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PJ Trailers decline in quality

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by RenoHuskerDu, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    PJ were great trailers, family owned, and a lot of thought went into their design. I have two of them. My 2016 14k tandem dovetail is a workhorse and has never given me any trouble except normal wear on the brakes.

    My 2019 21k triple axle lowboy dump has been trouble since I drove off the lot. PJ put in a 5" hydraulic dump cylinder that it would only lift 5 tons instead of the 6" cylinder I paid extra for. PJ forgot parts. Welds are sloppy. The powdercoating has numerous bad areas, the dealer spent 2hrs touching it up before I even saw it. The brakes were weak, would not even lock up unloaded on a dirt parking lot. It turns out that the wiring harness was damaged when installed. There was grease smeared around randomly, like somebody wiped off their hands on the trailer. Many nuts and bolts were only finger tight, including grease nipples which would have fallen off the first time I towed with it. The handle to crank the gooseneck jacks hit the tarp shaft every turn, making it very slow to crank up or down (see pic below). The dump doors would not lock open. There was daylight and booger welds under the bed. The center pin on the dump gate bent the first time I tailgated a load of gravel. The extended bed side stakes fit poorly in the pockets, and several cracked within 3000 miles of use. I had to reinforce the stakes with angle iron. The welds on the front corners of the dump bed are cracking too. I never overload, the quarry gives me a weight ticket for every load.

    The new PJ trailer has been nothing but trouble. I was amazed at all the assembly errors. What the heck happened to PJ quality? I decided to ask around, and do some internet investigation. I found sites where employees rate their companies. Many employees seem to dislike PJ intently. I found that PJ pays workers by the piece, not by the hour. The faster they work, the more they make. But then I found the real reason why PJ quality went downhill, talking to other trailer companies.

    So, what happened? Two words: Mitt Romney.

    Romney's vulture capital firm is named Bain Capital. Bain bought PJ and Big Tex in 2016. Vulture capitalists cut costs, lay off senior workers, outsource parts and jobs overseas, then sell out a few years later, at a profit. The R&D budget goes to Marketing instead. PJ has some great Marketing about quality, but that quality is gone.

    I knew I'd never buy another PJ. So I investigated other high-end trailers and found Diamond C Trailers, family owned and innovative. I just picked up my new 40' 26k tandem dual hydraulic dovetail.

    PJ doesn't let anybody post to their FB page, so I made a PJ Owners group and it's getting big.
    Now there are Facebook groups for both PJ and Diamond C owners.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/510567116153442/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/186243235983115/

    JackCrank (2).jpg
    Post4Rcrack.jpg
     
    mikebramel, John C. and DMiller like this.
  2. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    837
    Occupation:
    Mechanical designer
    Location:
    mid Michigan
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I want to add a small dump trailer this year. Cheaper than keeping a truck on the road for infrequent use.

    Ed
     
    DMiller and RenoHuskerDu like this.
  3. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    I started my business with this lowboy dump. It lets me tailgate out 6 yards of road base over about 40-50' each load, no extra charge to the customer. A half an hour with a rake and they can turn that into a smooth driveway.

    But if I buy another, it'll be a tandem dual 26k, just under the excise tax. Triple axles have some unique issues with tire wear, causing ruts, and they tend to overload the rear axle when you dump. Mine's bent, but it's not PJ's fault. I'm glad I have this trailer, I just wish it weren't a PJ.
     
    DMiller and RollOver Pete like this.
  4. Legdoc

    Legdoc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Location:
    south texas
    Purchased a 27+5 tandem dual goose neck PJ about 20 years ago. First problem was over heated axles I could smell upon driving it home 125 miles. Hubs were so hot I could not put my hand on them. Jacked it up and put stands under it while still hooked up to the truck to check the brakes. The brakes were not dragging but I heard a strange sound coming from the bearings. We pulled each wheel to find metallic flakes in the oil with the bearings and races pitted and scored as well as discolored. Of course the bearing sets and seals were from China. The axles were produced by Quality. PJ sent new bearings and seals after some discussion. Not Timkin but Chicom again. A thorough decontamination of the hubs and new items put the trailer in service but there is more... The electric brakes never worked properly despite much adjustment and are worthless. Wiring problems were continuous and within 2 years PJ's attempt at powder coating starting peeling in dollar bill size pieces. It is in poor shape now and I'm at a point trying to decide if I re-axle it with electric over hydraulic Dexter's, sand blast it, high level paint it and it will take me 15-20 years when I will be done. Not sure I will ever buy a new factory built trailer again.
     
    RenoHuskerDu and DMiller like this.
  5. Theweldor

    Theweldor Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    485
    Location:
    Western, NY
    That powder coat has never impressed me. It can still be there with nothing behind because of a pin hole in the coating. Good grade of primer and paint is much more durable.
     
    highwayghost and RenoHuskerDu like this.
  6. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    Check out these pics from another guy in the PJ Trailer Owners group. He says this PJ trailer is one month old.
    PJ's weld has about 5% penetration, and could have caused a fatal accident.

    Astonishing.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Ronsii likes this.
  7. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    I went from one extreme to another. 3 years ago we lived in France and everything not galvanized or aluminum rusted. Miserable weather.
    Now we live in Texas and bare steel hardly rusts.

    Dexter seems to be a good company still, but rumor holds that even they use Chinese components. I am so totally done with China, I don't even want to buy from Harbor Freight anymore. Evidence mounts that they virus thing was on purpose by them.
     
    tpitt and Ronsii like this.
  8. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,544
    Occupation:
    s/e Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Western Washington
    You know what that means right.......... the virus won't last ;) LOL!!!!!!!!
     
  9. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    Canada
    Maybe PJ should stand pathetic junk.
     
  10. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,544
    Occupation:
    s/e Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Hey, You're on a roll ;)

    The PJ 25 foot GN dump trailer we bought a few months ago has had it's share of problems too.... from wiring, brakes, leaky hubs, cheap construction... get what U pay for I guess??? but the dumbest thing is their tailgate design I've welded up most of it's 'multi use' parts and still need to change some other things otherwise it down right dangerous!!!! one of the guys had the doors com open a couple times while enroute:eek:
     
    Spud_Monkey and RenoHuskerDu like this.
  11. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    PJ calls this center shaft the cam pin. Mine bent the first time I tailgated, and would have started popping open if I didn't bend it back. Now I hammer a wedge of wood in there to support it. There's a 6" stretch of it, unsupported, holding back 8 tons in my case. Dump design. All they needed to do was move the lower collar down the the bottom of the door. I checked out a Diamond C dump and its center shaft is well supported. Mine's the red one, Diamond C the gray one.

    BentBad.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,544
    Occupation:
    s/e Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Not surprising... it's only 12ga. tubing I think??? I welded a plate over the top of where that camlock goes in - this will prevent it from popping out when you go down the road and a bit of side to side sway lifts it out so the doors pop open :eek:

    Next modification will be to weld vertical extensions on the ramp ledges(trailer part) you know why if you've ever tried to load a rubber tracked machine in the rain... and since I already welded the tailgate portion shut it won't interfere ;)
     
    RenoHuskerDu likes this.
  13. RenoHuskerDu

    RenoHuskerDu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Texas
    Mine's a hydraulic dump, so I can raise the bed a bit to make the ramps less steep.