PDA

View Full Version : Reason to Get a spare tire.


kevfischer
04-12-2008, 11:52 PM
Picked my boat up from the dealer today! They hooked up up to my truck but a double checked that everything was hooked up correctly and made sure the pin and clip on the receiver were snug.Cruising down Hwy 54 (a six lane Road). Doing 55 - 60 mph. Heard a load pop and looked back in the rear view mirror and realized the boat came off the Excursion. First thing that crossed my mind was to lightly tap the brakes. Bad idea boat rammed the back of the truck. Decided to try to ride it out and coast. Trailer brakes surged several times causing the truck to be pulled back into the boat. After 1/4 mile we finally came to a stop. Getting out of the truck was not easy. I was not ready to see my boat and truck demolished. It appears that the pin or the clip snapped and caused the entire ball mount to come out. The ball stayed in the trailer tongue and the trailer never touched the ground due to the spare tire keeping it off the ground. The tire was shredded to the steal belts. The rub rail was dented in and a few small scratches that can be wet sanded out. So far this is all we have found wrong with it. I left it at the dealer. Hopefully they don't find much else wrong. My Excursion has 3 holes in the back doors. In my opinion the spare tires saved me from screwing up the trailer and hope nothing else is found wrong. I will post pics as soon as I can. This is a hopeless feeling. I am going to purchase a hitch lock style instead of the crappy pin an clip style.

phecksel
04-12-2008, 11:54 PM
Interesting use of a spare tire!

rodecker1978
04-13-2008, 12:38 AM
Wow Kev! I'd say you came out of that situation pretty fortunate...glad to hear the boat is not in too bad of shape... After hearing this I think I'll also go with a locking pin to keep the hitch mount from ever coming out of the receiver.

Thanks for the warning.

boofer
04-13-2008, 01:00 AM
Dang Kev, you managed to survive one of everybody's worst nightmares. I am sorry to hear about this, but I am glad it was not nearly as bad as it could of been. Glad to hear that you are okay.

Needless to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe sharing your experience will help keep it from happening to someone else.

Once again, sorry to hear about your bad fortune and thanks for sharing.

jimmer2880
04-13-2008, 01:48 AM
I hope you also had a spare pair of underwear in the Excursion. I know I would have needed them.

Something to think about. I was riding in the back of my dad's pickup once when the utility trailer we were towing popped off. He did hit the brakes also, but kept them hit. This caused the trailer to slam into the tailgate of the pickup, but it only hit once and stayed there until we were stopped. You have better odds of the tongue being under the bumper, then over because of tongue weight, so if you're lucky, you'd be able to get away without any real damage. (we were not lucky)

Chas
04-13-2008, 02:38 AM
I have had trailers come off the ball twice. One was a 30' flatbed trailer, empty. The tongue hit the pavement, and I hit the brakes - once. Very little damage to either. Nice strong chains, crossed under the hitch.

The other was a small utility trailer.

In my case, the common element for both was a dry hitch ball. The hitch was secured well in both cases, but the dry ball seemed to be able to sort of 'walk' it's way out of the hitch.

I have a tube of ball lube - no jokes please - which gets used every time now. All my employees know about the lube and use it all the time.

rodecker1978
04-13-2008, 04:14 AM
Chas - how could the hitch ball being lubed or dry have anything to do with the coupler coming off if all locks are secure??

ShamrockIV
04-13-2008, 07:58 AM
i had this happen with my 84 s&s. i feel for you. that is a sick feeling cause u know exactly what has happened!! i always use either a pdlock or on of the straight bar typye devices that goes through the tongue! like u found out the only way to stop is to let the boat beat ur truck up !!

JohnnyB
04-13-2008, 09:55 AM
I had this happen with an enclosed snowmobile trailer once. Strong crossed chains made a good cradle for the tongue. Staying calm and slowing down gradually allowed the tongue to stay in the chain cradle and move underneath the bumper. I was able to slowly stop this way without the tongue hitting the ground or the trailer hitting my truck. I got lucky :cool:

Always make sure your coupler fits tight around the ball....my coupler was loose.

