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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone use them towing their tractor? I will have about 10K # with 44R, loaded tires, loader, MX-6, blade or disc and 20' trailer. Most use with campers but I think height plays into needing the sway stabilization?


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You have to look at your tongue weight and trailer weight. Your hitch should tell you how much weight you can handle with and without a weight dist hitch. That will tell you which way to go. I strongly suspect you will need a weight dist hitch as you need 10-15% tongue weight which would put you up to at least 1000# if you hit the 10,000# max on the trailer. That is why I went with a gooseneck flatbed after I got my 4066R. You will have to make sure you balance the load properly on the trailer so you have enough tongue weight or it will get squirrelly on you.

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Discussion Starter #3
How does one know tongue weight?


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How does one know tongue weight?


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That is what makes it so tough when using a straight trailer. You screw up and you are in the ditch. The best I can tell you is to watch the rear of the tow vehicle and measure how much it sits down with the load. Then take it to a scale and weigh it by each axle. You may have to move the load around to get the load where you want it for proper balance. Then measure the tow vehicle drop again and shoot for that each time in the future. Your life may depend on getting it right.

Dave
 

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How does one know tongue weight?
That's always a tough one. While it isn't terribly hard to make sure you have _some_ tongue weight and can probably guess close enough to get you to roughly 10-15%, it is still a guess. That's why I decided with my most recent truck purchase (which moved me from a 2" receiver to a 2.5" receiver) to buy a Weigh-Safe hitch with a gauge built in. I've been hauling a lot more and heavier loads in the last year and some of them are not so easy to re-adjust, like 3yd of black dirt, so I want to make sure I'm safe.



Rob
 

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That's always a tough one. While it isn't terribly hard to make sure you have _some_ tongue weight and can probably guess close enough to get you to roughly 10-15%, it is still a guess. That's why I decided with my most recent truck purchase (which moved me from a 2" receiver to a 2.5" receiver) to buy a Weigh-Safe hitch with a gauge built in. I've been hauling a lot more and heavier loads in the last year and some of them are not so easy to re-adjust, like 3yd of black dirt, so I want to make sure I'm safe.



Rob
now that is one nice and nifty item to have. in all my yrs this is the first time i have seen something like that. i suppose it's about..the same as air bags showing on ur dash in the truck would be. only here it is in little springs inside there.

where did u ever find that at? and thanks for sharing it.
 

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How does one know tongue weight?


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u can use a bathroom scale under the lift jack that can handle the weight . (most dial scales go up to 300# and then can keep going around just add the #'s) this is the best whey to do it .or a tongue weight scale from someone like etrailer.com but pricey but always nice to have one
then you can move the load around on the trailer while tongue is on the scale untill you are with in your weight rating
 

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https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=tongue+scale&furl=-pg-Tools

something like this is well worth the money in my opinion you cant go wrong with one of these. and if you cant justify 140$ to properly measure tongue weight you best b saving for wear on your tow rig. axle bearings,suspension parts, tires ect ect what im saying is buying one of these scales will save you lots of money long run and you will know exactly what ur tongue weight is no guessing... :bigthumb:
 

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Does anyone use them towing their tractor? I will have about 10K # with 44R, loaded tires, loader, MX-6, blade or disc and 20' trailer. Most use with campers but I think height plays into needing the sway stabilization?


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I have used one for 10 years now with my enclosed trailer. It makes a big difference on how the trailer tows if you ask me. I would get one, in fact I almost consider it mandatory for any trailer bigger than a small single axle utility trailer.
 

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now that is one nice and nifty item to have. in all my yrs this is the first time i have seen something like that. i suppose it's about..the same as air bags showing on ur dash in the truck would be. only here it is in little springs inside there.

where did u ever find that at? and thanks for sharing it.
My buddy showed it to me a few months back. It is apparently a fairly new product. Just won some awards at SEMA, I think. You can find them for sale at Amazon, AutoAnything, etc. I managed to get one for 25% off at a sale at AutoAnything recently. I thought $249 for a 10" drop, locking, 2.5" receiver hitch made of billet aluminum was a pretty fair deal. One suggestion is that if you get one and want a locking receiver pin order the keyed-alike set so you only have one key to mess with.

This hitch uses some type of plunger under the ball that pushes down on some hydraulic fluid which then is read by the gauge. It isn't super accurate at the very low end of the gauge range but on bigger loads it really helps to know where you're sitting.

Rob
 

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Someone mentioned using a bathroom scale. That is what I would do. However most max out at 250-300#. If you have some pipe and some 2x4s you can get around that issue.


Sorry this will get long... :munch:

We have a Jayco Travel Trailer. In fact we just bought a new one in Feb so I have been through a lot of this recently. More so than with our old one because we went with the biggest camper we could possibly safely tow with our 1/2 ton GMC Yukon Denali. Going down this journey I learned a lot. Most of my focus was in terms of campers but really they apply to any trailer. A trailer is a trailer and while the high sides catch wind more which make more susceptible to sway, other factors still apply.

