Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 60
  1. #1
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default What Causes Fishtailing?

    For some reason, my trailer decided that today was fishtailing day. I've had it loaded before with a similar load (2 tons of hay), but this time it would start to sway back and forth if I went any faster than 50 mph. In the extra 15 minutes that it took me to get home I found myself wondering why that happens. I know I've heard it before, but I've never really understood. Why do trailers fishtail?
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    926
    Location
    southwest NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    Too much weight on the rear will do that, often closely followed by staining of the shorts !
    'Master of a thousand indispensable skills destined to keep him at the poverty level'

    'You can't beat a man at his own trade'

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    Here is some food for thought:

    TractorByNet.com - Search Results

    lmalcomb

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,097
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    I agree with Groundcover. Somehow you must have ended up with heavier bales on the rear. Tongue weight makes a trailer happy!
    They sure make some pretty hay out there. The first self propelled bailer that I'd ever seen was in ID, Beautiful country up in the sawtooth's
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  5. #5
    Gold Member newt92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    344
    Location
    Secor Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520 and 2305

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    Quote Originally Posted by groundcover View Post
    Too much weight on the rear will do that, often closely followed by staining of the shorts !
    Been there done that!!
    2007 JD 2305, 2008 JD 2520 w/200cx loader, Harbor Freight quick hitch, homemade pallet forks, 5' KK tiller, 5' KKxb disc, 4' landpride pulverizer, Frontier RB1072 blade, homemade 5 1/2' lawn roller at 3500lbs, 2005 John Deere 797 w/60" deck, 2009 John Deere 997 w/ 72" deck, 2005 JD HPX Gator w/power dump, 1998 Toro 455D 10.5' deck!

  6. #6
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    It could be that I had too much weight on the rear. I usually get small bales, but due to a shortage of that pretty hay, I'm taking whatever I can get. I had two 1800 pound bales. The first one was as far forward as I could get it, but the second still hung out the back a little.

    So, what's the mechanism? Why does too much weight on the rear make a trailer sway?

    I have new axles and a new tongue to put on this trailer as soon as I get some time, so the point may be moot (The new tongue is an A-frame, and I'll use an equalizer hitch). Mostly I'm curious.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,500
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    You need the weight on the rear suspension of the pulling vehicle to keep it from getting pushed back and forth sideways. When the front wheels are turned ever so slightly, that movement transfers to the trailer, and the trailer moves, lets the rearend of the pulling vehicle move sideways, and just makes more and more uncontrolled fishtailing.
    But putting some weight on the tongue to hold the rear wheels steady is necessary....as you have learned and fortunately didn't have a disaster.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,097
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    I think it's some kind of voo doo geometry or something. (**** if I know) but anytime that I have loaded a trailer heavy on the rear it sways. If your trlr. does not have fenders it would be fairley easy to set your axles back a foot when you replace them. Some trlrs. seem to be to closely balanced, (esp. car hauling trlrs.) prolly for a light duty towing vehicle.
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,097
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    [QUOTE=beenthere;2327844]You need the weight on the rear suspension of the pulling vehicle to keep it from getting pushed back and forth sideways. QUOTE]

    I know what you're saying but, I've had a small trlr. (improperly loaded) sway, hooked to a dual wheel 1 ton. The truck didn't care. In other words the tail does wag the dog, just if it is an equal or smaller "dog:
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,682
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520, 1989 John Deere 185, 1960 Panzer T70B

    Default Re: What Causes Fishtailing?

    Boat trailers are especially bad about fishtailing because the majority of a boat's weight is in the rear.

    On the plus side, at least on my two boat trailers, the suspension can be relatively easily moved fore/aft to help adjust the weight distribution...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Runner

Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.