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Farmall & IHC Tractors Discussion Forum
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Towing

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CNKS

02-05-2017 18:23:16




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My statement below (with other pullers giving their opinions) I said that my 2005 half ton GMC pulled 7500 a couple of times. This is my response to Tom Fleming and others interested. The operators manual for my pickup gives what can be legally done with my pickup equipped as it was sold. The GCWR on mine is for a C-1500 extended cab short box 4WD, 5.3 V8, 4.10 axle can have 8700 lbs including the trailer and what is on it. The GCWR (CGVW) is 14000 lbs, for the truck and trailer. Thus I had between 12000 and 13000 lbs--getting close. More that that is how much the weight trailer hitch is towed. The factory hitch says 5000 lbs can be pulled UNLESS the weight is distributed. Distributed means for the trailer, AND the pickup. That is the use of the rods on the trailer that I mentioned -- I don't remember what the official name is. With the rods the weight is 12000 lbs for the trailer, not the pickup and trailer. In other words the trailer will not be safe without the rods. --- I think a lot of the people have never heard about those.

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Tom Fleming

02-07-2017 06:18:04




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
Agreed. The other thing people don't think about is regarding surge brakes. They require that your vehicle has good working brakes. If the brakes on the vehicle fail, surge brakes aren't worth a hoot.

I was towing my work trailer through downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. A brake line on my truck blew. However, my work trailer has electric brakes. I was able to use the brake controller in the truck to brake when needed, using the trailer brakes. I made it safely through downtown traffic to a repair shop to get the brake line repaired. My work trailer weights in when full of parts at 7500 lbs.

If you rent a trailer with surge brakes, and your vehicle brakes fail, you are done. That won't be a good outcome in any form.

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PretendFarmer

02-07-2017 06:09:24




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
The Gross combined weight rating in your owners manual doesn't mean squat. What the law is concerned with is what your truck is registered to, and that's the GVW. Not the same as a GCVWR. Unless its on your registration, it doesn't matter.

Manufacturer's recommended GCVWR changes from vehicle to vehicle and even the same two trucks much have a different recommended GCVWR based on engines, gears, springs, etc. Since its not the law to carry your owners manual, and you can actually tear your door tag right off, the law is only concerned what the vehicle is registered to.
(disclaimer: there are idiot cops out there)

I've only seen registered GCVWR's on semi's, not pickups. You'd see such rigs registered to a combined 80,000 lbs or such.

The actual limiting factor of how much trailer your truck can pull is the GVW, because too big of a trailer and the pin/hitch weight will make your trucks actual weight exceed its registered GVW. For example, if your truck has a registered GVW of 7000 lbs, and a curb weight of 5500lbs, that gives you available payload of 1500. Once you sit in the truck, it reduces that. If you hook up to a gooseneck trailer that puts 2000lbs pin weight on, your trucks actual weight is now way over that registered 7000lbs GVW and if ever scaled, that's when the law would care. And if I were highway DOT and I ever saw a 1500 series pickup towing a gooseneck trailer, I would probably want to scale you.

The Combined GVW in your manual is a recommendation from the manufacturer and bears nothing legally.
You can't tow a 14,000 lbs trailer with a 1500 series truck legally because if you load it properly, the pin weight will far exceed the trucks available payload. So if you load it in a manner that the pin weight is light, then the trailer will throw the truck in a ditch, so theres really no legal way to do it.

That's what the law is concerned with. That's the criminal side. The civil side is totally different and concerns what you actually did to someone in a vehicular incident. And while it would be easier for someone to succeed in a lawsuit if you were legally overloaded, its not going to change much because they're still only able to sue for damages caused.
In such an incident where you smashed into someone elses car, even if there isn't a criminal/motor vehicle violation that person you smashed into might still win a civil case against you. Its the risk we take every time you turn the key, towing or not. That's why I don't tow at 75mph. I want to avoid an incident.

Now I don't know the registration process for every state. But if its not on your registration, it doesn't matter.

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CNKS

02-07-2017 18:44:44




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 Re: Towing in reply to PretendFarmer, 02-07-2017 06:09:24  
Pretendfarmer my trailer is supposed not to be used loaded more than 7000 lbs, it weighs empty about 2200 lbs, meaning that I can load 4800 lbs. Supposed I am pulling 8700 lbs with that trailer, and have a wreck that is my fault. Say that my pickup weight is 5000 lbs giving GCWR 13700 lbs barely below the max 14000 lb. I'm in trouble already if it is my fault, but my 7000 lb trailer is loaded 1700 too much and loaded 6500 -- I bet that a smart patrol person can easily see that my trailer has 6 bolt wheels rather than the 8 wheel ones thus adding to my sentence. I think my manual does make a difference because it shows what I can do--and still be safe. I have few trailer tractor pullings, but I am 79 old with no wrecks. I have not had one because I know I can have one. I also know what my vehicle will do, with trailer with or not, along with my knowing what I can do. As to a gooseneck I don't want one because it takes too little to load. Also the manual says I have to have a 396 engine instead of my 350. The peoples relatives that send me to trial along with the people who arrested me will use a lawyer who checked this, registered or not.