TMCNo1
04-13-2008, 10:16 AM
"It appears that the pin or the clip snapped and caused the entire ball mount to come out."

Get a S/S barrel lock to secure the drawbar in the hitch!
33590 example, http://www.hitches-forless.com/hitch_accessories/receiver_locks.html

atlfootr
04-13-2008, 10:23 AM
Sorry to hear of your frightfull xpericence, glad all's well.

Roonie's
04-13-2008, 10:47 AM
"It appears that the pin or the clip snapped and caused the entire ball mount to come out."

Get a S/S barrel lock to secure the drawbar in the hitch!
33590 example, http://www.hitches-forless.com/hitch_accessories/receiver_locks.html

That is what I use. Heck of a story glad there is not a lot of damage to the boat and everyone is ok.

Chas
04-13-2008, 10:54 AM
Chas - how could the hitch ball being lubed or dry have anything to do with the coupler coming off if all locks are secure??

With the ball - and of course coupler - dry, the ball was not free to pivot around as it needed to. So as the trailer and truck changed angles up and down, the coupler dug into the ball and it 'walked' its way out of the coupler. Sort of like a bumper jack mechanism. A little bit each bump I would guess.

I had to replace the ball - it had deep scoring on it and a series of grooves which matched the coupler. I had to adjust the coupler - I really should replace it but it is welded on. Since I work hard to keep it lubed, I haven't had any more trouble with it even so much as squeaking.

I couldn't see it happening, of course, but the guy at the trailer shop where I purchased replacement parts said he sees it all the time, and explained the series of events as he suspects they took place.

BTW - now that you mention the receiver pin breaking, I have something all new to worry about! I tend to buy the basic pins and clips and use them for years. Perhaps its time to invest in some better pins!

Thanks!

bigmac
04-13-2008, 11:18 AM
I have about 9 trailers of various sized and hitch requirements, from 1-7/8 to 2-5/16. Hitch systems that are subjected to road salt and exhaust will corrode at a faster rate. It's important to keep them lubed, and to be prepared to replace them every so often.

My experience with locking receiver pins has not been good. Usually, they'll corrode, even with a plastic cap. This has two potential results...the lock mechanism (even a barrel lock) gets corroded so that you think it's locked, key is removed, and a couple of miles down the road, the locking piece falls off. The other is that one day you go to change hitch ball receivers and find that the lock is jammed. I've cut at least a few of those things off over the years (if you think that locking hitch pins are secure, I can tell you they come off with a Sawzall in about 20 seconds).

I buy big, high-quality 1/2 inch pins from my John Deere dealer, not the blister-packed variety at Fleet Farm. If I want to lock them, I drill the hole out for a rubber clad padlock. I grease all of the components regularly. And I replace them all every couple of years except the drop-hitch -- those are too expensive. If they get rusty, I wire-brush them and repaint. That's a quick process because I dip the whole thing in the paint can to make sure the inside gets coated too.

wakechic2786
04-13-2008, 12:06 PM
Glad to hear everything turned out pretty good for ya. Could have been a lot worse!

I had the same thing happen to me about two summers ago with my old boat. We were headed down an old country road when mine happened though. The trailer was so old that the latch on it had gotten wore out and even if you put a lock on it, it would still work it's way loose. It had poped up on me and I didn't have a clue. Went down a hill and over a bridge, which had a little of a drop down to it. When my truck hit the drop before the boat it caused the ball to drop down right out of the trailer hitch. Started heading up the hill and just happened to look in the rear view and saw the nose of the boat drop down. Some how I stayed calm and just gradually eased on the brakes keeping the trailer from hitting my truck. Came to a stop and quickly jumped out to grab the boat, which was going to roll back down a step hill, down an embankment, and into a creek, if the chains didn't hold. Luckily the chains grabbed it and we threw a log behind we weels and hooked it back up.

