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Woodhauler down but not out - Learn from my mistake.

Post in 'The Gear' started by MasterMech, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I know I've preached on here about the importance of trailer brakes before so you guys hauling with trailers take note. This happened while towing roughly 5000lbs (not wood) and a delivery truck decided to make a quick left in front of me. I didn't have enough room to get it all stopped (big downhill run) but the impact was relatively slow-speed. I was traveling about 40 MPH initially. I knew my trailer brakes are worn and have 4 brand-new backing plate assemblies in the garage which were to be installed after this weekend's run. Just insult to injury I guess. No damage to the other truck and mine is pretty minor. Drivers side fender, hood, bumper, radiator, shroud, support and fan, grille and left side headlight/bucket. I know many of us carry much more weight on lighter-duty trucks. (Mine is a 1-ton.) Thankfully newer trucks have much better braking systems but you should still never trust just the truck brakes. Didn't help that I was 45 miles from home either.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
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    27,762
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    Michigan
    Ouch! Glad there was not more damage as that is bad enough. Good too that nobody was hurt. Yes, with trailers and big loads, it pays to drive slow but few do it or so it seems.
  3. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    Northern Canada
    Hi
    Looks like the to do list just got longer.
    Any good wrecking yards close to you for replacement parts?
    Or buy a compete donar truck?
    Have Fun
    Thomas
  4. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope all goes well with repairs. How you doing on your wood supply? Are you working on next years?
  5. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    It's all nothing but metal and plastic.....as long as everyone is ok. I do, from time to time, run a little on the heavy side.....keep my speeds down, and my distances further.......also keep it close to home 'cause I don't wanna stress out my truck for long periods.....trailer brakes around here are mandatory over 1,500lbs.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Wood supply is good for 2 years out so no worries there. Plus I can use my daily driver (a GMC Canyon) and take small loads. I'll probably go with aftermarket parts for it as the rest of the truck is in good shape and junkyard parts around here usually are less than perfect.

    I think New York's trailer brake laws are mandatory for any trailer GVW rated over 3000lbs. Hence you see all the single axle trailers with 3500lb axles downrated to 2998lbs on the VIN plates. Plus registration fees are outrageous for trailers over the 3000lb mark. Glad to see CT has much lower limits. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend trailer brakes after 1000lbs. 3000lbs behind a mini-van or small SUV with no trailer brakes is a scary but legal setup here. Plenty of landscapers running around with non-functional brakes too.

    5000lbs isn't anywhere near testing this truck's capability but it came down to not enough following distance in this case. You can believe that trailer isn't leaving my driveway until I get those new backing plate assembiles on it and the drums turned.
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Not sayin its right or safe but DMV does not require brakes for gross weight under 10K

    Page 53 of http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/forms/cr79.pdf

    Glad no one was hurt.
  8. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    Western PA - Steeler Country!
    I was just going to make a very similar post about learning from my mistake...then I found this thread (different mistake though)

    I was loading up wood yesterday (last load) and had a piece bounce off the pile....yep....back window busted out. I did this at my parents place so my father gave me the old "guess you had to learn the hard way" as he has warned me numerous times about this (he has lost 2 windows himself with firewood :) ) Then he proceeded to show me a great way to seal up the window with plastic....he really did have some experience with temporary back windows - LOL!

    Learn from my mistake - either get a headache rack or don't toss the wood on the truck!
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    ...or stand a sheet of 1/4" plywood up in front of the rear window, then toss all you like. Much cheaper than a window.
  10. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Judging by the age of your truck and if it is a 1ton you have the GM corporate 14bolt rear end with drum brakes. Those work real good and I heard GM went back to drums on the rear of the 1ton and maybe others because the disc wasn't performing. So basically your truck should brake real good. Both of my trailers have 4 wheel brakes. One thing I haven't sprung for is the Max Brake controller. I use a cheapy one. It works ok but doesn't have the proportional feaure. Nice thing about the Max Brake is it read off your actual brake line pressure so one gain adjustment and your done. It will mimic your pedal input to the trailer giving you a smooth stop everytime or panic braking too.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I have a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Brake controller. I've had many of their past products and like this one just as much, maybe more. Having one that monitors actual line pressure is the next best thing to the old vacuum over hydraulic setups (oh those were fun...) but isn't a necessity as I'm not hauling live cargo. (Used to haul livestock just about daily) My downfall here was I was running very worn trailer brakes that I knew were not 100% more like 30%, but had planned the overhaul for well, today, lol. Like I said in the previous post, I have all the brand new parts ready to go.

    BTW: Gotta love the signature groan from GM Drums on these trucks. :lol: Does it in reverse every time. GM switched back to drums on the trucks because of all the debris/corrosion issues they had with the rear disc setup. Plus anything with rear discs (GM Truck) had parking brake failures up the wazoo. With just the truck loaded it does brake quite well, especially considering the vintage. I've had 2/3 cord in the bed before and it handles better than empty. Stops just fine too.
  12. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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    yeah, i'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with that one. it does not say that a trailer under 10k does not need brakes. it says dont reject a trailer if it doesnt have brakes. i think that statement is very misleading. i think if you where to do a little more research you would find that the majic number for brakes is about 3k and over. and i believe anything with 2 axles must have brakes. i think the brake guidelines fall under federal law, not state. inspection may vary from state to state though.

    towing a 9900 lb trailer with an F-150 easily doubles the GVW of the truck. there is absolutley no way the brakes on the truck are rated for, or will stop the truck and trailer without having a few football feilds length to stop it in.
  13. ssupercoolss

    ssupercoolss Member

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  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    IMO 3000 lbs (without trailer brakes) is to high for many of the vehicles used to tow a single axle. NYS does require annual inspections on trailers over 3k. Don't know about the smaller ones.

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