Brakes

Check your state laws. Some states require trailer brakes with trailer weights as low as 1000lbs. I think CA was really low. Most states are 3000lbs and up. If you need brakes then you need a controller if you don't have surge brakes.

Tongue weight

The number used is 10-15%. In the camper side of things we typically say 13-15%. The reason is partly because of high side walls but also we have a lot of weight shift depending on how you are running. Fresh water tanks are normally over the axles but black and grey tanks are normally way out back. If you are running 10% with full fresh tanks at the end of the camping trip you might be empty on fresh but have full or nearly full black and grey tanks. That is a lot of weight shifted to the rear which will make your 10% TW turn into 8% real quick. A utility trailer with a tractor isn't as much of a problem other than positioning on the trailer. JD should be able to tell you what the tractor weighs and manufacturer of the trailer can give you trailer weights. That will get you close to a total weight for coming up with the 10-15% TW. Or if you run a lot of other stuff, hit up a CAT Scale.

Vehicle ratings

This was a huge shock to me. I had always read of people going to a camper sales place and buying campers way too big for their vehicle but had no idea how bad this practice was. With fault on both sides on the vehicle sales side as well as the camper. There are lots of numbers to look at and most of it is marketing BS with the truth mixed in with the numbers that most people never look at unless they seriously sharpen their pencils. On the camper side you will see information on tongue weight however that is before you put the battery and propane tanks on the tongue. Also that is a camper with no options and no dishes, beer, blankets, beer, chairs, beer, water, beer, food or even any beer. So that number means nothing. Who goes camping without beer? On the truck side every manufacturer flaunts the towning capacity. Raise your hand if you knew that number means absolutely nothing... :nunu: Here is the problem. You really need to look at the cargo capacity, hitch capacity and max axle load. I guarantee that unless you are pulling a hay wagon you will blow way past those other limits with a traditional trailer way before getting remotely close to the max towing capacity. Case in point. Our camper's GVWR (max weight with cargo) is 6750#. When I take that number and factor in 13% TW I am at 877lbs TW. Then I have to add 80lbs for the WD hitch. I am at 957lbs. That 957lbs of tongue weight goes against my max hitch weight of 1000#. It is also 1000# of weight that the truck is carrying so take 1000# off my cargo capacity rating as well as rear axle rating. I am right at my limits on a trailer that weights 6750#. Guess what my towing rating is.... 8100# that is a difference of 1350 lbs. If I run 15% TW I am actually exceeding the limits of my Yukon. However I don't load the camper at full GVWR so I am just on the good side. Like I said I went with the biggest camper we could. A lot of people out there go shopping with that 8100# number and look at the empty weight of the camper. That is insane.

As far as the WD hitch, the need and how to set them up. We use a Blue Ox system which is sway control as well as WD. Go by the manufacturer's recommendations on setting it up but normally the process is going to be to get the trailer in balance. By that get it loaded, calculate or weigh the trailer weight and adjust to get that 10-15% TW. While on level ground, level the trailer and set the hitch (ball) height so it is even or 1" higher than the coupler on the tongue. This number differs a bit by WD hitch manufacture. Before hooking up measure the fender height of the FRONT wheel well. Hitch up. Our truck has a load leveling air suspension. Let it do it's thing then adjust the WD bars to bring the front wheel well measurement back to where it was. That is how you determine that you have loaded your front axle back with weight.

I was just going through all these numbers before shopping for a trailer to spec out that 6750 GVWR was my magic number. Then we picked the camper, finally I got to beat up the salesman..

Hope this might help someone. :hi:
 

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The Weigh Safe hitch is a nice concept. From what I have read about the hitch, it is not extremely accurate, particularly in situations with lower tongue weights. Weight measured in 100# increments. It's expensive at around $300, and it's attractive, so take precautions against theft.

For best setup you need to know the weight of your loaded trailer. Load it up and take it to the nearest scales so you have this information for future use. You need to know the loaded trailer weight to be able to calculate the necessary tongue weight in pounds. Makes little sense to know the tongue weight if you don't know the total weight of the loaded trailer.

Once you get the loaded trailer set up, mark the positions of the equipment on the trailer so you can load it that way every time without worrying about future weight adjustments. Assumes, of course, that you tow a standard load each time.

FYI, you can use more than one bathroom scale for higher weights. Just lay a board across two scales, and rest the trailer tongue on the board. Add together the weight from each scale. Doesn't work on dirt or gravel but OK on asphalt or concrete.

As far as weight distributing set ups, I'm impressed with the Andersen invention. It uses chains to replace the spring bars. But if you go with the Andersen, you can't use the Weigh Safe hitch with it.

andersen-weight-distribution-hitches.jpg

https://andersenhitches.com/Catalog/andersen-nosway-weight-distribution-hitch.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the great info and suggestions. Here is what I am gathering. Weight distributing hitches are needed if the tongue weight causes picks up too much weight off of front axle to distribute tongue plus vehicle weight between front and rear tow vehicle axles as well as raise rear height of tow vehicle and trailer hitch for level towing.

