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5th wheel weight problem:no traction

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Dirtmaster, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    upper duckwater, IL
    I need some advice on tongue weights. I have a Rogers tilt deck that has 18 feet of flat deck and about 9 feet of gooseneck. My loaded vehicle pretty much fills the deck and it just tilts over and I can't move it forward anymore. The problem is that I have very little weight on the 5th wheel. The loaded vehicle weighs about 35,000 pounds and the trailer weighs about 12,000 pounds and is rated at 50,000 pounds, so no problem there.
    The loaded vehicle sits pretty much straight over the tandem duals and it cannot be moved forward at all. Because of this situation, there is virtually no weight on the 5th wheel and hence, no weight to give the tractor any traction. The wheels spin, and I get no braking help from the tractor. I suspect that this trailer is designed to haul a track hoe with a heavy arm, resting out on the goose neck.
    How can I best remedy this situation? I can put weight on the goose neck but that will affect how the deck tilts. I can put tail weights on the tractor but that limits the use to that tractor only. If I add the weight, does that affect the handling going down the road?
    Thanks for the help in advance.

    Dirtmaster
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  2. rigandig

    rigandig Well-Known Member

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    Dirtmaster, I think the first thing I would try would be to load the Armored veh on backwards. You will probably find that adds a little weight to the drive axles, or moves some of the weight forward. If that doesn't move enough weight forward, try puttin a piece of dunnage, oak works fine/best, on the deck of the trailer just ahead of the tracks about 6" before the underside contacts the gooseneck, and driving the veh onto the wood. You need to determine how much clearance you need to get over the goose neck, and put that thickness of wood down to drive onto. That should get you over the gooseneck. Also, there is a "breakover point" on that unit. You probably should determine exactly where that is, and don't go past that point on the wood dunnage that you will drive/back onto. If ya do, you may high center on the gooseneck, spin the wood out when trying to go forward, and in general, have a mess on your hands It won't take much to transfer the weight you need forward. I think you may find that loading it the opposite direction will help.
    Moving it like you describe in your post can put you in dire straits. Prime candidate for a jack knife in a panic stop situation.
    Also, I would guess from the info you gave, that you may be over weight on the trailer tandem. 34K is all that's allowed per tandem. You might want to find a scale locally and spend a bit of money there figuring out where the unit needs to set to be legal for weight before you end up paying the state to show you. :D With such a short trailer it will take a bit to move the weight forward. Good luck and be careful.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  3. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure the center of gravity is somewhat forward of center but haven't actually tested that theory. If true, going on backwards would worsen the problem, of course. Putting a hunk of wood up there to get up over the gooseneck might work. I'll probably try that. I have not taken it anywhere but slowly in the local neighborhood, for safety reasons. Thanks for your help.
     
  4. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    you need a longer trailer.
    period!
     
  5. rigandig

    rigandig Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find the center of gravity is just behind the 3rd/center wheel. Unload it, and while on level ground, drive it onto a piece of dunnage placed crossways of the tracks. When it balances, you'll have the CG. The only thing that should affect that afterward would be more or less fuel, and that would be miniscule probably.
    As qball said, a longer trailer would be beneficial,and you may find that you can't get the weight legal on that trailer. It'll be tough. If ya measure halfway between the tractor tandem and the trailer tandem, about 1foot closer to the trilaer tandem is where your CG should be to equal the weight out. It's not likely you will be ablt to get it to equal, but you may be able to get the weight down to 34K or under on the trailer tandem. Again, the only way to know that will be to take it to a local scale and weigh it, and then attempt to adjust the weight accordingly.
     
  6. Raildudes dad

    Raildudes dad Senior Member

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    qball has the best solution but I'm with riganddig if you want to use this trailer. I'm guessing the center of gravity on this thing is about the 3 axle from the rear. back it on and it looks like you can straddle the gooseneck. Get the 3rd axle ahead of the first tandem and it should handle much better.

    (Looks like riganddig and I were typing at the same time:) )

    Rolled my tractor trailer and dozer across the local scrapyard scale this afternoon (they are closed but you can drive across the scale and read the readout on the wall:):) ). Dozer only weighs 11,000 lbs. I have too much trailer but I figure you can't have too much:):):)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  7. rigandig

    rigandig Well-Known Member

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    Go to the "Your Trailer Pictures Wanted" thread, page 10. Scroll down and Nick has a picture of an excavator posted there with the dunnage under the forward end. Looks like he needed to get over the gooseneck a bit too. Not sure why but it was either to transfer weight or get his heighth down, or both. That'll give ya an idea of what you need to do on your load. Also, with the barrel facing forward, it possibly may be to high. Sure wouldn't want to see that unit with a bent barrel.
     
  8. rigandig

    rigandig Well-Known Member

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    Think we were at that Rail dude's dad. And as you said, I didn't think ya could have to much trailer:D
     
  9. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    How often would a guy transport a thing like that,......do you have any shells for it?

    but yeah i am with them too, bolt some 6' long timber's (i have no idea what the hell a "dunnage" is,....kinda sounds like a terd, lol) to the trailer and run that thing on forward.

    i am guessing you have tried backwards or spinning the gun around etc.?

