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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Beltzington's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    650
    Location
    Appling, Georgia
    Tractor
    JD 3720

    Default Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Hello All,
    Although I spent much of my youth working and roaming Eastern Colorado farmland, it has taken me 25 years to finally get my own tractor to maintain the 8-acres we bought last year. Since we won't have our house built for several more months ,I am going to be hauling the tractor 50-miles between our present home and the property. Today I rented a U-Haul car hauler trailer to take the tractor to have the FEL mounted. Due to the tie down locations on the rental I ended up pulling the tractor to the very front of the tandem axle trailer, this put much more weight on my 1997 Grand Cherokee's Class III hitch then I was planning on. Although my Jeep is rated at 6500-pounds towing capacity, I kept my speed below 40mph and breathed a sigh of relief when we safely reached the shop.
    Having spent several hours reading this very informative website, I am aware of the "buy more trailer then you think you will need mentality" but I do not have the resources or inclination to buy another vehicle needed to tow this 22-foot, 14,000LB animal. My tractor with FEL and 72 flail mower will never weigh more than 4700lbs and not be any longer then 16-feet. My Jeep has plenty of power and with brakes on all four wheels of the trailer should not have any issues safely moving the tractor once or twice a month.
    Finally the question; since all the 16-foot equipment trailers have 10-feet of trailer in front of the tandem axles, how do you balance the load? With this arrangement most of the tractors weight will be on the hitch. What to do? Will a manufacturer balance a trailer based on the intended load? TIA.

  2. #2
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,482
    Location
    Spring, TX (Houston)
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Beltzington View Post
    Hello All,
    Although I spent much of my youth working and roaming Eastern Colorado farmland, it has taken me 25 years to finally get my own tractor to maintain the 8-acres we bought last year. Since we won't have our house built for several more months ,I am going to be hauling the tractor 50-miles between our present home and the property. Today I rented a U-Haul car hauler trailer to take the tractor to have the FEL mounted. Due to the tie down locations on the rental I ended up pulling the tractor to the very front of the tandem axle trailer, this put much more weight on my 1997 Grand Cherokee's Class III hitch then I was planning on. Although my Jeep is rated at 6500-pounds towing capacity, I kept my speed below 40mph and breathed a sigh of relief when we safely reached the shop.
    Having spent several hours reading this very informative website, I am aware of the "buy more trailer then you think you will need mentality" but I do not have the resources or inclination to buy another vehicle needed to tow this 22-foot, 14,000LB animal. My tractor with FEL and 72 flail mower will never weigh more than 4700lbs and not be any longer then 16-feet. My Jeep has plenty of power and with brakes on all four wheels of the trailer should not have any issues safely moving the tractor once or twice a month.
    Finally the question; since all the 16-foot equipment trailers have 10-feet of trailer in front of the tandem axles, how do you balance the load? With this arrangement most of the tractors weight will be on the hitch. What to do? Will a manufacturer balance a trailer based on the intended load? TIA.

    Buy what you need, not what everyone else thinks you need. You can have one built for your load, but you should be careful. IE a small boat trailer will have the axle way in the back, it's useless for just about everything else.

    You should center the bulk of the weight over the center of the axles, watch the tongue weight. NEver put your load to far back.

    good luck
    L2500

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    344
    Location
    Goose Creek, S.C.
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi 1801

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    One of my pet peeves is an imbalanced trailer. I'd rather have a trailer than is bigger than it needs to be, but it doesn't really matter how big or long the trailer is as long as it is big enough, you should still be able to balance the load. Move the load, the tractor in this case, until you have around 10 percent or so of the load on the tongue of the trailer. Don't go below 10 percent. If the trailer has a tendency to sway at speed, move a bit more of the load forward. If the tow vehicle is struggling with tongue weight, move the load back a bit. If the tow vehicle cannot handle 10 percent of the load on the tongue, you might need a load equalizer hitch, but I doubt that. Speaking from experience, an imbalanced trailer can dump your load in the road and lead to a bunch more grief than you signed up for.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    236
    Location
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Tractor
    Kubota B8200, 1953 International "Super C"

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    You might need to play with the way you load the tractor. Maybe you need to back on to have the mower on the tongue and less weight on the hitch. or have the mower disconnected and set on the front to allow you to load the tractor on the trailer forward. you might also leave the mower at the property. After you find the correct load placement, and I like to play with it and be sure, take the trailer to a welding shop and have good tie downs added where you like them, or buy a trailer with a "rub rail" or "bump rail". This is simply just stake pockets that will accept a 2x4 with a thick flat bar welded the length of the trailer. There are a couple threads an this, and almost every Semi-trailer flat bed has one. Good luck and take your time and get what you feel comfortable with.