To prevent it from happening again we wrapped DUCK TAPE around the tounge and ball to hold them together. Thank God for duck tape! When we got home from the lake, I went to lowes and bought a whole new tounge for the trailer.

trickskier
04-13-2008, 12:10 PM
Glad to hear everything turned out pretty good for ya. Could have been a lot worse!

I had the same thing happen to me about two summers ago with my old boat. We were headed down an old country road when mine happened though. The trailer was so old that the latch on it had gotten wore out and even if you put a lock on it, it would still work it's way loose. It had poped up on me and I didn't have a clue. Went down a hill and over a bridge, which had a little of a drop down to it. When my truck hit the drop before the boat it caused the ball to drop down right out of the trailer hitch. Started heading up the hill and just happened to look in the rear view and saw the nose of the boat drop down. Some how I stayed calm and just gradually eased on the brakes keeping the trailer from hitting my truck. Came to a stop and quickly jumped out to grab the boat, which was going to roll back down a step hill, down an embankment, and into a creek, if the chains didn't hold. Luckily the chains grabbed it and we threw a log behind we weels and hooked it back up.

To prevent it from happening again we wrapped DUCK TAPE around the tounge and ball to hold them together. Thank God for duck tape! When we got home from the lake, I went to lowes and bought a whole new tounge for the trailer.
Talk about Inginuity!?!?

wakechic2786
04-13-2008, 12:24 PM
Talk about Inginuity!?!?
More like, Talk about Redneck!

trickskier
04-13-2008, 12:31 PM
More like, Talk about Redneck!
I wasn't going to insult you............8p That type of rigging reminds when I was a kid and the shifter broke on our boat. My dad ordered a new on but in the meantime I drilled a hole in the shifter put a bolt through it and made a T-Handle so I could use it.............;)

JohnnyB
04-13-2008, 12:38 PM
Glad everything resulted in no injuries and minimal damage. I don't know that we'd put you through asking for pictures of the carnage to your boat or truck, but I'd be interested in seeing what the spare tire looks like after you used in that manner :)

atlfootr
04-13-2008, 12:51 PM
To prevent it from happening again we wrapped DUCK TAPE around the tounge and ball to hold them together.
Thank God for duck tape! Some call it, "The Mother" of invention :)
I call it a God send ..... :D

wakechic2786
04-13-2008, 12:52 PM
Some call it, "The Mother" of invention :)
I call it a God send ..... :D http://writing-instruments.ninashop.ru/p/49/images/loctite-duckt-brand-duct-tape-188-x-45-yards-3-core-gray-ducb45012.jpg (http://writing-instruments.ninashop.ru/p/loctite-duckt-brand-duct-tape-188-x-45-yards-3-core-gray-ducb45012.htm)
I fully agree!!:D

stuartmcnair
04-13-2008, 02:13 PM
If they get rusty, I wire-brush them and repaint. That's a quick process because I dip the whole thing in the paint can to make sure the inside gets coated too.

Bigmac, what I have might work well for you. I bought a stainless steel hitch mount as I needed the 10,000 pound rating. The price wasn't too bad but I don't ever have to worry about it. Might be something that you could use.

It is a solid piece of metal instead of a tube and is one piece with some reinforcement welded on at the angle for the ball mount. I also have a 10,000 pound rated stainless steel ball.

ShamrockIV
04-13-2008, 02:39 PM
I wasn't going to insult you............8p That type of rigging reminds when I was a kid and the shifter broke on our boat. My dad ordered a new on but in the meantime I drilled a hole in the shifter put a bolt through it and made a T-Handle so I could use it.............;)

you had a shifter on the Ark???