    Pj
     
  10. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips, guys. We have yet to do the center of gravity thing with a log, but do plan on it. One problem is that we have a suspension system and it kinda folds around obstacles, unlike a construction vehicle, which is designed to loosen kidneys and dentures.
    We take it out a few times a year to parades, air shows, and the like. No, I don't have any shells for it, either. It's screwed up to federal specs.
    If we backed it on and swung the gun around, I could use it as a headrest in the truck cab, probably. Also, it needs to be transported with the gun in the locked position for mechanical reasons.
    One option is to extend the lower frame of the trailer by ten feet and add some decking to match the lengthening. By rough calculations, that would add about 13,000 pounds to the 5th wheel point, assuming we drive up the tilt, whump down (there are shocks to dampen the whump) and then move forward. Is 13,000 pounds going to be enough or should I just sell this one to someone that can use it properly with like a track hoe and a heavy arm/bucket and get something else? What I'd really like to have is a folding gooseneck trailer.
    Thanks again for the tips, guys.
     
  11. OCR

    OCR Senior Member

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    5th wheel weight problem:no traction:

    That's odd... that machine looks to have front drive, at least according to the sprockets. Either that, or it is on backwards... which doesn't look right either, according to the lights, or what looks like lights.

    Do some military tracked machines drive from the front??... :confused:


    OCR
     
  12. rigandig

    rigandig Well-Known Member

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    OCR, Yes, some of them do. Dependson which end the engine and trans are in. I know that from watchin Gunny, on the History channel:D.
     
  13. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it has the engine and tranny up in the front left. Drives on the right, being a British thing (s'cuse me whilst I take a sip of tea...). There isn't much weight in the rear, although there is more shell area.
    I'm going to guess that lengthening the under-frame and adding some deck up front that doesn't tilt is going to be the solution. I'm mystified as to what this trailer was designed for, now. It would seem that the only proper load would be one that has some heavy thing extending out forward over the gooseneck, so that there is weight on the 5th wheel. Ideas??
     
  14. hvy 1ton

    hvy 1ton Senior Member

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    I'm gonna go with front engine trackloaders, if there was ever a frontend heavy machine that would be it.
     
  15. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. Boy, this trailer is a dream to drive around, being so short. I pulled through a McDonald's parking lot with it and did a corner or two in there. Nothing like driving down the road dragging a 50 foot snake, trying to keep off of people's toes on street corners. It only has 500 original miles on it, believe it or not. I'd be happy to swap it to someone that can use this style for something more appropriate to my needs.
     
  16. Raildudes dad

    Raildudes dad Senior Member

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    There was a time around here that the paving contractors would use a similar type trailer. They'd back the paver on and put a big square combo water/fuel tank on the goose neck. They've pretty much switched to the Landoll type trailer, easier to get the paver and rollers on that type trailer.
     
  17. -NICK-

    -NICK- Well-Known Member

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    Rigandig,I have to load that way for weight and for traction.I think short of a new trailer.I would try it your way also.You would be suprised how little traction you get going uphill if you dont have load far enough forward.and yeah a little piece of dunnage under the ramp helps get over the gooseneck to get closer.
     

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  18. Safety Mgmt.

    Safety Mgmt. Active Member

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    You have a very short, heavy duty trailer but, with drawbacks also. Everything you load on this type of trailer has to have the heaviest part forward up next to the gooseneck. You have to decide this before you load any equipment on this short trailer. This trailer has a huge GVWR and it will need to have plating welded to the front deck to offset load issues. Anybody think that his tires just may not have the right tread for good traction? Every little thing contributes to loss of traction. If you have plenty of GVWR on the trailer, I'd weld the plate on the front gooseneck deck and not add weight to the tractor itself. Take the tractor off the trailer and get on a dirt road up hill take off and see if the tractor breaks loose from traction real easily then you may have tire treads that just don't grip. I've seen guys change the tires and never have another problem. Short trailer as shown are always nice to pull hard the distribute the load weight. Good Luck
     
  19. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    upper duckwater, IL
    Short, stubby trailer load distribution problem

    Thanks for the tips. I need to do something because it not only loses traction, but the weight is wrong for a sudden stop. I need weight on the 5th wheel plate in order to get my tractor tandem duals to stop the load. I am reluctant to put a little ramp on the front of the bed to get the tank up over the gooseneck because that raises my center of gravity. I'm considering lengthening the underframe by 10 feet so that after loading and tipping back down flat, I'd drive 10 feet forward onto some new decking that was affixed to the front gooseneck section. That would put something like 15,000 pounds onto the 5th wheel plate. It's still tail-heavy, though. Would that work?
     
  20. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    First I would do a seesaw test as advised by Rigandig ( I appreciate its difficult with that running gear) which will give you a better idea of the tipping point.

    I would also like to see it loaded the other way around and the barrel out the back, you can do this on your seesaw test, purely out of curiosity.

    I think 10feet will be way too much length addition, I'll have a pint of beer that 4 feet more forward will make one hell of a difference.