I know my trailer and equipment weights will be between 9-10 K #. 10-15% tongue weight will be 900 - 1500 lbs. I ordered the weigh safe hitch. If I load it to 1200 lbs and scale is +/- 100 lbs it will be good enough.

My F250 has 8" suspension lift. This includes 1 ton springs. Crew cab with diesel. I dont think squat in rear and rise in front will be problematic.




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Thanks for all the great info and suggestions. Here is what I am gathering. Weight distributing hitches are needed if the tongue weight causes picks up too much weight off of front axle to distribute tongue plus vehicle weight between front and rear tow vehicle axles as well as raise rear height of tow vehicle and trailer hitch for level towing.

I know my trailer and equipment weights will be between 9-10 K #. 10-15% tongue weight will be 900 - 1500 lbs. I ordered the weigh safe hitch. If I load it to 1200 lbs and scale is +/- 100 lbs it will be good enough.

My F250 has 8" suspension lift. This includes 1 ton springs. Crew cab with diesel. I dont think squat in rear and rise in front will be problematic.

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Yeah you get the high level. You load the rear of the truck with weight from the tongue it lifts weight from the front axle of the truck. If you lift too much weight from the front, you are overloading the rear axle and the front weight is needed on the front axle for things you know like steering. Kind of fun to be able to do that safely. :laugh: We face the same things with FEL on a tractor but the opposite. They normally make it mandatory to have a ballast box or some other counter weights on the back of a tractor because without it you will overload the front axle load limits. With a WD hitch you are transferring the weight back up front by leveling out the suspension with the spring bars on the hitch.

As far as leveling the truck and trailer. You can't always achieve that. It is more to restore weight to the front axle. While we run pretty level, that is because of the air suspension system running the compressor until the sensors on each wheel detect that we are leveled out. Really the right way to do all of this is at a CAT Scale. However you probably don't have one in your yard. So then you fall back to things you can measure to make things safe to drive the 20-30 miles you might have to go to get to a CAT Scale. Does everyone go through all of this, no. Are you trailering a lot? If yes it might be worth it. If it is once a year across down for service, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

As you get into 3/4 tons and 1 ton trucks squat may be less noticeable depending on the tongue weight but you still might need to watch axle limits. You just have more room for safety margin where you may be fine. Then there is the heavy diesel engine helping the front axle load. You still need to look at trailer ratings. They have cargo limits as well as your state laws if you don't have trailer brakes. I assume it is probably a tandem axle trailer if you are even looking at a WD hitch and pretty much all of them that I have ever seen have brakes. Just mentioning it as another item to check off the list.

Sway control probably isn't going to be a real need. It is more of a factor with the solid walls like an enclosed trailer or camper. It can happen if you are out of your 10% min on tongue weight but as someone mentioned, figure it out and mark the trailer or have a reference point so you can load it the same each time.
 

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The Weigh Safe hitch is a nice concept. From what I have read about the hitch, it is not extremely accurate, particularly in situations with lower tongue weights. Weight measured in 100# increments. It's expensive at around $300, and it's attractive, so take precautions against theft.
The issue with accuracy at the lower end is indeed true. This concerned me initially and I reached out to the manufacturer. He explained that this was a design choice due to the way the hydraulic oil and orifices work inside. They could either be more accurate at the lower end or at the upper end so they chose upper. Below about 300# it isn't that accurate, but above that it is. After thinking about it for a while this makes sense as a trade-off. For light trailers the actual tongue weight really is mostly irrelevant, considering these 2.5" receiver 8-10" drop hitches are primarily geared towards 3/4 and 1-ton trucks. Something that small behind you isn't going to affect things whether tongue weight is spot on or not. I suggested to him that they consider starting the gauge scale at 300 or 400# instead of 100# and he said it was something they were already considering to avoid confusion.

As for the 100# increment thing, if you're pulling a 5000-14000# trailer just how close are you looking to be on tongue weight? The gradations are far enough apart that you can distinguish at least 50# on the scale. If someone needs better than that then perhaps this isn't the right tool.

Rob
 

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Sennister - Thanks for the info about making a bathroom scale work. I always wondered if something like that could be done but I had no idea how. Makes a lot of sense. I think having something like that around the shop would be useful for many situations where you want to know the weight of something large. :thumbup1gif:

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes on trailer brakes. Tandem axle. 5,250 # axles.


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The Anderson with antisway is realllllllly nice to tow with. I'd get that one if it works for your needs. It keeps everything lined up and you can adjust it as needed. We tow an enclosed car trailer with a Tahoe and sometimes we forget it's back there.


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Sennister - Thanks for the info about making a bathroom scale work. I always wondered if something like that could be done but I had no idea how. Makes a lot of sense. I think having something like that around the shop would be useful for many situations where you want to know the weight of something large. :thumbup1gif:

Rob
Off topic, but I use a 600 lb crane scale to weight large heavy objects like my ballast box. I just hang it on the FEL and lift the object off the ground to weigh. Cost under $40.
41aNNIk+i-L._AC_US218_.jpg
 
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