TMCNo1
04-13-2008, 02:54 PM
S/S drawbar, S/S ball, inside hitch, on drawbar and ball is lubed with Lubrimatic Marine Corrosion Control and Wheel Bearing Grease yearly and the lock is taken out, inspected, siliconed and key end is covered with a vinyl cap to keep out moisture, and it's been used 20 years. It's called Preventive Maintenance!
33624


But, you can always use this,
33625

trickskier
04-13-2008, 03:01 PM
you had a shifter on the Ark???
Yep.................Sure did...............8p

TMCNo1
04-13-2008, 03:31 PM
Yep.................Sure did...............8p


A male and a female shifter, that why we have shifters today, they survived the trip on the Ark and was able to reproduce, jeeeeezzzzz!:rolleyes:
He also had a dime bag of weed seed cause all the crops were flooded, Moses made sure of that!:D

DZ011
04-13-2008, 05:26 PM
Glad to hear all turned out relatively well.

I used to use the pin, until I went out to my truck one day and found the hitch missing completely,...STOLEN!

I suppose I may be an untrusting guy nowadays but I ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK the setup if someone else hooks up my trailer as it takes justone mistake to destroy the day.

Glad everyone is SAFE!

Roonie's
04-13-2008, 05:39 PM
I suppose I may be an untrusting guy nowadays but I ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK the setup if someone else hooks up my trailer as it takes justone mistake to destroy the day.


I do the same. I even double check my own hookup because I can always miss something.

JohnnyB
04-13-2008, 05:58 PM
I suppose I may be an untrusting guy nowadays but I ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK the setup if someone else hooks up my trailer as it takes justone mistake to destroy the day.


I double check it when I hook it up myself. I would never trust someone else to hook it up without checking it, personally, before I drive away with it.

kevfischer
04-13-2008, 06:35 PM
Just so everyone knows, I did double check the work and everything was a OK. It is one in a million things. After talking to a guy at an auto parts store apparently i am not the first person that he has heard of. He has actually seen a pin that broke in half.

JohnE
04-13-2008, 06:43 PM
kev,

Is the pin that let go the pin in the trailer or the pin holding the hitch to the receiver? Just curious.

In any event, sorry for your circumstance, but thanks for sharing it here.

TMCNo1
04-13-2008, 06:50 PM
kev,

Is the pin that let go the pin in the trailer or the pin holding the hitch to the receiver? Just curious.

In any event, sorry for your circumstance, but thanks for sharing it here.


"It appears that the pin or the clip snapped and caused the entire ball mount to come out."
Sounds like the ball mount (hitch) came out of the receiver, best I could siffer! The trailer tongue didn't come off the ball.

uawaterskier
04-13-2008, 06:53 PM
reading that reminds me of a story my dad told

He was in HS and him, a buddy and a couple of ladies had gone to the lake for the day. My dad's friend drove a jeep cj and had a 18' aluminium boat boat. Well they were coming home, and my dad's friend was in the front with his girl and dad was in the back with the top down. Well boat decides to jump off the ball, and hit asphalt at about 50 on the little baby wheel. Oh important side not, the ghetto trailer (ive seen it) doesn't have chains. So dad spins around and grabs the winch handle and pulls it up on the spare tire of the jeep and the get the whole thing slowed down and stopped with 0 damage to either the jeep or the boat.

kevfischer
04-13-2008, 07:11 PM
It was the pin and clip off the ball mount that slides into the vehicle receiver.

SkiDog
04-13-2008, 09:38 PM
I was headed to Fla. one time in a dual wheel P/U that had a dump bed on it. in order to fill the fuel tanks, we had to remove the hitch pin so we could raise the bed to fuel up. Well, somebody (not me) forgot to put the hitchpin back in to lock in the reciever. About 20 miles down the road, this guy pulls up to us frantically waving & pointing to the back of us. Apparently the reciever works its way loose, backed out, and bounced down the highway and into the windsheild of the car behind us! talk about having to change your drawers! The guy in the car was freakin out! :D

TMCNo1
04-13-2008, 09:50 PM
I was headed to Fla. one time in a dual wheel P/U that had a dump bed on it. in order to fill the fuel tanks, we had to remove the hitch pin so we could raise the bed to fuel up. Well, somebody (not me) forgot to put the hitchpin back in to lock in the reciever. About 20 miles down the road, this guy pulls up to us frantically waving & pointing to the back of us. Apparently the reciever works its way loose, backed out, and bounced down the highway and into the windsheild of the car behind us! talk about having to change your drawers! The guy in the car was freakin out! :D