    And please remember that your jeep with a 6500# capacity does not leave much when you subtract 4700# tractor. 1800# is a light 16 foot trailer.

  5. #5
    Gold Member denmansoft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    302
    Location
    Sidney BC or Denman Island
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Most 16 footers I looked at were 10ft/6ft over center of the axles. I found these didn't work so well with my tractor. I got a Cascade 16' at reasonable price that has a 9'/7' split and balances quite nicely with my tractor with BH. I put the box blade on the front of the deck and the FEL bucket down on it. Works good on my Dakota with a #6000 tow limit.
    My typical load of Tracter, BH, Box blade comes in < #3300. +#1700 for trailer = #5000 total.
    Kubota B7610 with LA352 FEL (markham toothbar), B4672A BH, Bro-tek thumb, BE-5' Box blade, Jinma Chipper

  6. #6
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,482
    Location
    Spring, TX (Houston)
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by denmansoft View Post
    Most 16 footers I looked at were 10ft/6ft over center of the axles. I found these didn't work so well with my tractor. I got a Cascade 16' at reasonable price that has a 9'/7' split and balances quite nicely with my tractor with BH. I put the box blade on the front of the deck and the FEL bucket down on it. Works good on my Dakota with a #6000 tow limit.
    My typical load of Tracter, BH, Box blade comes in < #3300. +#1700 for trailer = #5000 total.
    the 10/6 is a standard 60/40 trailer. the 9/7 is a 55/45. not much difference on paper, but pulling is real measure.

    I made my 14' tamdom the standard 60/40. I've been thinking about buying some new mounts and moving the axle up a bit. The tongue weight seems a bit high, but it tows well, just seems a little heavy with the tractor, but I think thats the short fat 20" tires I have on the sled style trailer.
    L2500

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    332
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 2135

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    I would buy an 18' trailer with tandem 3500 lb axles. The trailer should weigh around 2000 lbs with 5000 lbs capacity. You can move the tractor to balance the load and your Jeep will be able to handle the load better.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    217
    Location
    NW Mississippi
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800 HST

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Have to agree with the recommendation of an 18 foot with tandem 3500 pound axles. They are the most common dual axle trailers available and you should be able to find one locally for a good price. Just make sure it has brakes on at least one axle, preferably both axles. You also must sure a good brake controller is installed in your jeep. I use a prodigy by Tekonsha and would recommend it (a little over a hundred bucks). One problem you may encounter with the jeep is the hitch's max weight limit. You mentioned it has a category 3 hitch (3500 pounds/300 pound tongue weight limit or 5000 pounds/500 pounds tongue weight, or up to 7500 pounds/750 pound tongue weight with weight distributing). You may need to consider a weight distributing hitch setup for it (the Jeep's tow capacity does not determine the hitches limit's). If you're going to pull on the public roads, be sure the weakest link of the truck, truck's hitch, and the ball and mount are all rated for greater than the load you will be applying to it when pulling. This includes not only the weight you will be pulling, but even more importantly, the weight the hitch will be carrying. This is where loading a tractor, front wheels first (engine weight) can cause a problem with a light duty tow vehicle. Most of the 18 foot 7,000 pound trailers have the axle centerline at 60&#37; back. That plus the tongue length places a lot of weight on the bumper. I would probably back the tractor on the trailer if pulling with a vehicle with a limited load capacity. Sorry about rambling on, but you have a bit of a tight window when considering your tow vehicle, required trailer length, and loaded tractor weights & length in order to stay legal and safe. The tightest portion of that safety window is the limited tongue weight capacity of the hitch itself.
    Last edited by Crash101; 10-13-2008 at 03:48 PM.
    L2800, various attachments & hardware, most of which the receipts are well hidden from my wife.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member bjess8's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    74
    Location
    SOUTH CENTERAL ,PA
    Tractor
    GRAND L3130

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    ok I am new pulling trailers so what is a load equalizer hitch?also how do you know you have 10% on the hitch when loading?

  10. #10
    Super Member schmism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,092
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Axle Placement - Load Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by bjess8 View Post
    ok I am new pulling trailers so what is a load equalizer hitch?also how do you know you have 10% on the hitch when loading?
    the load equalizer helps shift the weight forward on the tow vehical which reduces rear end squat which helps with towing stablity.

    as for 10% you can measure it directly



    search google for how to do it, and the math involved. its fairly straight forward. set your equipement, take a measurement. adjust your equipment till you have it close then mark on the bed were it needs to sit for next time.

    once you have hauled your setup a few time you should be able to look at the squat on the tow vehical to get close approximation of how much tong weight you have based on your known point you measured.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

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