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is it to heavy

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by prezicion, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Good point. I have a 1976 27500 LB truck with air brakes, and a "9 ton" triaxle trailer with electric brakes. These trailers are notorious for bad connections at the plug. My experience is that the controller must be correctly adjusted or braking will be unsatisfactory. An empty trailer will skid tires if you aren't adjusted light enough, a loaded trailer might put you into the trees if not heavy enough on the brakes. Lots of vigilance on the level, and very low gear on the steep down hills is critical.

    Willie
     
  2. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    There is a new SAE rating J2807 that is supposed to "level" the playing field here in the US. I do think that it requires some more in depth testing and requirements to be met before the towing number can be slapped on a truck. I think its only a matter of time before they start getting air brake options on these pickups. I imagine a lawsuit might get things moving.
     
  3. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

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    Some answers to the ratings may be found by reading about a SAE Standard J2807.

    This magazine explained the 2008 standards - various topics are covered - braking is from 20mph with no trailer brakes involved.
    http://www.automobilemag.com/news/sae-tow-ratings-finally-pass-sniff-test/

    I excerpted these words from the article:
    The SAE towing committee purposely defined the scope of this standard not to include brake fade and durability aspects related to the tow vehicle such as the endurance of chassis, powertrain, suspension, and brake components. Other SAE standards and each manufacturer’s own internal requirements instead address these towing issues.

    I really wish electric brakes could be better at their assigned task.
     
  4. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    There are electric over hydraulic setups that work well, but then the cost is much higher.

    In response to Scrub's question about air, I think it's a cost/portability/licensing issue. Money to install the system, air brake trailers being unuseable with non-air tow vehicles, and the fact that at least in my state you have to pass another test to be legal in an air brake vehicle. Probably have to pass new laws to accommodate mixed combinations.
     
  5. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    Thanks lantraxco. I hear you about towing with a standard juicer . . . I have been known to jury rig a gasoline compressor. (Big grin)

    With the huge market in the US and a licencing/insurance/ownership system that encourages the use of huge pickups to do the work of proper trucks it seems strange (to an outsider) that there have not been more significant developments in regards to trailer braking systems.

    It must be said though that a pickup getting into trouble seems a relatively rare event and then mostly the result of overloading and driver error . . . how do authorities view brake lights coming on during long descents?

    Cheers.
     
  6. jaluhn

    jaluhn Well-Known Member

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    https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/showthread.php?57565-F350-Backhoe-Trailer-Fatality

    How lucky do you feel? What's the risk of killing someone worth to you? Do you want to have to face someone's wife/husband/child/etc and explain that you thought it would be safe and a good truck was too expensive and that's why they now have a dead/crippled significant other/parent/etc? Or stand up in court and try to explain why you shouldn't be liable for a few million in medical bills?

    Can it be done? Yes, and 98% of the rigs out there are safe and reliable. Thing is, s*** happens. Too big of a trailer is a very very good way for a minor oh s*** to turn into major damage. At the end of the day you've got 20+k lb behind a fairly light truck. Sure it can up hills at 75, but can it stop and control that load? Going downhill?

    Remember too that electric trailer brakes are not fail safe - it's very possible to loose the trailer brakes when you least expect it.

    Big difference too with how/who drives it. Does the driver take it slow and easy or drive like a sports car? Way too many folks these days seem to trend towards the later. Will they drive 55 or 65? Difference in energy and stopping distance with that extra 10 mph is about half again as much, yet folks are going faster and faster - physics is still the same.

    Potential DOT issues as mentioned.

    I would also expect that the life expectancy of a F350 towing that type of load is far lower than a true medium duty would be - might be cheaper up front (by a bit) but may very well cost longer with downtime and repairs.
     
  7. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    There will always be people willing to take some shortcuts, or that think they're unable to afford the right tool for the job. On the flip side even with all the advances in big rig safety features and braking upgrades, they still build runaway ramps on long steep downgrades, and they still get used now and then. As you say, stuff happens... to which I would add: FAST!
     
  8. Oxbow

    Oxbow Senior Member

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    As oceanobob and lantraxco mentioned, there is an electric over hydraulic option. I looked into this for our 24K rated gooseneck, and the change would cost me about $4,000. I will probably replace the current trailer with a new one that has the option.

    Our biggest problem with our electric brakes is the magnets wear out fairly quickly. Our pickups both have the integrated factory brake controllers (Fords), and these seem to take the adjustment problems of the add on brake controllers out of the equation.

    We do not exceed 30K gross with ours, and it handles things very well, but stopping distance is always on the back of ones mind. Folks without a truck driving background probably do not understand (at first anyway) how important it is to keep from heating brakes by controlling downhill speed via gearing down, and save the brakes for oh sh#t moments when one needs to stop unexpectedly.

    Having said that, we do things with modern pickups that we wouldn't have dreamt to do with pickups 30 years ago - they have certainly come along ways, including the price tag. A new 1 ton crew cab now costs twice what my first house did.
     
  9. ichudov

    ichudov Senior Member

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    My opinion on this. I do similar stuff with a smaller pickup truck and a smaller trailer, but comparable in proportion.

    In general, it looks heavy, but not crazy.

    1) If you have very steep downgrades, you may want to split the load
    2) You need to test your electric brakes to make sure that they brake extremely well, do that throughout your trip
    3) Drive slowly, do not exceed the speed limit
    4) Go very easy on both brake and gas pedals, if you need to accelerate hard or brake hard you are driving wrong
    5) Keep AMPLE following distance
     
  10. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Now you find yourself in europe from what I've heard, any trailer over 10k needs air brakes, makes sense, so there's a hydraulic to air valve, goes in the line from the master cyl and it regulates the air trailer brakes in tandem with the vehicle brakes. Even if you have a 30k trailer with electric brakes, you'd be happier with air, that much I'm certain of, probably cause they don't use crimp taps to make air connections. ... yet.
     
