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  1. #1

    Default Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    I have a kubota L3830 HST with 723 FEL and fluid in the tires. I've got about 45 hours on it (primarily making food plots for deer). I have a 20 acres with my house (5 acres maintained and 2 camps each without about 5 acres of "maintainable" land. Camps are about 20 and 35 miles from home. I plan to take the tractor to each place 2 - 4 x per year.

    I've been borrowing a couple of trailers to get the tractor to the camps until I can save my $ for a trailer of my own.

    I've learned a lot and I've had some scary trailer experiences. I have a 2000 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton with 3.73 gears and tranny cooler; seems to pull it fine.

    The first trailer borrowing experience went OK. This past weekend I used a different trailer (7000#, 16') and had a lot of problems. First off I put the bucket behind the "rack" on the front of the trailer. I loosened the hitch from the truck with the tractor loaded and the trailer literally balanced with 2 fingers of pressure; wife heard my "panic whistles" and put jack stands underneath so I could pull the tractor forward. Then I bent one of the ramps a bit. Then one of them "kicked out" 1/2 way up. (ended up putting scrap boards under the FEL and using it to lift the front wheels while I backed the tractor off) I decided to back it into a ditch and load without ramps and proceeded to break the trailer lights. Whatta mess.

    Also had one situation where, at about 50mph, the trailer started swaying bad - very scary. I thought I blew a tire but everything was fine. Stayed at 45mph after that with no issues. I know tongue wt loading can cause this but I balanced the trailer to where the truck squatted about 3" like I've been told.

    With all that background; my questions...

    1) What is a good estimate of my tractor wt. I found stats on the tractor at 3400#, I'm assuming about 800# for rear tire fluid, 500# for tiller. Can't find FEL 723 wt: assuming 800#. That puts me at 5500#. This puts me just over the "max" for most gross weight 7000# trailers. I run the backroads to camp so I'm not overly concerned about DOT; I just want a practically safe trailering situation. Do most people use 7000# rated 2 axle trailers for tractors of this size?

    2) After all the ramp issues I've had; I'm really leaning toward an H&H speedloader tilt trailer. 18' min but would like 20' to allow for rear brush hog length. The trailers I've borrowed have "set in place" ramps so manhandling the ramps and blocking the back of the trailer during loading and unloading is a real pain. Any comments on tilt trailers vs. ramp trailers? I've been quoted about $2300 for an 18' manual tilt H&H 7000#. A 10,000# rated trailer adds roughly $1000.

    My second choice behind a tilt trailer would be one with pedestal ramps (the ones that stand up in the back when trailering) but my concern there is that I can never "cheat" and overhang a brush hog or something a foot or so. Trailer dealer has an 18' 10,000 trailer with pedestal ramps but I don't think that'd be long enough with the brush hog and FEL.

    Any trailer tips / comments would be appreciated. I want to be sure to do my research and "buy right" the first time.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member GeneD14's Avatar
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    Southern Indiana
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    Kubota M95s, Allis Chalmers 185 & D17 series IV, Kubota ZG-23 Mower, Kawasaki Mule 610

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    My tractor is very close in size to yours (L4330). You are going to be overloading a 7,000 lb trailer. I highly recommend a 10,000 GVW trailer.
    I have also tried to get by with an 18' long trailer and it isn't worth it. My tractor with a box scraper just fits on a 20 footer with a foot to spare. With a brush hog mower on back it uses the entire length of a 20 foot deck.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member GeneD14's Avatar
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    Southern Indiana
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    Kubota M95s, Allis Chalmers 185 & D17 series IV, Kubota ZG-23 Mower, Kawasaki Mule 610

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    I also highly recommend the H & H tilt bed trailers. I've had mine about 1.5 years and love it. It is much safer than ramps. Because the whole bed tilts the angle that you must climb up is much more gradual. There are no heavy ramps to carry or buckle or slide off of. Once you use a tilt I doubt that you'll ever go back to ramps.
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member GeneD14's Avatar
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    Kubota M95s, Allis Chalmers 185 & D17 series IV, Kubota ZG-23 Mower, Kawasaki Mule 610

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    By the way, check the towing capacity of your truck. 1/2 ton truck may not be rated to haul this much weight.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member RedRocker's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
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    2,115
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    Lewisville & Montague County, TX
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    Kioti CK30 HST, dual remotes, FEL.

