Scary, life threatening, mistake

   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #1  

RSKY

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2003
Messages
2,166
Location
Kentucky, West of the Lakes, South of Possum Trot.
Tractor
Kioti CK20S, Ford 4600
Not me this time.

Drove about an hour from home with son-in-law to pick up a tiller and box blade he had purchased. Just like his tractor he bought them sight unseen over the Internet from a dealer in Tennessee. While he was inside settling the bill I helped the guy loading the equipment and strapped things down. Guy loading said he had a Ford F150 like mine. A few weeks before he had delivered a large tractor when the incident happened.

So he parked on a noticeable incline with the truck pointed uphill. Unchained the tractor and started backing off the trailer. He never said what size, type tractor it was, just that it was large and heavy and didn't have a cab. Just as the back tires were about to go on the ramp, right at the end of the trailer, the the weight difference was enough that the front of the trailer lifted up and the truck's rear tires came off the ground. I had never thought of this happening and apparently this guy hadn't either. Said he had been delivering equipment for many years. Luckily the front wheels were straight and the truck, trailer, tractor, and scared motionless man rolled straight down the hill and into a ditch at the turnoff from the busy main road. According to the man the whole rig rolled about fifty yards scraping gravel with the back of the trailer. A few yards to either side and it would have either gone into a deep gully or out the driveway into a busy road. Don't know how he finally got it off the trailer, Don't know why it didn't happen when loading the tractor. But the guy's voice quivered when he told the story.

Just something to think about.

RSKY
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #2  

scootr

Platinum Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
858
Location
Temecula California
Tractor
Kubota MX5200 HST, 773 Bobcat, Cat forklift
A few years ago the same thing happened to a neighbor who had rented a backhoe and trailer. He was parked headed downhill and the whole rig ended up in the creek at the bottom. I'm sure it would be hard to react properly, running the tractor back up the trailer at that moment.
This is why you see ramp jacks on big trailers.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #3  

Gem99ultra

Veteran Member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
2,159
Location
Mid-Georgia
Tractor
Kubota L3400HST
A few years ago the same thing happened to a neighbor who had rented a backhoe and trailer. He was parked headed downhill and the whole rig ended up in the creek at the bottom. I'm sure it would be hard to react properly, running the tractor back up the trailer at that moment.
This is why you see ramp jacks on big trailers.
Similar thing has happened to me before also. Scary for sure as well as very dangerous. Here's what I did to resolve future situations like yours for $80 on Amazon:

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   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #4  

RustyA

Gold Member
Joined
May 9, 2018
Messages
438
Location
Northern WI
Tractor
New Holland Boomer 40 Cab
Jackstands on back of trailer, put truck in 4wd so front axle is in park also. Learned that lesson the hard way when I had a car hauler with ramps.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #5  

Bearsixty7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
1,048
Location
St. Paul TX
Tractor
LS MT240HE. JD LA145.
Simply chock the trailer tires.

I chock the truck tires on steep boat ramps even though my boat isn't that heavy and not likely to lift the trailer tongue any but parking brakes can fail or things can just go wrong.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #6  

ptsg

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
4,884
Location
Portugal
Tractor
Branson F36Rn
So US trailer manufacturers still consider parking brakes on trailers to be overrated? I would've thought that by now that they would've taken care of that since this incidents are way more frequent than it should.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #7  

Bearsixty7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
1,048
Location
St. Paul TX
Tractor
LS MT240HE. JD LA145.
So US trailer manufacturers still consider parking brakes on trailers to be overrated? I would've thought that by now that they would've taken care of that since this incidents are way more frequent than it should.
I've used several different trailers over 40 years of driving and never had a similar incident, so yeah, they are over rated, you just need to consider the physics of what's going on. Trailer parking brakes would be more parts to fail or maintain plus would add to trailer cost.

Truck and trailer should have been on level ground, Truck could have been put in 4WD if it had it, Trailer tires could have been chocked, trailer could have had rear jackstands. Several ways to have prevented what happened.

Even if the trailer could have had parking brakes, the operator could just as easily have failed to engage it. It just comes down to situational awareness.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #8  

s219

Super Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
8,608
Location
Virginia USA
Tractor
Kubota L3200, Deere X380, Kubota RTV-X
Heard about this here on TBN several times over the years. Happens to a lot of folks who don’t think about the physics and don’t consider what happens when the only axle with a parking brake and transmission lock gets lifted off the ground. Not too unlike the many tractor owners who learn the hard way what can happen when their rear wheels lose contact with the ground due to poor ballast.

I always put blocks under the back of my trailer and chock the tires on the trailer. Both will pretty much eliminate the problem. Got the idea for blocks here on TBN when I joined over 10 years ago. So the information is out there for people to learn.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #9  

hosspuller

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
1,675
Location
Piedmont Triad, NC
Tractor
Didn't intend to have a Deere fleet - it just happened 310C, F915,102, 5200 & 5065E
A block or jack under the trailer end also protects the trailer suspension from overloading.

When loading my tractor, I had the GN trailer rear up, I forgot to lock the ball hitch. Luckily, the safety chains kept the trailer from my back glass.

Now there's a chunk of 4 by 6 with the trailer.
 
   / Scary, life threatening, mistake #10  

ponytug

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
4,230
Location
Bay Area, CA
Tractor
Power Trac PT1445
I've seen a similar incident, and it certainly changed my behavior. Thanks for bringing it up here!

All the best,

Peter
 
 
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