  11. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Yeah, use to see factory wiring on trailer brakes done with Scotchlocks.... some things are just wrong. :mad:
     
  12. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Still do! just rewired a 7x16 enclosed trailer and removed 16 scotchlocks, replaced the 16 ga wire with 12ga, sure cut the voltage drop to the magnets.
     
  13. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Jesus... :confused:
     
  14. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    The Jagoff who owned my international before me used Scotchlocks and speaker wire to wire up the brake controller and lights. I'd like to make him eat every inch of that wiring for the headaches it has given me. Big difference between northern and southern conditions. Who ever invented those blasted things is not on my favorites list by any means.
     
  15. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Yeah, the 16 scotchlocks were just for the brakes, wrapped perfectly in butyl tape as to catch all the sand and let it pack around the connectors. I do love dual wall heat shrink for sealing stuff up snug
     
  16. 240gordy

    240gordy Member

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    So here in Alberta iv'e checked into the local laws regarding weights that can be pulled with a 1 ton pickup. Basically I have figured out with minimal help from DOT that you have to be under the tire rating on truck and trailer, that's all that is required. DOT didn't want to offer any guaranteed info on weather or not the trucks gvwr mattered at all. Also I looked into the owners manual for our 2007 f350 that we pull a 36 plus 5 foot beaver tail triple axle gooseneck with, and if you go to a f450 or 550 the only way it is listed for more weight hauling capability is if it has lower gears....So they are not taking into consideration brakes or suspension here, just gear ratio! I know for a fact the brake pads and leaf springs are heavier in a 550 vs a 350, but it doesn't seem like its the deciding factor even for the manufacturer. So, as long as your trailer brakes are in good working order, truck brakes too, then don't overload the tire ratings and you are good to go provided you know how to drive such a rig down the road safely. Basically the trailer brakes are required to stop the weight that is on the trailer minus the hitch weight and the truck is responsible for itself. Does a highway tractor trailer have sufficient brakes on the tractor alone with a massive 345 cat excavator on it if all trailer brakes fail to operate? Im really not sure that it does, because it seems this is what some of you are concerned about on the f350 with big load behind. Maybe someone else with more knowledge here can chime in when it comes to the highway tractor trailer safety margins???
     
  17. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    With a tractor-trailer the weight distribution is totally different.

    I hate typing, so I stole this post I made from another thread:

    Another difference most people don't consider: The rig in question is an 8-10,000 trailer, 24,000 load, and a 6-8,000 p'up, so, 38-42,000 lbs gross. Hooked up and loaded, the four wheels, (not tires) of the p'up might be carrying 12,000 lbs, and the trailer is carrying 26-30,000.

    A tractor-trailer loaded to the fed formula weighs 80,000 lbs. 46,000 on the six wheels of the tractor, and 34,000 on the trailer.

    Ok, a couple of scenarios:
    Break one wire and lose trailer brakes, 42,000 lbs being stopped by 4 brakes designed for 12,000 lbs, over 300% overload.
    or
    Two or more things go wrong, and you lose trailer brakes, 80,000 being stopped by 6 brakes designed for 50,000 lbs, 60% overload

    A sudden change of direction is needed, 12,000 lbs trying to control 30,000 lbs
    or
    46,000 trying to control 34,000

    Okay end of self-plagiarization.

    As far as safety margins, break one wire, or have one scotchlock come loose on electrics = no trailer brakes

    On the air system, two or more unrelated things have to go wrong to get no trailer brakes.
     
  18. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    Precisely. Its amazing how many people think that electric trailer brakes are a substitute for air brakes not to mention the weight distribution. Many people pulling a gooseneck put the load right over the trailer axles trying to keep the truck lighter to avoid fines or make it ride better. The other factor commonly overlooked is engine braking. these pickups may have exhaust brakes, but I'd wager a guess they are nowhere near the brake hp as a true jake brake especially when comparing 7 liters to 15 liters.
     
  19. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Well, they are a substitute but not a good one, I'd be glad to see class 3 trucks and above have an option for air trailer brakes. My load balancing isn't scientific, its not often I'll run over the scales but when loading up something new, I'll make sure there's a good amount of weight on the drive axles from the gooseneck hitch. Electric brakes in top shape are a lot better than no brakes at all, keeping them in top shape is a fair bit of work.
     
  20. 240gordy

    240gordy Member

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    ok, understood that the tractor trailer set-up is better designed for the weight, but that doesn't mean these guys don't overload them anyways and roll on down the highway, I checked on weight of a 345 cat hoe, but closest model it gave me was a 349, it weighs in at 117,500 lbs. And I know a jeep with the trailer may be used for something like this, but u cannot tell me that these guys with the highway tractors aren't pushing things right to the limits or well beyond, a lot of em aren't any smarter than guys in pickup trucks. there are some good drivers out there, and then there are some not so good.... besides, these goosenecks are being manufactured with 10,000 lb axles, many have 3 10's under them, why are they allowed to make these with electric brakes???? they are rated for this weight are they not???? they come with a ball on the goose, almost never see them at the dealer with a pin???? obviously they have been deemed safe for operation with 3 10's under an 8000lb trailer and putting 4000 lbs hitch weight to the truck u can haul 26000 on this trailer that came with a ball hitch.