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    1/2 ton trucks are great for trips to Home Depot but towing any kind of weight is a lot safer with at least a 3/4 ton.
    I'm in the market for a bigger trailer too, so I feel your pain. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2005
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    32
    Location
    west alabama
    Tractor
    kubota L4400

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    your truck will pull just fine but, 3/4 ton is better. the swaying is easy. you are loaded to far to the rear weight is not evenly distributed. pull further up let rear of truck sink two or three inches and have fun. just go slow, speed limt, and plan your stops. but when it comes time to upgrade your truck go bigger. bigger brakes, tires, springs, and oil cooler are just a few items the 3/4 or better will have.

    tim

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2005
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    105
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    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Tractor
    JD 870

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    The owner's manual for my F150 identifies the towing capacity relative to the transmission, differential, and the surface area of the towed vehicle. If your trailer has brakes that might provide an additional safety margin, especially on those long down hill grades.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Northwest GA USA
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    Kubota L3710DT & Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    I have pulled my L3710DT with LA682 loader and loaded ag tires on a 16' 7,000 lb. gross trailer without brakes before and as you mention, it is not a confidence building exercise. I purchased a 20' 10,000 lb. flatbed equipment trailer with brakes so that I would have the capacity to move my tractor when I want to in the future. For the price difference, I would not go any smaller than this as it seems to fit well. If you want to go much bigger, you will move into gooseneck territory and get into even more money rather quickly. The other posters are right about the towing capacity of 1/2 ton pickups. However, that is all I have available at the moment. If I planned on towing such a heavy load often, a used 3/4 or 1 ton would become a much higher priority. The tilt feature does sound appealing, but the ramps were the most economical alternative for me. A picture of my trailer is attached.

    Jeff
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  9. #9
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    South Puget Sound, WA
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    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    "but I balanced the trailer to where the truck squatted about 3" like I've been told."
    This is your problem. This is not how it's done. No less than 10-15% of the total trailer weight is to be placed on the tongue to prevent sway. The "measure the squat" method will work if you do some research up front. The work up front is to figure out the most you are willing to tow. If that's 10,000 lbs then put 1000 lbs of tongue weight on the ball and measure the squat. That measurement can be reused over and over assuming you find level ground each time and that the rest of the truck is loaded the same way.

    You then will realize that your class 3 hitch (GM's hitch is a disaster) is rated at 500 lbs of dead tongue weight and 1000 lbs of tongue weight WITH a weight distributing hitch. The WD hitch is the spring bar setup like you see on RVs and I would highly recommend you setting up your equipment trailer with a WD system.

    Deciding that your truck can handle a 10,000 lb trailer is a personal decision. You will likely exceed your ratings with a 7000 lb trailer despite what the bogus "tow rating" tells you. Tow ratings are false as you will discover if you try to stay within the other ratings. The big ratings to follow are the GVWR, GAWR (both of these are on the door jamb), and then you will need to dig to find the GCWR. Your newer half ton truck is quite capable and may be able to do it within the ratings. If not, you will have to make that personal decision to exceed the ratings. I exceed my GVWR but not the GAWR or GCWR.

    The 7000 lb car hauler trailer is generally an economy trailer barely capable of its GVWR. The next step up to a 10,000 lb trailer generally carries with it much more heft and long lasting capability. That's why you spend almost 50% more. I would do it unless your budget is restricted. Be sure to get electric brakes on both axles.

    I would vote for a pretty dang long trailer, no less than 20', with the tilt. That extra length allows implement room but also lets you adjust the tractor position fore and aft to get the right loading on the tongue.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member GeneD14's Avatar
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    Kubota M95s, Allis Chalmers 185 & D17 series IV, Kubota ZG-23 Mower, Kawasaki Mule 610

    Default Re: Trailer Troubles / Decisions

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I would vote for a pretty dang long trailer, no less than 20', with the tilt. )</font>

    Amen!

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