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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    431

    Default Trailer sway

    Hello.........
    I have a 16 ft trailer which I pull on occasion on a 1/2 ton pickup.Yesterday I had to take my tractor and bush hog to the welding shop.If I drive the tractor onto the trailer it puts way too much tongue weight on the truck(only about 2" of clearance between the jack and the ground) so I back the rig up on the trailer and most of my weight is on the back tandems on the trailer,if I go over 30 mph,it sways like crazy...which is not good..my question is wood sway bars help very much?I know the problem is because all of my weight is towards the back of the trailer,this tractor is very heavy with 4 loaded tires/bushog/and loader.The only other thing I could think of doing is trying to center the tractor over the trailer wheels but this is going to cause a lot of overhang on the end of the trailer,not to mention the job I would go through having to remove my ramps on the end of the trailer because they stay attatched to the trailer and are carried in an upright position.I never have a sway problem when I am able to keep the tractor centered on the wheels,I have come off of hills 70 M.P.H before this way and not a problem.
    The real solution would to be to move up in truck and trailer size....but that takes a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$ I am not willing to spend as of now.Would sway bars help much in a situation like this?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Advertiser

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,589
    Location
    Western New York
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Scott, I don't know anything about the anti-sway bars. But I was wondering if you could unhook the cutter and then move the tractor closer to it once on the trailer. By raising the 3pt. hitch you sould be able to get your rear tires right up to the cutter. This may balance the load over the trailer tires. Just a suggestion. Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    19,531
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    A load equalizer hitch may help. Extra springs or air bags on the truck may also be a solution. When not needed the air bags can be deflated so ride quality does not suffer.
    I'd tend to go with the load equalizer plus air bags.
    Egon

    Egon

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Thanks guys....
    Unhooking the bush hog...may be a way to go,air bags...I am going to have to give this a hard look...I might even be able to unhook the bush hog and pick it up with the 4 in 1 bucket and set it crossways on the trailer.I used the 4 in 1 the other day to pick my scraper blade up and set it in the truck bed.Works like a champ.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    178
    Location
    NW of St. Louis, MO area
    Tractor
    B2150DT

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Scott,
    You need to have about 8-10% of the total weight (trailer and everything on it) on the ball. I have used a 16' trailer to haul my B2150 with RFM and FEL. What I did was drive up on the trailer in low gear/low range and watch the trailer tongue. The hitch will sink on top of the ball (keep it latched though) and you'll see your receiver sink a little too (if you have one). You'll notice the truck start to squat. Let it squat a couple of inches, then stop. When I do this, my RFM is hanging off the back of the trailer by about 10". I used to have a Bronco and did not have any problems with sway when I arranged my load like this. My tires are loaded also. It seems you may have to remove the ramps on your trailer anyway.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    379
    Location
    S.E. Kansas
    Tractor
    J.D. 4400

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Scott,
    A sway bar may help but it is only treating the symptoms, not the disease. The disease is too little (or possibly, negative) tongue weight and this can be a dangerous situation. While some lighter trailers/loads can get by with as little as 5% of the total weight on the tongue, most sources agree that 10-15% is the requirement. For safety's sake, you either need a longer trailer or convert your ramps to be removable. From the sounds of it, you have a trailer much like mine, though mine is 2 ft. longer. If so, the ramps on mine are held up by a solid piece of strap steel. Looking at mine, it seems that it would be possible to remove this strap and use some type of chain/turnbuckle arrangement that would allow them to be pulled up against an overhanging attachment. While the "foot" on the bottom of the ramp would then be closer to the ground, it should still be high enough to go through all but the most severe "dips".

    Hoss

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Thanks guys....I am listening.............

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    The ramps on my trailer are made of angle iron and have a pin through them where u lift them up and a flat bar slides over a pin...that sticks out of the ramp(same type of pin that is used on a 3pt hook up)these ramps are not long enough when I try to back the tractor on the trailer with the bush hog on the wheel on the bush hog catches on the end of the trailer,unless I back the railer up to a grade.
    I was wondering if a welding shop would be able to make me some light weight ramps that would be longer and strong enough. and not weigh a ton I could lay on the trailer after loading?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    379
    Location
    S.E. Kansas
    Tractor
    J.D. 4400

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Scott,
    I don't know enough about relative strengths of different metals to accurately answer your question, but I would guess that it would be possible to have some made from aluminum. From what I've seen of the costs involved in custom fabrication of aluminum, it may end up cheaper to sell your current trailer and purchase a longer one. You may even be able to find a place where you could trade it in on a new one.

    Hoss

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    39,596
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Trailer sway

    Scott, maybe everyone already understands, but in this thread I see "sway bars" and "load equalizer hitch" mentioned and hope everyone knows and understands the difference between the load distributing hitch (or equalizer hitch, lift bars, or whatever name you like) and sway controllers. Those are two different animals, although I guess Reese still makes the cam type sway control that combines the two functions. The lift bars are no help unless the weight is to the front of the trailer, not the rear. And a sway control can help some with a trailer that's too light on the front end, but it's certainly not an option I would consider.

    Correct weight distribution should be the first objective, and only then should you need to consider the sway control or load distributing hitch.

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