Why are the wheels so far back on a car hauler trailer?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    carhauler.png

    That's a 20' car hauler trailer. It's meant to be pulled with its payload car facing forward, with the heaviest part of the towed car (engine) all the way at the front.

    I've never pulled a car hauler; if I had, I probably wouldn't be asking this question. But, I have pulled other bumper-pull cargo trailers, and they have the two axles positioned more or less centered on the trailer. I know that, when loading the cargo trailer, you want more of the load on the tongue (supported by the truck's suspension) than you do on the tail. This keeps the trailer from wanting to lift up off the ball hitch, and it keeps the trailer from swaying at highway speed. You don't want to overload the tongue though, lest you damage your truck's suspension. I usually use an eyeball measurement of my truck's rear suspension for a ballpark "correct" tongue load; if my truck sags 2-3", good, otherwise, not.

    So in the case of the car hauler, I would think that having the trailer axles centered on the trailer (just like on the cargo trailer) would be ideal. When you pull the payload car onto the trailer, the heavy part (engine) would be at the front, where you want the most weight, and everybody would be happy. But apparently everybody isn't happy, because they felt the need to move the axles a few feet further back, meaning (I assume) that now 75% or more of the heaviest part of the [car + trailer] will be resting on my truck's suspension.

    I want to pull a car hauler with another fullsize chevy pickup (heavy) on it. In my mind's eye, I see the trailer with that heavy 'ol rustbucket on it bottoming out my truck's (the pulling truck's) rear suspension. But I must be wrong about that, or else I would not find that every single trailer manufacturer makes their car haulers like this. Can someone explain why?
     
  2. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    Ok so I guess it's probably so that the ass end doesn't drag the ground when going through dips. Because the car hauler is so low to the ground.
     
  3. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Wheels are behind so it doesn't lose traction and swing in the opposite lane killing someone.
     
  4. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    It also give the trailer stability when loading and unloading.

    It allows the trailer to be loaded and unloaded, without a counter weight on tongue.

    Without the tractor attached.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  5. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    You can always turn the vehicle being hauled around backwards if the tongue weight it too high for the towing vehicle. ;)
     
    BR-549 likes this.
  6. JoeJester

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    Apr 26, 2005
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    A nice nickel solution for a dollar problem.
     
  7. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    +1

    Our Rescue Squad has a 10' trailer, axles in the center (think see-saw). I was loading our John Deere Gator on it one day and that's when I discovered that although I had flipped the latch on the hitch into the locked position, it wasn't all the way down on the ball..:eek::eek:
    With the front wheels of the Gator on the trailer, the hitch raised up (remember see-saw!!) went through the back window of our Tahoe, came down and left a huge dent in the tailgate... That was 2 years ago and I still hear about it:rolleyes::rolleyes:
    Good thing we were only going to the car wash...
     
  8. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    When I was young, I operated a linkbelt speeder. With all of it’s attachments. Mostly in dragline mode.

    Our HIGH trailer had no ramps. We used square wooden blocks. Because of the teeter totter effect, and counterweight......had to cock the house, put boom down with dangling bucket at the end, And then teeter totter over my homemade ramp. It would rock several times, I learned to balance this mass. It was quite a sight. With some practice.......you ended up in the right place. That being a foot of track hanging out each side of bed.

    AND NEVER load flat tracks on a frosty bed.
     
  9. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    See what cleanliness gets/cost you in the end. That's why I never put any extra effort into cleaning up anything. The risk for failure is way too high! :p
     
    gerty and shortbus like this.
  10. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    For stability, the tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of the total loaded trailer weight. Less than that and the trailer will fishtail. More then that is OK, just heavy on the hitch.

    I built a single axle buggy trailer and didn't take into account that all the weight in the buggy is in the back. Yes, I screwed up. To make the trailer (and buggy) stable I had to put 250 pounds of steel in the front. If I had made the trailer so I could back the buggy on to it, I would have been fine without any ballast.
     
    KJ6EAD likes this.
  11. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Be sure that your car insurance covers the trailer and contents of trailer. Or get an extra trailer policy. There us an ugly lawsuit going on near me - no insurance.poorly loaded trailer, no safety chain, ... Worse from there.
     
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