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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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. :unknown:

IMG_0660.jpg
 

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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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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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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....
 

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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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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.
 

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Good job. Very good effort. :drinks: 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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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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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.
 

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My bad, I thought they were talking about the chains. :confused:
 

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Lost in Wisconsin,

Carefully studying the pictures, I have a few more questions and comments.

1. How are the straps attached to the trailer? Are there welded tie downs or some other method already on the trailer?

2. The straps at the grill guard, how are those attached to the tractor? I couldn't really tell from the photos.

3. Also same question as #2 regarding how you had the straps hooked to the rear tow point on the tractor? Do the straps have hooks on them?

I would have run a strap "over the tractor", from one side of the trailer to the other, likely in the foot board area as long as I could sinch it down without damaging something. Since you had the loader arms raised up above the hood and secured by the lumber in this position, perhaps I would have used that area instead, while protecting the paint from strap scuffing. I would have gone back on the loader arms as close to the drivers station as I could so I am "over" the tractor and near the center of the tractor when considering from front to back. (hope this makes sense)

I like the idea of "pulling down" on the load at a point higher than the rear hitch point. Just because of the center of gravity of the load, when you have such low tie down points as the rear hitch area, I like to hold the load "towards" the trailer. Specifically thi nking that if you had to swerve at the last second to avoid something, it would help keep the load from tipping if subjected to a sudden violent side to side movement. This is probably overkill, but I would rather be guilty of over securing a load for which there is no consequence, than having someone injured or worse.

In my first post, The reason I asked about the tow vehicle was wondering what the trailer and tractor weight was compared to the tow vehicle. It looks like the tractor weighs about 1,900 pounds and I would guess the loader adds another 400 to 500 pounds. The lumber is probably another 300 to 400lbs, so the total load was likely 2,700 to 3,000. It looks like a double axle trailer and the vast majority of trailers of that style and size are made with the 3,500lb Dexter axles. If that is the case, the load certainly was appropriate for the trailer.

That trailer, with the side walls and lift gate should weigh about 2,300 to 2,500 pounds, so the trailer with a 7,000 GVWR would leave 4,500 to 4,700 lbs for the maximum load. SO the tractor should have been a very appropriate load for the trailer, leaving the trailer under the GVWR by 1,500 lbs or so with the variables.

With a loaded trailer of 5,500lbs, the tow vehicle becomes very important. Obviously an electric brake controller in the tow vehicle and properly functioning brakes are critical. At this load, the hitch ball should be 2 5/16ths for a trailer of that size.

I used to own a trailer and hitch dealership. We sold trailers from small open units at $750 to 53' race car trailers costing $500,000. We also handled all of the major hitches and their installation on customer vehicles. I could write a book about the dangerous, bizzare and outright stupid stuff I would see people do or at least consider doing. I can't count the number of times I would see people put a 2 5/16ths trailer tongue onto a hitch with either a 2" or even 1 7/8ths ball. Just when you think you have seen it all.......

A few years ago, I sold a West Coast Chopper motorcycle which I had gotten in a trade with Jesse James of the Monster Garage TV fame before he was TV famous. I had the bike since 2002 and when I sold it to a guy in Florida for more than $50k, he showed up with his father in law to pick it up from my home. The guy showed up with a UHaul baggage trailer, which is a 10 ft long, 5 x 5 foot square trailer with a rear cargo door designed to haul "baggage", hence it's name. He had no means to tie it down and not even a ramp to get it loaded. I would not allow it to be shipped this way. I couldn't beleive he was actually going to attempt to haul this valuable and rare bike across the country in this undersized, inappropriate tin can. I guess they both had more money than brains......
 

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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...)
Two chains *do* count if it's the chain itself, or the attachment point at the other end of them, that breaks.
 

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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.
I've had that happen to me with a pallet of wood pellets in the bed of my pickup. The strap slid off the top of the pallet and the whole thing fell over backwards.
 

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Two chains *do* count if it's the chain itself, or the attachment point at the other end of them, that breaks.
Not to DOT....

Attachment points must be unique (and rated) at both ends.

You cannot control what "might" break.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First off off a big thank you for the comments, questions and suggestions. I am sure we may need to trailer it again and as long as we rent... every trailer and and tractor/FEL/attachment combo will be different.

The straps used have a breaking strength of 10k and working load of 3,333 lbs. I figured the tractor was around 1,900# and the attachments around at 1k.

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.
 

