Critique Welcomed - JD 2520 on a 16ft Tandem Axle Trailer
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    lost in wisconsin's Avatar
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    Critique Welcomed - JD 2520 on a 16ft Tandem Axle Trailer

    This past weekend we had to do some work at our place up north and our 2520 was needed to assist. It is around 140 miles door to door and in the past when trailering the 2520, we have used an 18ft car trailer. This all came up rather quickly Thursday night and I was pickled when I called Friday morning and was able to rent a car trailer from a locally owned dealer. When I arrived on Friday, there was some confusion and the car trailer had already been rented out. The owner was very apologetic and promised "not to leave us hanging", and we ended up with a brand new 16ft Solid-Side Tandem Axle Utility Trailer.

    With the recent publicity regarding trailer accidents, I wanted to take the opportunity to have my methods of securing our 2520 critiqued and reviewed. I by no means an expert and I am looking for comments for further improvement. I apologize as these pics are more of the tie down points and I didn't take any of the tractor sitting on the trailer. For reference, this was a 16ft trailer and the approx. overall length from the FEL to the rear of the tractor was 12 1/2ft.

    To begin, I backed the tractor on the trailer to the point where my tie down straps could be used from the front of the trailer and not interfere with the rear tires of the tractor. The best place I found for hooking onto the frame was to remove the draw bar and hook into the bracket that is attached to the rear frame of the tractor.

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    I then secured on each side a strap to the front frame of the tractor using a hole where the grill guard is attached.

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    Because the bucket of the FEL gets in the way of the forward mounted straps, I used blocks to keep the bucket high enough as to not interfere. I then used a final strap (and grandma's rags) to secure the FEL.

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    Comments/Questions:

    • I enjoy using the car trailer in the past as it has a full aluminum deck (vs car trailers from U-Haul) and already has tie down chains/straps. I couldn't imagine going smaller that 16ft with the FEL on the tractor and having enough angle and clearance with the tie down locations.


    • When I was looking for a tie down location at the rear of the tractor, I recalled seeing where a clevis was used on the drawbar and a chain was pulled through it from one tie down point on the front of the trailer to the other tie down point. It was then pulled tight with the straps or chain in the rear of the trailer was tightened. I don't know whether one is better than the other or one is legal or not legal. My final thought was having 4 secure points was better than having 3.


    • Is it safe to secure the FEL and bucket as we did?


    • And I finally have a better understanding where and where not to attach the cable for the breakaway brakes. Even though I am pretty certain my hitch and receiver are not going to fall off my truck, the owner was pretty adamant about attaching it to my bumper and no where on the receiver or hitch. His reasoning was it was the last line of defense in the event my hitch falls from the frame of my truck.



    Once again, I am looking for any insight from others. Regarding why the 2520 was needed...I will leave you with this final pic of 2520 in one corner versus rock in the other. I will create another post later with the victor.

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    Last edited by lost in wisconsin; 10-13-2014 at 04:16 PM.
    2011 JD 2520, 200CX FEL, iMatch Quick Hitch, 48" JD Box Scraper, 54" JD FM Snowblower, Artillian 36" Forks w/Backrest, Frontier PHD200, Woods RM59 Finish Mower & Heavy Hitch

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    • I enjoy using the car trailer in the past as it has a full aluminum deck (vs car trailers from U-Haul) and already has tie down chains/straps. I couldn't imagine going smaller that 16ft with the FEL on the tractor and having enough angle and clearance with the tie down locations.




    • When I was looking for a tie down location at the rear of the tractor, I recalled seeing where a clevis was used on the drawbar and a chain was pulled through it from one tie down point on the front of the trailer to the other tie down point. It was then pulled tight with the straps or chain in the rear of the trailer was tightened. I don't know whether one is better than the other or one is legal or not legal. My final thought was having 4 secure points was better than having 3.

    I agree, 4 points over 3 is better, your entire setup looks good to me.


    • Is it safe to secure the FEL and bucket as we did?

    I think so, it's "supposed" to be fully lowered and secured to the trailer deck, but I don't think they way you have it is a problem at all.


    • And I finally have a better understanding where and where not to attach the cable for the breakaway brakes. Even though I am pretty certain my hitch and receive are not going to fall off my truck, the owner was pretty adamant about attaching it to my bumper and no where on the receiver or hitch. His reasoning was it was the last line of defense in the event my hitch falls from the frame of my truck.

    I agree with his logic, and do the same.
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    What size are those straps and what is their working load limit? Something to keep in mind is that for straps, working load is 1/3rd of the breaking strength. So if your straps are rated for 6,000 lbs, you only have a 2,000 lb working load limit. If you've got a 2,000+ lb tractor...

    I prefer not to use straps. I always use chains. I get a little paranoid that the straps will start to fray and snap on me. Plus, they tend to loose strength over time.

    I usually turn my loader bucket upside down and run a chain to the hooks on my bucket. Not sure if that's a great idea but the thinking is that the loader itself it attached to both the bucket and the tractor. One or the other of them would have to move for the loader to come off and then it would still be attached to the other. You strapped down your loader arms but if your bucket some how came loose, it can still roll off on you. Yeah, I know... a little paranoid but...

    And I agree with you on it being a bad idea to looping through a clevis. As you say, that's one less connection point.
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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    What size are those straps and what is their working load limit? Something to keep in mind is that for straps, working load is 1/3rd of the breaking strength. So if your straps are rated for 6,000 lbs, you only have a 2,000 lb working load limit. If you've got a 2,000+ lb tractor...

    I prefer not to use straps. I always use chains. I get a little paranoid that the straps will start to fray and snap on me. Plus, they tend to loose strength over time.

