a vote of no-confidence in your work. Intelligent people always double check safety equipment. If someone hands you a gun, the first thing you'd better do is confirm it's loaded/unloaded. As you know, a runaway trailer can be just as dangerous
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:42 AM
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Just to let everyone know the ball size on the truck was a 2 5/16. I have been towing some very large trailers for well over ten years and have not had that happen before. In bonnie's defence I think the hitch was jared open then re locked itself when it hit the ground. Thank god for good freinds that helped us out. JB
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Old 04-25-2004, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wasabe



Is that you?
No.... that's not me.... That is a photo that has been floating around on the net... It's been published in several magazines too...
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Old 04-25-2004, 12:48 PM
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That last post was JB...(just so people don't get confused). I think we need to change ball sizes from what's being said. I'll double check it and insist on a different ball. He's got a couple extras.
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Old 04-25-2004, 12:54 PM
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I always use trailer lock when I trailer.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:39 PM
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Here's one that happened to me last year.

I was trailering my 29' Kryptonite (w/ less than 20 hrs on it) with my 2001 Chevy 3500 dually down the Garden State Parkway (60 - 65mph) when the 2 5/16" trailer ball snapped off! I am convinced that if I did not have the stability of my dually, I would have lost it completely. The safety chains held and I stuffed the tongue of the trailer between the rear wheels and coasted to a stop. When the trailer dropped it pulled the truck hard to the left but I was able to keep from swerving into the other lane. I always bring a bottle jack with me (the trailer stand was sheered completely off) and I switched to a 2" ball that I had and babied the rest of the way on side roads. Looking at the shaft of the broken ball it appeared to have had a defect in the casting. Now I always keep a second 2 5/16" trailer ball with me. Just another note, I have a 2'x3'x2' box that is full of all my hitches, pins, adapters, tools, tow strap, jack, chain, wire, etc. (anything I may need while towing)
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