How did the reciever wind up in the guys drawers? Must have been a bunch of grease on it! What a freak occurance!

phecksel
04-13-2008, 10:33 PM
I double check it when I hook it up myself. I would never trust someone else to hook it up without checking it, personally, before I drive away with it.
I almost regretted that once. The latch was locked on top of the ball, not underneath. Couldn't understand why the trailer was bouncing around so much :( Finally stopped and double checked! Never let anybody else do that again!

magnum
04-13-2008, 11:25 PM
Does anyone put a pin lock in the swing away hitches , if so do you know where you can buy a good one

flipper
04-14-2008, 12:05 AM
The other thing that would have saved your truck, is if the safety cable for the trailer brakes was hooked up right. Glad there wasn't too much damage.

kevfischer
04-15-2008, 10:29 PM
Here is a few pics of the wreck. Unfortunately the incident is going to be costly. Enjoy!

kevfischer
04-15-2008, 10:32 PM
a few more

33708

33709

kevfischer
04-15-2008, 10:35 PM
a few more!

33710

33711

kevfischer
04-15-2008, 10:38 PM
Last one! Enjoy!

Lennyp04
04-15-2008, 10:44 PM
Man sry to hear about all of this. Pics make me cry

SchuyHigh
04-15-2008, 11:04 PM
Wow, I just got back from the bathroom, had to throw-up.

I am sorry that your misfortune will result in me making sure I am prepared. I have the $400 spare, but soon will have lockig pin.

kevfischer
04-15-2008, 11:09 PM
The pin is a cheap $20.00. Only if I had know to buy one before this.

TOO-TALL
04-15-2008, 11:43 PM
Wow,
I feel for ya man.Thats my 2nd worst nightmare.
#1 nightmare is boat sliding off trailer onto concrete ramp.I just got a cold shiver down my spine.

When I was little my dad had a 76'Reneall tri-hull.We all learned to ski behind.One afternoon on the way to the river the Boat hitch poped off the ball as we were turning a corner.The boat slid on the trailer jack down the road and bumped into a parked car with the spare tire.No damage to boat or car.
We were lucky.

You have a pic of the windsheild on the boat.Do you think the windsheild frame is bent or the boat hull spread apart? Just courios .

JohnE
04-15-2008, 11:48 PM
So I have a locking pin, but Bigmac's post about those failing has me considering drilling another pin through the receiver and hitch for little redundacy/ safety.

Kev, I'm still sorry to think about your situation. But if it helps, realize that it could have been much worse.

454Prostar190
04-16-2008, 12:07 PM
Sorry to hear about your misfortune but, I agree with JohnE... It could have been much worse. Good thing that spare tire was new or you would have needed a rim too! Rick

stuartmcnair
04-16-2008, 01:14 PM
bad...but could have been worse.

All looks to be fixable.

Sorry about that Kevin. Go find you one of those solid hitches, get everything fixed and consider it a learing experience. I certainly wouldn't let it ruin my summer though.

wakeX2wake
04-16-2008, 01:46 PM
man i'm sorry to hear that... that sucks and can happen to anybody any time...

it sounds like to me w/ such a catastrophic failure on the pin that you might not have had a very tight fit on the pin... similar thing happened to me thank goodness i wasn't pulling the boat but there was a fairly loose fit between the pin and the holes the line up for the receiver and the hitch which over time with the load shifting sheered the pin and caused the failure... mine failed but i noticed it when only half the pin was still in place b/c i heard something hit the road and made a bad sound when it bounced up and hit the trailer... needless to say i was but a few mins away from your situation w/ the trailer coming unhooked... all i can say is make sure you've got a fairly snug fit between the pin and the two holes... also i'd check the diameter of the holes on your hitch compared to your receiver to make sure that's not the source of the problem

jimmer2880
04-16-2008, 07:53 PM
That's horrible. I hope you have good insurance.