Recently, a customer reached out to Double D Trailers on advice for designing a new trailer, and for direction involving an ongoing lawsuit she has against another trailer manufacturer.
Dear Double D Trailers,
Right now I”m going through a lawsuit on my trailer. Long story short the trailers axles are #3500 and trailers weights 5900 which doesn’t leave me any room for a horse imagine that. So I’ve been running heavy which was unknown to me until the brakes got fried and the bearing crumbled. So this time around I’m ready.
DOUBLE D TRAILERS RESPONSE:
Regarding your existing trailer and axle situation, I will be happy to assist if you need any advice there. Depending on if it is a gooseneck or a bumper pull, factors that determine the weight capacity of your trailer include tires/wheels/axles AND the tongue weight. Meaning this: Let’s assume your trailer axles are 3,500 lb each for a combined total of 7,000 lb capacity. And if your trailer weighs 5,900 lbs plus two horses at 1,000 lbs each of 7,900 lbs you may think you are “overweight”. Depending upon the axle location, the trailer tongue will carry approximately 20% of the weight which means that your trailer can carry about 8,750 lbs. These are only estimates and I do not have any specifics of your situation, but if you are trying to accurately determine the GVWR of a trailer, the amount being distributed back to the tow vehicle has to be taken into consideration in those calculations.
CUSTOMER EMAIL #2:
Hi I would like to understand this tongue weight thing better. I have a 2 horse slant load gooseneck with 2 feet added to the dressing room, I also added an awning and air conditioner and inside door. It is a steel frame aluminum sides rumber floor. On top of the fact it started rusting 3 mos after I bought it and it hadn’t seen snow yet. My mechanic and I noticed from day 1 on pick up that the tires look way to small for a trailer that size. 15 inch rated C tires with limits of 1820 lbs per tire. I’ve owned it 2 1/2 years. There is no bow in the axle and I’ve blown 3 tires for no apparent reason and the dealer keeps blowing me off.
So in January 2013 I wasn’t sure if the brakes were going in my truck or the trailer so I took it in. There was nothing left of the brakes, rotors etc. in the trailer $800 later I replaced everything and it still wasn’t right so I got it weighed. The truck and trailer weigh 12000 lbs truck was 6500 lbs and the trailer was 5900 lbs. the sticker on the outside said the trailer should be 4200 lbs but with the extras it know weigh 5900 lbs. We figured after weighing both horses at 1200 and 1300 lbs + my equipment I’m over loaded all the time. I travel often with 2 horses then 2 months later I fried the bearings in one tire 3 hrs from home loaded with one horse. So now it sits in my driveway because it UN-safe. Could there have been another reason why this happened? I don’t want it to happen again. Please help!
DOUBLE D TRAILERS RESPONSE #2:
Thanks for sending over your photo. So let’s assume your trailer at 5,900 lbs, fully loaded is 8,900 lbs with horses and gear. With the added 2′ to your trailer, I would imagine the tongue weight is at least 20% of the overall weight, more than likely 25%. Someone with a proper “coupler scale” can weigh this, or with dimensions it could be calculated by an engineer.
If it’s at 25%, a trailer weighing 8,900 lbs would have 6,675 lbs sitting on the tires/wheels/and axles and 2,225 lbs sitting on the back tires of your tow vehicle. (8,900 lbs x .75 = 6,675 lbs). In that scenario, a 7,000 lb axle and tire system would have 6,675 lbs riding on them and be within about 10% of capacity, but not over.
The key to determine truly what the capacity of your trailer is will be reflected as to what percentage your tongue weight is, which is riding on your tow vehicle, not your trailer axles.
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