Need recommendations for loading 1025R TLB on dump trailer
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    Shortstuff's Avatar
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    Need recommendations for loading 1025R TLB on dump trailer

    I recently purchased a new PJ 83"x14' Low-Pro Dump (DL) trailer. It has a GVWR of 14,000 lbs, 2 Dexter 7,000 lb. axles, etc. with a deck height of 24" and came with (2) 6'6" ramps and D-rings welded inside at each corner. My tow vehicle is a 2016 Ford F-150 King Ranch with the HD tow package which allows me to tow up to 10,400 lbs. I'll primarily be using the trailer to take loads to the dump, pick up loam, mulch, etc., but it's big enough to load my 1025R TLB if I need to transport it anywhere. I'm estimating that with the FEL, BH and the Curtis cab my 1025 is no more than 3000 lbs. and the trailer (empty) weighs in at 4,340 lbs. so I'm well within safe towing limits.

    The 3 pictures below show the trailer itself and 2 pictures of my tractor beside it, one facing forward the other rearward. The vertical dashed lines show the location of the axle centerlines in relation to the tractor itself. Obviously I want to load my tractor so that the weight is balanced as it should be with 10%-15% of the total weight on the tongue. So my questions are:

    1. Should I load it with the FEL or the BH forward towards the tongue or does it matter? The FEL and the BH each weigh about 600 lbs.
    2. Do you recommend straps (what strength) or chains with binders for tie downs?

    I intend to tie down at all 4 corners and that I should also tie down the FEL and BH separately. Any other suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortstuff View Post
    1. Should I load it with the FEL or the BH forward towards the tongue or does it matter? The FEL and the BH each weigh about 600 lbs.
    IMO, the only way to really answer this is for you to load the tractor into the trailer and go find some local scales. Measure the weight on each axle and the tongue with the tractor facing forward in the trailer and then backwards and see how weights pan out.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    I’ve hauled a lot of different equipment over the years. I agree with JimR on the scale but my nearest one is a 2 hour round trip.

    So my down and dirty way of doing it was this. I measured my rear bumper from the ground with the empty trailer attached. When I loaded a piece of equipment I watched my rear bumper as I pulled forward on the trailer. What my goal was was to have the rear bumper drop 2” - that would give me a good hitch weight and tow very nicely. I got good at judging the 2” drop without measuring.

    But with such a short trailer and long rig you aren’t going to have much back and forth room to adjust. I would still try for my 2” bumper rule by loading the tractor both forward and backward and see how comes out.
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    sennister's Avatar
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    General rule of thumb is you want to maintain 10-15% tongue weight. the CAT Scales are the best way to determine this but you can do it at home though a couple different methods.

    https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx

    I have no idea what your tractor/trailer combo weighs but lets pretend it is 7500#. That is a little above your estimate.

    That means you are going to be shooting for 750# to 1125# of tongue weight.

    7500*0.1=750
    7500*0.15=1125

    The next thing you have to do is throw out that 10,400# towing rating of the truck because it means nothing with a bumper pull trailer like what you have.

    Go to the towing guide for your make, model, year and read it over.

    https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/...50_r1_Oct2.pdf

    In your specific case pay close attention to the "Hitch Receiver Weight Capacity" section on the bottom of page 4.

    As was discovered in the Blue Oval Syndrome thread, Jim discovered the limits when not using a weight distributing hitch. You have the same issue.

    With a standard hitch and ball, you are capped at 5000# and 500# hitch weight. As I pointed out above, if running 10% which is the bare minimums you are at 7500# for the trailer and 750# on the hitch. As long as you add an external Class IV WD hitch you should be fine and get the max tongue weight rating of 1,220#.

    Hope that helps.
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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    Btw, since Amazon now operates a distribution center in MN, they're charging sales tax on everything. Summit Racing carries several hitch manufactures, has free shipping for orders over $99, and will match anyone's pricing if they're not already lowest (which they were).

    I've been dealing with Summit for years (2+ decades) and even bought my media blasting cabinet from them - which Northern put on sale 2 weeks later and Summit refunded the difference AND shipping! (well above and beyond, IMO)


    The trailer itself is pretty heavy, so I think you'll be fine running it with the tractor facing forward. I'm guessing you'll have too much tongue weight if you reversed in. If it does end up light in the tongue, you could add an anti-sway kit easy enough. Tail-whippy trailers are dangerous, not to mention annoying to pull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    General rule of thumb is you want to maintain 10-15% tongue weight. the CAT Scales are the best way to determine this but you can do it at home though a couple different methods.

    https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx

    I have no idea what your tractor/trailer combo weighs but lets pretend it is 7500#. That is a little above your estimate.

