Should I have said something? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
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Should I have said something?

I saw something this morning in a supermarket parking lot that gave me cause for concern. A Jeep Wrangler (short wheelbase version) was hitched up to about an 8ft single axle utility trailer. The trailer was loaded with a dozen or more pieces of 2x4 and 2x6 lumber that had to be at least 12ft long (probably more like 16ft). The lumber stuck out the back of the trailer pointing up and resting on the rear lift gate that was probably 3 or 4 ft high. The trailer tongue was already pointing up about 6" from horizontal due to the negative tongue weight. The setup was obviously an accident waiting to happen. There was no one around the vehicle otherwise I might have been more inclined to say something. Now that I've arrived home I'm a little disappointed with myself for not sticking around to say something to the driver. But then again, was it my place to say anything? What would you do under the circumstances?
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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Interesting. We are almost paranoid about trailer loading, tow vehicles, ..... yet the majprity of accidents seem to be with utility trailers.

You are right to be concerned because the majority of trailer accidents seem to be utility trailers, usually without brakes and poorly loaded (or over loaded).
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:45 PM   #3
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But, in all fairness, maybe the TV didn't have enough drop on the hitch and it towed that way when empty. I can't imaging the weight of the lumber actually lifting the TV that much as well.... but who knows.

I usually find that trying to talk to peeps that do this sort of thing never turns out well and then they set out to prove that they were right by doing it again and again. Their response usually sounds something like: "I'm using my own good judgment, now butt out".

Kinda like a few in our digital neighborhoods.

I did leave a note on a TV one time when I thought that it had to much tongue weight and the rear of it was about 4" lower than the front suggesting that it might have a broken spring????

If someone thought that it presented a clear and present danger, a call to 911 might be in order.

But remember..... "No good deed will go unpunished"
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Interesting. We are almost paranoid about trailer loading, tow vehicles, ..... yet the majprity of accidents seem to be with utility trailers.

You are right to be concerned because the majority of trailer accidents seem to be utility trailers, usually without brakes and poorly loaded (or over loaded).
I'd be interested to see a link to your source for that twice-told assertion. Does the methodology used include correcting for the difference in numbers of the different trailer types? And if so, where do boat/equipment and other such specialized trailers come into the mix?
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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I too had a over load of lumber on a Jeep Wrangler back in the day. The driver can feel the (oh crap) feeling. But yet I drove at a very slow pace and you have no problem. I wasn't going state to state.
But nothing is wrong to say something to the driver or even leave a nice note. Do you remember the Toyota truck pulling the space shuttle? It pulled it with no problem. It was only going 5 MPH but it did it. Would you see it going up a highway? No! I was living on a farm when I did my haul with a over size load. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I drive like a bat out of HHHH? NO.
But nothing is wrong to voice your warning. I wished someone would of told me not to get married to my first wife!
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:07 PM   #6
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But nothing is wrong to voice your warning. I wished someone would of told me not to get married to my first wife!
Her mama didn't?
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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But, in all fairness, maybe the TV didn't have enough drop on the hitch and it towed that way when empty. I can't imaging the weight of the lumber actually lifting the TV that much as well.... but who knows....
Based on hauling about that much lumber before in my pickup I questimate that it weighed at least 400 lbs with 75% of the weight behind the trailer's single axle. I don't know the tongue weight of the trailer when empty but I'm sure it's a fraction of the aft load. I don't know if the tongue stuck up because of the negative tongue weight or because of a difference in hitch heights but the upward point didn't look healthy. These observations coupled with a short wheel based tow vehicle spelled trouble to me.

I probably already answered my question by posting it here in the first place. My conscience got the better of me for not saying anything when the potential for an accident was clear or at least so I thought. The next time I hope to be a little more patient and kindly offer some friendly advice.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
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I would make sure I avoided driving anywhere near a flaky looking load setup on the road. Happens surprisingly often; my favorite is the mattress tied to the roof bent 90 degrees when the driver is going 65 mph....
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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I don't like it but if I need to get some long lumber home that won't fit in my utility trailer that is exactly how it is loaded. Nose down in the front angled up and resting on the lift gate.

I am driving slower on 2 lane and because one end is jammed into the front edge it does put more weight to the front than you might think. But then my rear gate is almost 2 ft. taller than the sides too. It drops into a drive on ramp so it's extra long.

Laying wood flat and strapping it down with the rear gate off it rides way worse, the wood sticks out further and every bounce I can feel the tongue weight disappear. Really rides much better wedged down in front and sticking up in the back.

My trailer does hitch up level, not nose up so.... little different than what you saw.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if the person needs to move the lumber, and it seems to ride/handle ok to them they won't listen, and if they are part way home they sure won't be able to do anything if you mention it will they? What could they do? Cut the lumber short enough to fit there in the parking lot? In my opinion your mentioning it would not have changed things so no need for a guilty conscience.

I do recall a fellow once telling me my small Oldsmobile was not big enough to tow my large Oldsmobile at a rest stop 3/4 of the way home in the middle of nowhere. I was not offended but did wonder if he expected me to just drop the tow dolly there or what?

On the other hand if the trailer is sitting nose up because the hitch bar does not have enough drop (wranglers sit pretty high) it might be worth mentioning that the load will travel a whole lot better if they get a drop hitch that puts the trailer level or throw some cinder blocks in the front to balance the load to be front heavy. That is just a helpful suggestion for next time with nothing for them to be offended at.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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I stopped once and gave a tiedown strap away just to make myself feel better. The one I remember best was a pickup with a load of 20' 2/6 leaning on the top of the cab-no strap. I backed off just as the wind threw all the wood up and over the back of the truck on to the road. Saw a guy going down the road with a blowup boat on top of his car-driver holding one side and passenger holding the other side. I 'love' living in a resort area!!!!
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:38 PM   #11
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Halfway through post #1 I thought the concern was going to be the length of the load that extended off the rear of the trailer and not marked with a red flag. I agree with Bob Miller that saying something may not go well. May be a judgement call after seeing the driver, will he knock you on your butt, stab or shoot you, or accept your advice with thanks. Let the cops handle it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Halfway through post #1 I thought the concern was going to be the length of the load that extended off the rear of the trailer and not marked with a red flag. I agree with Bob Miller that saying something may not go well. May be a judgement call after seeing the driver, will he knock you on your butt, stab or shoot you, or accept your advice with thanks. Let the cops handle it.
LOL - pretty much my thoughts. That's why we have insurance to protect us against idiots. A lawyer once told me " There is no law against being stupid." Superb legal advice!

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Old 02-24-2014, 08:54 PM   #13
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Ya But....all the insurance and lawyers in the world won't make up for an accident when someone is seriously injured or worse.

The term "Life Insurance" is really "Death Insurance"
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:15 PM   #14
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I'd let it go, can't fix stupid.. unless children are involved. I would risk my life to save the life of a child. YMMV
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