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This was a cool thread to read. :thumbup1gif:

When considering load weight, don't forget about all the extras we have on our tractors (wheel weights, fluid in tires, toolboxes and tools) and their locations. My learning event in towing was related to insufficient tongue weight because I hadn't distributed the load correctly. It appears your choice for placement on the trailer accounted well for this, but it is difficult to tell from the photos to be certain. I'd also have to make a vote for use of chains to tie down loads in excess of 1500 lbs. I have used what appears to be the exact type of ratchet strap on a sand rail with gear in it and had two of the straps break on a trip, and that was without any emergency avoidance maneuvers. So with that experience in my past, it's Grade 70 chains and binders for me now on heavy loads.

Using the following:
Kinetic Energy = 0.5 * mass * velocity^2​

You can calculate that at 15 mph a 2000-pound tractor develops 15,043 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, 60,173 ft-lbs at 30 miles per hour, and 240,691 ft-lbs at 60 miles per hour.

Enjoyed this thread immensely! :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The towing vehicle is a 2005 F150 FX4 with brake controller. And yes, the safety chains were crossed. We also have utility, snowmobile and horse trailers and cross the safety chains on all. Honestly, it wasn't until you mentioned why (to not allow the hitch to drag on the ground) did I understand the reasoning. I have always done it this way because it is what my father and grandfathers did when using trailers. So thanks for the insight.

Lost in Wisconsin,

Carefully studying the pictures, I have a few more questions and comments.

1. How are the straps attached to the trailer? Are there welded tie downs or some other method already on the trailer?
On each side of the inside of the trailer there were 3 welded "rings" along with 2 welded flat bars with 3 small holes in each one. If you zoom on the pic below, you can see 4 of the 5 along the right hand side of the trailer. I used the welded rings located in the rear and front of the trailer to secure the tractor. I used the ring in the middle to secure the FEL. I did use the flat bars toward the rear of the trailer to strap down the lumber.

View attachment 33968


2. The straps at the grill guard, how are those attached to the tractor? I couldn't really tell from the photos.
The straps have hooks and were attached to the bracket holding the grill guard on. I recognize this place doesn't attach directly to the frame. The grille guard is attached directly to the frame.

3. Also same question as #2 regarding how you had the straps hooked to the rear tow point on the tractor? Do the straps have hooks on them?
These straps too have hooks and were hooked to where the drawbar would slide/attach.

I would have run a strap "over the tractor", from one side of the trailer to the other, likely in the foot board area as long as I could sinch it down without damaging something. Since you had the loader arms raised up above the hood and secured by the lumber in this position, perhaps I would have used that area instead, while protecting the paint from strap scuffing. I would have gone back on the loader arms as close to the drivers station as I could so I am "over" the tractor and near the center of the tractor when considering from front to back. (hope this makes sense)
It does make sense and I recognize its value. TY

I like the idea of "pulling down" on the load at a point higher than the rear hitch point. Just because of the center of gravity of the load, when you have such low tie down points as the rear hitch area, I like to hold the load "towards" the trailer. Specifically thi nking that if you had to swerve at the last second to avoid something, it would help keep the load from tipping if subjected to a sudden violent side to side movement. This is probably overkill, but I would rather be guilty of over securing a load for which there is no consequence, than having someone injured or worse.
I agree with this completely. I just wish there were more points to attach to or the attachments were not in the way.

In my first post, The reason I asked about the tow vehicle was wondering what the trailer and tractor weight was compared to the tow vehicle. It looks like the tractor weighs about 1,900 pounds and I would guess the loader adds another 400 to 500 pounds. The lumber is probably another 300 to 400lbs, so the total load was likely 2,700 to 3,000. It looks like a double axle trailer and the vast majority of trailers of that style and size are made with the 3,500lb Dexter axles. If that is the case, the load certainly was appropriate for the trailer.

That trailer, with the side walls and lift gate should weigh about 2,300 to 2,500 pounds, so the trailer with a 7,000 GVWR would leave 4,500 to 4,700 lbs for the maximum load. SO the tractor should have been a very appropriate load for the trailer, leaving the trailer under the GVWR by 1,500 lbs or so with the variables.

With a loaded trailer of 5,500lbs, the tow vehicle becomes very important. Obviously an electric brake controller in the tow vehicle and properly functioning brakes are critical. At this load, the hitch ball should be 2 5/16ths for a trailer of that size.
......
 

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Ya know, all GTT needs is a 152 page thread on flail mowers, and it's basicallly TBN, but better, with nicer people. Anyone remember the straps vs. chain thread??!!!

-J.
 

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Anyone remember the straps vs. chain thread??!!!

Did it involve a tall redhead with deep blue eyes? If it does I'll go find it. :laugh:
 
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