    That means you are going to be shooting for 750# to 1125# of tongue weight.

    7500*0.1=750
    7500*0.15=1125

    The next thing you have to do is throw out that 10,400# towing rating of the truck because it means nothing with a bumper pull trailer like what you have.

    Go to the towing guide for your make, model, year and read it over.

    https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/...50_r1_Oct2.pdf

    In your specific case pay close attention to the "Hitch Receiver Weight Capacity" section on the bottom of page 4.

    As was discovered in the Blue Oval Syndrome thread, Jim discovered the limits when not using a weight distributing hitch. You have the same issue.

    With a standard hitch and ball, you are capped at 5000# and 500# hitch weight. As I pointed out above, if running 10% which is the bare minimums you are at 7500# for the trailer and 750# on the hitch. As long as you add an external Class IV WD hitch you should be fine and get the max tongue weight rating of 1,220#.

    Hope that helps.
    I guess I have a lot to learn. I can't thank you enough for the information you provided and after a lot of research I agree that I need to get a WD hitch setup before I put anything in my trailer. Now I have 2 things to worry about, getting the right WD hitch and the registry (MA) told me I have to get my trailer inspected. But everything I've found tells me that because I'm not using it for commercial use, then no inspection is necessary. Very confused right now.

    Page 4 on the towing specs for my truck are in the 12,000/1200 lb. range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortstuff View Post
    I guess I have a lot to learn. I can't thank you enough for the information you provided and after a lot of research I agree that I need to get a WD hitch setup before I put anything in my trailer. Now I have 2 things to worry about, getting the right WD hitch and the registry (MA) told me I have to get my trailer inspected. But everything I've found tells me that because I'm not using it for commercial use, then no inspection is necessary. Very confused right now.

    Page 4 on the towing specs for my truck are in the 12,000/1200 lb. range.
    You have to be very careful about the truck's "advertised" towing specs as a Gooseneck or Fifth wheel Hitch would be what is assumed for the 12,000 /1.200lb range. You have a "tag" trailer, which means it is pulled with a bumper mounted hitch, which is an entirely different hitching arrangement.

    Personally, since you have quite an investment in your truck, trailer, tractor, I would make sure to buy the PROPER hitch from a knowledgeable, reputable dealership that can also show you how to properly install it and how to use it correctly. Hitches are truly a matter of life and death every time you tow something, especially something heavy. Consult with a professional dealer that can help you properly outfit your truck to tow this trailer correctly. You won't regret it.

    I owned a trailer and hitch dealership for years. I wouldn't hesitate to say that there are as many loads hitched improperly and incorrectly as there are which are done properly and safely. I commend you for asking the questions and making sure you do this right. Far too many people live by the motto of "If it will hook to it, it will haul it," which is a recipe for disaster.

    By it's very nature and design, a F150 Ford Truck is categorized as a Half Ton truck. One of the key considerations in safely towing is that you want to have a reasonable weight relationship between the tow vehicle and the trailer and load being towed for passenger cars, SUV's and "domestic pick up trucks", which is precisely what a F150 is. You are going to be surprised the first time you have your truck and loaded trailer rolling 55mph and you have to bring it to a slightly faster than normal stop. Even with tandem axles and electric trailer brakes, you have just doubled the distance it will take to stop the truck and loaded trailer verses the truck alone, because the load you are pulling outweighs the truck. Keep this in mind.

    If you don't have access to a local "Cat Scales" of similar type "truck stop scale" to weigh your rig, check with any area asphalt contractors, cement terminals or even farm and grain elevators as all of these businesses have scales which can accomplish the total weight of your vehicle and many can break it down per axle, which is important to know. If you have these types of businesses in your area, either stop by or call them and inquire about their scales and most will allow you to weigh for a reasonable fee and give you the print out report. This is really important to information to have.

    There are variations of the weight distributing hitch by different manufacturers. This is another reason why a knowledgeable and professional hitch shop can be very helpful in helping you get the best set up for your truck.

