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  1. #1
    Super Member newbury's Avatar
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    Default Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    I've got to tow some cars around on occasion with my 350 dually. Most under 4,000 lbs. In searching for tow dollies I notice that most used I see on CL are without brakes.
    Looking at the laws http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/trai...railer-brakes/ most states require brakes on trailers over 2Klbs to 4Klbs.
    example:
    Mississippi
    Every trailer carrying over 1 ton, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of the trailer and to stop and hold the trailer.
    Virginia
    Trailers must be equipped with brakes if the gross weight exceeds 3,000 lbs.
    Yet U-Haul only rents tow dollies without brakes (I called and asked so that's Assuming the U-Haul rep was correct).

    So, despite the fact that I know it's better with brakes, how can U-Haul get away with renting trailers without brakes?

    Do they only calculate part of the weight of the vehicle as being part of the gross weight?
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all
    My saws - JD CS 62, efco 3500, Stihls - 021, 660 w/woods mod, 660 w/ DP muffler, 088, Woodmizer LT10

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Hartford, SD
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    Kubota L3400F

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    If I had to guess...I would say UHAUL has donated some serious dollars to re-election campaigns of members on the US Government Transportation Committee.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Lee, IL
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    I could be wrong but I was pretty sure that the u-haul tow dollies that I have seen have had hydraulic surge brakes.

    Are you sure you want a tow dolly? I have never used one but have always considered them a PITA. I sure wouldn't want to back one up, and if you have a 350 I would say try to find a trailer. I tow dolly is good if have a small vehicle that won't handle a car on a trailer, hence the reason that I think they should all have brakes.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
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    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    IIRC, a dolly is exempt as the weight actually on the dolly is under 3k#. The end of the car not on the dolly doesn't count.
    Many dollies are available with brakes, my parents recently picked up one that had backing plates there and wires in the wiring bundle, but no brakes installed.

    Thanks

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    Quote Originally Posted by aczlan View Post
    IIRC, a dolly is exempt as the weight actually on the dolly is under 3k#. The end of the car not on the dolly doesn't count.
    I am in no way doubting you, but that is quite stupid to me. I feel that the reason to put a "maximum un-braked trailer" weight into effect is for stopping purposes. Even if the car is not physically sitting on said trailer, they are designed to have a combined weight greater than whatever that weight restriction may be- still just as hard to stop.

    who writes these laws anyway?

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikehaugen View Post
    who writes these laws anyway?
    Lawyers who then make $$$$$$ fighting back and forth on what the words mean

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  7. #7
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    most uhauls i see have surge brakes anyway...

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    If you're concerned, get a U-Haul car-hauler trailer. I used one once and it had surge brakes. But honestly, with a 350 dually, you probably have enough weight and braking capacity in the truck to not worry about it.

  9. #9
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    I have yet to see a tow dolly with any brakes in my area. I've rented them in the past from u haul and they had no brakes. I have friends that have the (tow dollys) And their's have no brakes
    A Fredricks Yanmar 3110D
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    16' Tow Master Dump Trailer ,20' Yanmar Hauler

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Brakes on a trailer - or how is weight figured?

    Its a loop hole to allow the dolly to get away with out putting brakes on them. The law states, and I will use my state as a example (Indiana), you only need brakes on trailers with a GVWR in excess of 3,000#. The way Uhaul and others get away with this is they put a 3,500# axle on the dolly but lower the GVWR to 2,990# or 2,999# in states that allow GVWR's not in 10# units. Since the dolly is considered own and the vehicle with its own GVWR its falling though the cracks so to speak. Since a car in tow by law does not have to have working brakes, another loop hole to protect the towing industry, its all legal.

    Now on tow dolly's. I have used 4 or 5 in my life. One with no brakes and one with surge disc brakes and another couple with standard old electric drums. All towed ok but when empty they are a bear. I once towed a car and moved a old blind man to Florida when in college helping out a friend. We borrowed a two trucks. One pulled the car on a dolly plus had a bed full of his junk and the other pulled a tandem axle box trailer. I drove the one pulling the car. It was fine from Indiana to Florida but on the way home with the dolly empty it was awful. The tires would come off the pavement 3' at times as I went over expansion joints at bridges and such. At the first truck stop we came to we rounded up 3 or 4 truckers to help us load it in the bed of the truck and strap it down. It was that bad empty and there was no way I was going to drive another 800 miles with it bouncing around.

    Chris

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