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BarnyardEngineering

02-07-2017 05:32:26




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
For the purposes of a purely technical discussion, airbags do not transfer any weight back to the front wheels of the truck.

When you hook up a "bumper pull" style trailer to the rear of the truck, the weight of the tongue pushes down on the back of the truck, and lifts up on the FRONT of the truck, using the rear axle as the fulcrum point. Like a see-saw.

With a very heavy tongue weight and a light truck, you will lift enough weight from the front wheels of the truck to cause steering and handling issues.

This is what a weight-distributing hitch is for. It pries up on the rear of the truck, pushing down on the front of the truck. Adjusted properly it returns weight, and hence traction, back to the front wheels.

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D beatty

02-07-2017 08:37:42




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 Re: Towing in reply to BarnyardEngineering, 02-07-2017 05:32:26  
Not totally true. Any time you raise rear of truck you are transferring weight to the front. That's what a weight distribution system does and same principal with air bags. Weight on tongue is the same with or with out a system. Not all weight distribution systems control sway. The distribution systems that have the cylinders on them do a good job of controling sway.



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Brendon-KS

02-07-2017 12:48:40




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 Re: Towing in reply to D beatty, 02-07-2017 08:37:42  
Raising the back end of a vehicle with air springs does not make any practical difference in the weight distribution between the two axles. The CG of the pickup, the load on the hitch, and the axles are still all in the same locations and the relationships between all these points is what dictates the weight distribution. You'd have to raise the height of the back end by feet, not inches, to make any meaningful difference at all. It is actually possible that air springs can cover up the problem and hide the fact that the rear axle is overloaded. A weight distributing hitch works by introducing a "moment" (a rotational force) and is trying to make the truck rotate forward. The CG of the truck doesn't move but this artificial moment is counter-acted by increased weight on the front wheels. Since the weight of the truck didn't change then more weight on the front means less on the back so the back end raises up.

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Tom Fleming

02-07-2017 03:46:08




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
CNKS, thanks. You outlined pretty much what I was trying to say. We didn't even get into the different receiver classes (I - V) in the other post. My setup is pretty straight forward. I have a Chevy 1500HD. CGVW on it is 16,000. My truck curb weight is 5820. My trailer weighs in at 4000. I have a Class V hitch, XTRA duty, rated at 17,000 with weight distributing, and 16,000 without. I can legally haul 6000 on the trailer. heaviest thing I have is my F30, weighing in at 5850.

I truly don't want to fight and argue with people, but when someone says "sure it can be done" but it exceeds safety and legal requirements, I can't let it go.

All of us at one time or another have pushed/exceeded the limit on hauling. I have done it as well. Now that I have a DOT number for my work, and I have looked into the regs and requirements, my view on things have changed. Annual Safety reviews by the DOT will do that to you. Yes, some DOT regs for commercial vehicles ARE different. However, state and fed weight requirements apply to ALL motor vehicles and trailers, private and commercial. Sometimes ignorance is not bliss......especially when people can get hurt or killed.

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CNKS

02-07-2017 06:02:30




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 Re: Towing in reply to Tom Fleming, 02-07-2017 03:46:08  
Tom, probably most people don't look at their hitches. My says 5000/14000 without/with distribution. Part of my hitch rides on the bumper, the rest on the rails. Why GMC did that I don't know, but that is probably why it says 5000 lbs without the distribution. I like your setup. Also people need to know that 4WD takes the weight away from what you can tow, One reason why yours can pull more than mine if you don't have 4wd.

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D beatty

02-07-2017 01:18:49




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
third party image

third party image

You might look at air lift on rear axle. I put it on my 97 K1500 GMC and like it. It will keep truck level when loaded and when not hauling load or pulling trailer you can let air pressure down and soften ride. The weight distribution system can make trailer hard to back up and doesn't add weight to front of trailer.

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sflem849

02-06-2017 06:52:56




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I have bought quite a few things from etrailer and I have always been happy. They are kind of like RockAuto. If you can afford to wait a couple days you will get the same stuff, but for a lot less. I suppose you could say if I keep going there I won't have the other option...but if I spend $400 more to do hubs on my gooseneck I can't afford to do it...

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CNKS

02-06-2017 09:25:53




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 Re: Towing in reply to sflem849, 02-06-2017 06:52:56  
I don't have a gooseneck because it weighs beyond the 13000 for my pickup and trailer. I considered a 3/4 but decide not to because mine is used more like a car--95%.Yes, there are places you can buy what you want for less money.



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BarnyardEngineering

02-06-2017 04:48:24




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Nobody said you were pulling 12,000lbs. Your total weight was in excess of 12,000lbs, though. Truck, trailer, tractor.



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rustred

02-05-2017 19:04:03




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
yes, those sway bars as i call them are used more with holiday trailer towing.



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sflem849

02-05-2017 18:34:49




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
Weight distributing hitch.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx



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CNKS

02-05-2017 19:10:21




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 Re: Towing in reply to sflem849, 02-05-2017 18:34:49  
That's it--I think I got them from etrailers, It levels the pickup.



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CNKS

02-05-2017 18:27:01




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 Re: Towing in reply to CNKS, 02-05-2017 18:23:16  
My trailer above is rated at 7000 lbs, don't think I am pulling 12000 lbs!



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