    Personally, with the tandem axle trailer of that design and knowing that particular trailer, I would load the tractor by driving it onto the trailer bucket forward. Based upon your pictures, you are distributing the majority of the load over the axles, which is precisely what you want to do, verses being nose or tail heavy.

    A benefit of the sides on the trailer make it easier to contain excess tie down strap or chain inside the trailer. The sides may also make tying the tractor down a little more challenging as you either have to reach over the side or get inside the trailer between the tractor and trailer walls. Make sure to properly "CROSS TIE" the tractor so the straps form a X on the front and rear, so the loads are pulling down across the ends of the tractor, which keep it secured and from "sliding" one direction or the other. The bucket on the floor and up against the front wall of the trailer will be helpful in keeping the tractor from moving forward in an emergency stop.

    Generally, 4 good strong tie down ratchet straps will secure the tractor. I would generally use tie down straps with a designed breaking limit of at least 5,000 lbs per strap. Having a tie down strap that is too strong is not a risk. Also, tie down straps with the spring loaded hook end on them are easier to keep on the tie down point" D" ring when you are doing this verses the straps which have the short open ended "J" hook design. A safe rule of thumb is that each strap used to tie down the load should be able to handle the weight of the entire load.

    The FEL and backhoe need to be secured against moving in their designed manner where as the tractor needs to be bound down to the trailer. Focus on securing the main body of the tractor and then preventing the loader and backhoe from lifting or swinging as designed.

    For the loader, a over the bucket from one front corner to the opposite back corner hooked down to D rings near them will be adequate. Be careful about putting cross pulling loads on the loader and the back hoe. Don't put side pulling loads on the loader frame or backhoe, you just want to keep them from moving.

    Also, don't hesitate to add some 5,000 lb "D" rings on the bed of the trailer where it makes the most sense to secure the loader and backhoe. As long as you use grade 8 hardware, backing plates on the underside of the trailer floor and quality "D" rings, these can make the job of securing the loads more efficient and safer.

    While you can use the "E" track mounted adjustable tie down points, the trailer hauling gravel or other dump-able loads will likely destroy the adjustable tie down tracks and make them inoperable. But a strategically mounted "D" ring won't be a problem in the bed of the trailer.

    One last point, Axle Straps are extremely handy for tying down tractors and the loader and backhoe. They allow you to safely go around an axle or tubing and use the the ends of the axle straps to hook the straps to. I use Axle straps on nearly every load I secure as they prevent rubbing and chafing and they properly put pressure on the item being secured, verses just running a strap across it................

    This is a very good package and price. I use these same style straps for the majority of my auto and vehicle securing. If you don't have any tie down straps to do this correctly, I would start with 2 sets of these straps and you will have what you need to do the job correctly. You realistically need 4 straps for the tractor (2 cross tied front and back) and then at least one strap each for the FEL and backhoe. The axle straps will be used for each tie down point.

    Good luck and I am glad to see you are doing this correctly and you are concerned about safety.

    https://www.amazon.com/Strap-Downs-R...DX2FVD9F4EKMSA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortstuff View Post
    I guess I have a lot to learn. I can't thank you enough for the information you provided and after a lot of research I agree that I need to get a WD hitch setup before I put anything in my trailer. Now I have 2 things to worry about, getting the right WD hitch and the registry (MA) told me I have to get my trailer inspected. But everything I've found tells me that because I'm not using it for commercial use, then no inspection is necessary. Very confused right now.

    Page 4 on the towing specs for my truck are in the 12,000/1200 lb. range.
    Keep in mind my main exposure to these calculations are on the camper side of things but for the most part they apply here as well. The one thing that is slightly different is a camper has tall side walls and catches the wind more. Also it is harder to shift weight around to adjust things. Because of this with a camper we normally shoot for the 13-15% tongue weight to play it safe. A trailer with a tractor on it, you can get away with being closer to the 10-13% range. If you have sway, pull over, loosen the straps and move the tractor closer to the front of the trailer and strap down again.

    As far as WD hitches. I agree you need one. A lot of people don't think about it and get themselves into trouble. @SulleyBear mentioned going to a hitch dealer. If you search for that you might only find references to U-Haul dealers. Not sure how well educated they will be on this. You might get lucky but who knows. It could just as well be a part time high school kid on their first day. I would look for a RV/Camper Dealer. Most are authorized resellers for hitches and they typically have a maintenance shop and one of their techs can help you with dialing things in.