    I usually turn my loader bucket upside down and run a chain to the hooks on my bucket. Not sure if that's a great idea but the thinking is that the loader itself it attached to both the bucket and the tractor. One or the other of them would have to move for the loader to come off and then it would still be attached to the other. You strapped down your loader arms but if your bucket some how came loose, it can still roll off on you. Yeah, I know... a little paranoid but...

    And I agree with you on it being a bad idea to looping through a clevis. As you say, that's one less connection point.
    I'm with JimR - I like chains and binders instead of straps.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    As an owner of a 2720 and a 20' car trailer with lots of D rings, I too found it difficult to secure it well enough that I liked it. There's tons of bad angles, lack of tie down spots on the frame that were adequate enough to work, or forced you to rub a tire or an implement. 56FordGuy and I struggled with strapping my 2720, loader, and boxblade down for about an hour. We ended up doing something very similar to what you did. The tractor didn't move so I'd call it successful. I ended up using 7, 5000lb rated straps to secure just the tractor and the two implements.

    I think you did better than 90% or more of the loads I see around here. That's including professional drivers....
    Kennyd, 56FordGuy, rtgt and 1 others like this.
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    Just out of curiosity, what is the tow vehicle (specific make and model) you were using?

    DO you know the GVWR of your tow vehicle?

    And specifically how was the break away cable attached to the bumper of the tow vehicle?

    Do you cross your trailer safety chains so as to catch the trailer should it seperate from the tow vehicle to keep the trailer tongue from plowing into the road?

    While there are different tie down methods and tools to secure loads, I first want to commend you for carefully considering the different issues related to securing a load / vehicle on the trailer. Far too many people are very indifferent about properly securing loads on trailers. They also are very indifferent about the correct and safe use of the trailer itself.

    I have used both straps and chains with binders to secure various loads. In some instances, I have used a combination of both on the same load. I have never lost anything from a trailer or load, but I sure have encountered a wide variety of people who have lost loads.

    Just last Friday, I was behind a pick up pulling a small flat trailer, probably 6 x 10, which was loaded with a pallet which was plastic wrapped to a height of at least 7 feet above the trailer deck. He had one strap in front of the pallet about 12" off the trailer deck and one behind it at about the same height. Sure enough, as the truck went down the entrance ramp on the freeway and gained speed, I noticed the load start to wobble before he even merged onto the highway. He made it about 500 yards and sure enough, the whole pallet tipped over backwards and emptied it's contents on the freeway surface.

    He was hauling what appeared to be boxes of potato chips in single serving packages, which were in display boxes which retailers would use to put them in the store. He scattered the load and then, he didn't even notice it until I caught up to him and got him to pull over at least 1 mile after he lost the entire load. He was talking on his phone and The only way I got his attention was by laying on the horn while driving next to him.

    He said he was going to go back to the mess he made, which I did see him turn around, illegally of course. Being a motorcycle rider myself, and that was what I was riding on Friday when this happened, I pay very close attention to how people have loads secured because of the potentially fatal consequences I face as a result of their negligence and general indifference.

    I did call 911 and report his license number and vehicle description so they knew who was responsible for the mess on the highway. Plus they have my contact info in case they need a witness in court.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    I think you did better than 90% or more of the loads I see around here. That's including professional drivers....
    One more example of an industry where the professional standards sure aren't what they used to be.

    I am old enough to remember when most truck drivers wore uniforms and you could always count on one to help a motorist in distress. Not too much that way anymore.......

    My dad won awards from Mack Trucks for driving 1,000,000 and 3,000,000 miles ( I think even 5,000,000 miles too but I can't find that award) accident free. He drove the same brand of truck for 43 years.
    Last edited by dieselshadow; 10-13-2014 at 07:03 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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    Good job. Very good effort. Like Diesel said - better than most.

    I prefer chains for the equipment itself. I will use straps for the implements. That said, I am in the process of figuring out where to place "tie points" on the implements that I normally trailer to keep from having to strap across the implement....

    I use a single 3/8 G70 chain through a shackle on the drawbar for the rear. x2 5/16 G70 chains for the front corners. For the weight, one point of attachment at the rear is appropriate, and there really isn't any place to get two attachment points on the rear..... (two chaings do not count if they attach to the same point on the load...) I am looking at mid frame positions as additional possibilities. One of the most common accidents is a front or rear end collision, and I don't want the tractor in my lap.

    I load mine facing forward, and I have a board secured to the deck that the loader edge butts up against. I have to put the bucket in a partial dump position for the front frame chains to clear the bucket. Since you have a tooth bar, you will need something between it and the deck if you use a dump position.

    I don't like using blocking more than one level. Wood has to be cranked down pretty tight to keep from moving. If you have to use wood - a few well placed screws work wonders.... I have always shot screws throught dunnage to keep it in place.

    Using rented or borrowed trailers makes the job tougher. You did an excellent job with what you had to work with.
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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    I'm not going to go into all the tie down points. What you did looks great to me. That being said I have one question. Attaching the trailer chains to the bumper, how do you hook it to the bumper and how is it safer then putting it on the trailer hitch? OK, 2 questions... my point being the hitch is much stronger then the bumper and a sudden jolt on the bumper should the hitch fail would rip the bumper right off the truck. I don't know but my bumper is a lot weaker then my hitch which is attached to the frame. Just say'in...
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    The break-away trailer brake cable is to only activate a switch that applies full braking power to the trailer brakes in case the trailer separates from the tow vehicle. In this case, that force is very very small. It's similar to pulling the PTO switch on your tractor.
    - Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Dieselshadow is my Hero.


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