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Transporting the dead

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by mitch504, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    A lot of people around here have or rent wrecker booms that attach to the fifth wheel of a tractor. I do it a little differently. I use a towbar.The only people I have ever seen use a heavy duty truck towbar are me and the military. The towbar I use is military surplus and weighs over 200 lbs. I bought 2 at the same auction. In a splendid example of why you should pay attention at auctions, I bought the first one for $50 as the only bidder; then gave $5 for the second, also as the lone bidder.

    It works very well, and the towed truck just follows the lead like a well trained puppy.

    It is very easy to adapt to a CH mack, as the tow points on these are just shackles through the end of the frame. With other trucks you may have to fabricate brackets. I have the bumper removed on this one as it was bent around the shackles, but you normally don't have to remove the bumper. If you are going to pull the truck a long distance you must remove the driveshaft, or leave the engine idling, to keep the trans. bearings oiled.

    In the example pictured I had just pulled the burgundy truck 80 miles with the white Mack. I prefer to use a tandem dump truck as a tow vehicle because the light rear end of a set-forward Mack single-axle tractor doesn't feel as good pulling 8 tons, with no weight transfer; but, it does it with no problem.
     

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  2. norite

    norite Senior Member

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    Nice rig, looks like it would be handy to have one.
     
  3. motrack

    motrack Charter Member

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    Back in my teen years I worked for a guy who had a tow bar that droped over the axle beam....... I helped him tow many trucks with that rig.
     
  4. OneWelder

    OneWelder Senior Member

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    I think there is a weight limit for using a tow bar that way

    when in the service I was not on a wrecker , but i think they used your tow bar like a sling .
    They would lift truck with boom winch and use tow bar to keep it from swinging
     
  5. Lee-online

    Lee-online Senior Member

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    The Army uses tow bars both ways. Flat tow and lifted towing.

    I was flat towing a HMMWV behind a HEMTT and it started to pass me. A cotter pin broke off and the pin fell out of the tow bar. It is best to have all the pins drop in from the top with the cotter on the bottom. I see the one at the pintle should be flipped around.
     
  6. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Nice work Mitch.Tow bar got the job done.What went down on the burgundy Mack?
     
  7. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    Pretty slick trick Mitch. ;)
     
  8. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Good point about the pin, Lee. I thought about that while we were unhooking,it's already been flipped. Though I guess it really wouldn't be a problem, I have a spare pin stored in the handle:beatsme.
     
  9. beebelawn

    beebelawn Member

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    It woulda been a problem had the clip broken.
     
  10. RobVG

    RobVG Senior Member

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    I was wondering about the legallity of using one. I'm not sure but it seems like weight cops here write tickets without knowing if something is an actual infraction. If it looks iffy, you get a ticket.
     
  11. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    I have wondered the same , but haven't been able to find a regulation that applies. I passed a dot cop once, he just looked and waved back. If I got a ticket I would insist they tell me in court what the applicable regulation was. The National Guard tows heavier stuff to their shop this way all the time.


    Ya think?
     
  12. OneWelder

    OneWelder Senior Member

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    I had thought it was Illegal to to tow anything over 10,000 lbs with a tow bar - but that is wrong . It is Illegal to use a tow bar hitched to the bumper over 10,000 lbs.
    If it is attached properly , safety chains used and tow bar of adequate strength , and toe bar must be properly marked , also I think brakes must be tied in and working with tow vehicle - then from what I read it is legal
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  13. RobVG

    RobVG Senior Member

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    I wonder if mitch's bar has a weight limit on it. It would be an interesting job to tie the brake systems together.
     
  14. jld

    jld Member

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    The idea of the fifthwheel wench is to tow another tractor from the rear for long distances with out having to pull the axles. Drive axles should not be towed long distances on the ground (too much backlash when free rolling will damage them).
    The fifthwheel hitch also transfers the weight to the tow vehicles frame for better traction when braking and is DOT legal. Most big freight company with a lot of tractors own these systems so they can send out replacement tractors and return with the broke one. Cuts down on the wrecker bills.
     
  15. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    I don't think these bars have a weight limit marked on them, which is unusual for the military. I do know that they weigh well over 200 lbs, and the thinnest part of the cast ends is just over an inch thick, with two of those inch thick parts on each side sharing the weight, so I am confident it will handle way over 16,000 lbs. (Yeah, I know my confidence means nothing to the law, but, on the other hand, the ticket would be cheaper than a wrecker bill.)
    If I was going to use this more than hopefully every year or two, I would run a line from the red gladhand to the quick connect on the air tank, and buy a device from AW Direct, that is an air cylinder that hooks to the brake pedal and the blue gladhand.
    On the subject of safety chains, we had already removed them when these pics were taken.
     
  16. RobVG

    RobVG Senior Member

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    Service line to a brake pedal actuator? Now that's "really" interesting.:spongebob Might be a little challanging to balance the two. Or does it tie into the treadle valve somehow?
     
  17. OneWelder

    OneWelder Senior Member

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  18. OneWelder

    OneWelder Senior Member

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  19. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    In the regulation your link comes back to, which deals with driveaway-towaway, and in this one which deals with other than driveaway-towaway, the only regulation I see which my rig does not comply with is in marking the tow bar. I don't think this situation would fall into driveaway-towaway definition, and that regulation is not in the other rules. And, as I stated earlier, I imagine the ticket would cost less than the wrecker bill. In 15 yrs of owning heavy trucks, and 10 yrs of working with them before that, I've only known of one time a local truck got stopped around here without a ticket. Untill 2 years ago, it cost $100 to visit with a DOT officer; now it is $200.
    http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?chunkKey=0901633480023935&keyword=tow%20bar
     
  20. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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