    As for what hitch to get. In the camping forums I am part of, this is kind of like asking what oil you should use or what truck maker is best. Everyone has an opinion but they all have strengths and weaknesses so no right answer. In the camping side of things Equal-i-zer is a very popular brand. They work well if your weight is pretty consistent. There is a lot of work to get them dialed in and that is fine for a camper. You might be hauling a tractor one trip and gravel the next. I wouldn't go that route. Hensley is kind of the gold standard from what I read. They must be made from gold if you look at the price. Never used one so I can't speak much to it. I have used chain based systems like Draw-tite but what I don't like about that brand/design is if you need sway control (you might not need it) then you have this goofy 3rd bar with a brake pad material and you have to remember to release it when backing up and tighten it when you are ready to head out on the road. We bought a new camper last spring and went with Blue Ox.

    Blue Ox uses a chain system like a Draw-tite but the arms take the sway out rather than a 3rd bar. The good and bad with it is that it isn't very adjustable. There are different types of hitch couplers. Our current camper uses what is called an underslung coupler. This raises the frame of the camper up higher to give better ground clearance. This gives better approach and departure angles with a longer trailer (31.5" overall) I don't have to worry about dragging my bumper coming out of a parking lot. The problem is I had to buy a hitch specific to this type of coupler. If we get a new camper that maybe has a more traditional coupler, I have to buy a new hitch. Or I also have a dump trailer like yours, I can't use my Blue Ox on that trailer, I have to have two hitches. The nice thing about it is there isn't nearly the adjustments than say a Equal-i-zer has. Meaning it is much easier to set up initially. If you thought you wanted to order something off the internet and set it up yourself (it is possible with a little homework) I would go Blue Ox. It is much easier to dial in.

    Now this is off the top of my head but gives you an idea. Park the trailer loaded on a level ground with the trailer level. Back the truck up to the trailer coupler. You want to adjust the drop hitch so the ball is even or 1" higher than the top of the coupler. The cams that lock in the chains are mounted so many inches back from the coupler (not going to guess that number it is in the directions). Measure the distance from the front fender to the ground. It doesn't mater where, I just would go from the high part of the arch of the fender and record this number. Hitch up the trailer to the truck. Now hook up the chains in the cam and lock it down. You are going to have to play with how many links you are letting hang. The goal is to get the measurement of the front fender back as close as you can to the original measurement. Preferably 3/4" or less from the original measurement. My tongue weight is right at about 950-1000# depending on how I am loaded. I let 9 links hang. That is it. This will get you to a point where you can safely go to a CAT Scale. A lot of truck stops have them or as mentioned grain elevators, cement places and such.

    With an Equal-i-zer and some of the others like Draw-tite there are hitch angle adjustments and other settings that need to be tweaked with shims and stuff. Too much work, if I went that route I would probably just go with a dealer setting it up. As it was we bought our Blue Ox from Etrailer.com I think it was about $300 cheaper than what our dealer wanted for the same hitch. They did set it up for us though at no cost. Well we did buy the camper from them so we did spend a lot of money there. They were however setting up the camper completely empty. Once we got it home and loaded with our stuff it was a lot heavier. We went back through the dial in procedure and then went to the CAT Scale.

    Since you will be hauling different weight loads, I would go with a chain type system so you can tune it to your needs. Once dialed in you are only having to adjust how many chain links you are letting hang. If the trailer is empty you wouldn't even bother with the bars. When you pull out of the yard from getting a load of gravel then you will want to hook them up.

    As far as the inspection and such. That is a state by state thing. Can't help there as I don't live in your state. Maybe call or stop by your DMV for clarification. They should know.
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    sennister's Avatar
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    I just skimmed over it but this page has a lot of info on dialing in a WD hitch.

    https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/17730894.cfm

    EDIT: This time of year, WD hitches pop up on Craigslist quite a bit. So that is another option. A lot of people upgraded campers.
    Last edited by sennister; 04-26-2018 at 08:04 AM.
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    Shortstuff's Avatar
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    I took a pic of the sticker on my hitch. I'm not sure what "V-5" means, but it's a 2" receiver and I don't believe it to be a Class V (5), more like a Class IV (4).

    Click image for larger version. 

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